Feb
14
2008

Cupid's arrow is dipped in neurotransmitters

Kissing chemistry
Kissing chemistryCourtesy David Ball
The effect of Cupid's chemicals on my body some 40 years ago are unforgettable. I had so much energy I thought I would burst. I did about 50 pushups trying to relieve the pressure. I couldn't sleep. My pits were secreting overtime. Can you remember the feelings your first love (crush) produced?

The chemistry of love

  • Lust is the first of the three stages of love, followed by attraction, then attachment. Lust is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. These hormones "get you out looking for anything". The Science of Love (bbc.co.uk)
  • Attraction: By scanning brains of individuals looking at photos of their lovers during that "crazed, can't-think-of-anything-but stage of romance", scientists noted increased blood flow in areas of the brain with high concentrations of receptors for dopamine.

    dopamine (is) associated with states of euphoria, craving and addiction. High levels of dopamine are also associated with norepinephrine, which heightens attention, short-term memory, hyperactivity, sleeplessness and goal-oriented behavior. In other words, couples in this stage of love focus intently on the relationship and often on little else. How Stuff Works

  • Attachment (or bonding): Being obsessed with ones lover is not compatible with raising children so another love potion is needed. Three chemicals associated with the formation of long-term, monogamous relationships are oxytocin, vasopressin, and endorphins.

    "Oxytocin is released during child birth and also helps the breast express milk. Oxytocin is also released by both sexes during orgasm and it is thought that it promotes bonding when adults are intimate." oxytocin.org.

    Endorphins, released during physical contact or sex, produce a general sense of well-being, including feeling soothed, peaceful and secure. Vasopressin and oxytocin, also released during sex, are believed to interfere with the dopamine and norepinephrine pathways, which might explain why passionate love fades as attachment grows.

Love is like an addiction

Scientists are discovering that the same chemical process that takes place with addiction takes place when we fall in love. Brain scans of those love crazed individuals in the experiment above showed activity in the same brain area as those using cocaine or nicotine. Similar to other addictive chemicals, the chemical effects of passionate love lose their strength over time, too. After two or three years the chemicals responsible for "that lovin' feeling" (adrenaline, dopamine, norepinephrine, phenylethylamine, etc.) dwindle. Hopefully by then oxytocin, vasopressin, and endorphins resulting from physical intimacy are sufficient to keep the relationship going.

Want to learn more about how love works?

Here is a link to more articles about how love works.





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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Candice's picture
Candice says:

WOW... LOVE SUCKS PERSONALLY AND IT'S AND ADDICTION I CAN FIGHT. NAWMEEN, BUT REAL TALK FAM I HEARD THAT WHEN YOU GET HAPPY WITH SOMEONE YOU LIKE OR LOVE OR WHEN YOU KISS SOMEONE SOME TYPE OF CHEMICALS GET RELEASED AND YOUR HUMAN SENSES SMELL IT AND YOU GET MORE ATTRACTED TO THAT PERSON... BUT IT'S ODORLESS.... FAM THAT'S BOMB THOUGH... GETTING MORE ATTRACTED TO SOMEONE OFF OF AN ODOR

posted on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 11:06am
PORSCHA2008's picture
PORSCHA2008 says:

I THINK TIS IS VERY CTE. I THINK LOVE IS ADDICTING BECAUSE I AM KINDA WEIRD I LOVE BEING LOVE AND I LOVE LOVING PEOPLE.

posted on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 11:07am
andyshadexx's picture
andyshadexx says:

hmm that something i didn`t know until now, but it cool :D

posted on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 7:02pm
XOkissesXO's picture
XOkissesXO says:

Well, this hasn't happened yet. but, it will!

posted on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 7:57pm
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

Y is everyone typing with the CAPS LOCK ON?

posted on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 8:23pm
Looney_Tooney's picture
Looney_Tooney says:

WOW!!
I did not kno that love had Science in it.
That's just crazy.

posted on Sun, 02/24/2008 - 2:09pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

So can anyone explain why putting you hands over your head (and exposing your arm pits) is considered "sexy"?

posted on Sun, 02/24/2008 - 3:31pm
nelson.robin's picture
nelson.robin says:

man everything involes science man i didnt think science was so important but now i know every thing as to do with science even love wow

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:23am
elly turner's picture
elly turner says:

okay, dis is how it goes, me and this one guy met at school. he was in my 7th grade gym class, then the next year he started writing me notes dat he liked me and all. well i started writing him back and we got to know each other very well, well after this guy had hurt me really bad he said dat i needed somebody dat would take care of me and care for me the way i needed to and treat me the way needed to. so he asked me out (which took him three days) and we started going out and i cant ever get him off my mind. he is so the one true love i've been looking for! hope this inspired you. cause it is so true! love elly and dalton turner
the story of how we met! :P

posted on Sun, 03/09/2008 - 3:43pm
tara weeks's picture
tara weeks says:

okay...me and this guy met at a superbowl party (the giants won!) anywho...and i had this neighbor which i liked a whole lot but unfortuneatly he moved which made me very sad at the time! and i had him on my mind but i tried to get that other guy off my mind...i was on the computer and he (the guy im goin out with now!) walked in and i was like hey! and he responded and then my eyes were glued to him! i hung out with him the rest of the night and we had alot of fun and i totally forgot about the other (my old neighbor) and he was sooooooooooooooooooooooo nice 2 me i was like wow! so we r dating now and im very happy im so glad i have him now im glad i found someone like him!
i hope this inspired you to go out there and find that special somebody! like me and my bestest friend elly turner!
love tara!
s+a=<3

posted on Sun, 03/09/2008 - 3:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Yes, I do believe that there is science in LOVE. My very first boyfriend and I dated while I was in the military. Our relationship lasted 3 great years but ended when we both were uncertain about our plans after the military. He went one way and I went the other. I never ever stopped loving him and I came to this realization recently.
After 15 years of not knowing where he was, we recently rekindled via classmates.com. A simple email was great to receive but the fireworks truly sparked when I finally heard his voice for the first time in years. I don't know how he feels, but we talk 3-4 times per week over the phone. Our conversations are great and the feeling of having him in my life again are just wondrous. I live in Minnesota and he resides in North Carolina. God willing ~ if this is meant to be, we will be together again in the future. If not, I'm just happy to have him around as a friend.

posted on Fri, 04/18/2008 - 3:23pm
Jackie Rabideau's picture
Jackie Rabideau says:

Wow, this brings new meaning to say no to drugs, which contradicts the statement it's better have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

posted on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 11:39pm

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