The Science of Love

The Science of Love


Love at first sight is real?

OK, so maybe not fully developed love, but a quick passionate response is possible. Your brain can release love-related chemicals in a split second after you spy someone you love. A study also showed that new love really is like a drug. It sparks the same euphoric feeling as cocaine — in the same part of the brain.

When you’re love-struck, your brain is flooded with dopamine and norepinephrine, triggering euphoria. That’s why new lovers do things like talk all night, dote on little details about each other, or fly across the country for a weekend together.  Falling in love also triggers adrenaline, which may make your heart race and your knees shake when you’re near your lover.

Testosterone — in men and women — is the only substance known to arouse sexual desire. Oysters have high levels of dopamine, but there’s no proof that eating them boosts your libido. And chocolate has high levels of phenylethylamine (PEA) — the “love molecule.” But there’s no evidence that eating chocolate releases the hormone the way a simple act like hands touching or eyes meeting can release it.

Being in love is like being addicted.

The same brain areas light up in people who are madly in love and those who use cocaine or opioids. Lovers also show the classic symptoms of addiction. As a romance builds, a lover craves more and more of the “drug” — the other person. A breakup can cause withdrawal symptoms like poor sleep and depression. And scorned lovers can relapse: Hearing a favorite song can trigger the craving all over again.

What do “cuddle hormones” do?

Help people bond

At orgasm, the hormones vasopressin in men and oxytocin in women rise. These “cuddle hormones” can flood you with loving feelings for your partner. Scientists believe these chemicals help cement emotional bonds between lovers. The chemicals of romance may wane at the same time, so ecstasy gets replaced with devotion

Your voice can be a clue to your body type

In a study, men and women listened to recordings of people counting to 10, and then ranked their attractiveness. Voices rated most attractive came from men with broad shoulders and narrow hips. For women, the most fetching voices came from those with narrow waists and broad hips

In mating choices, opposites do not attract.

American men and women participating in a study ranked the qualities they want in a mate — such as wealth, sexual loyalty, family devotion, and looks. Then they ranked those qualities in themselves. It turns out that most people were looking for someone like them. Other research shows that people want partners who share their sense of humor, values, and beliefs



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