What is the science behind true love?

The science behind true love dictates that it is not just about attraction, many chemicals and hormones play a crucial role in who we choose as our partners for life.

Have you ever wondered what makes you fall in love with that special someone? Do we just stumble into it as a result of fate or do we actively seek out partners? Is there science behind true love?

Believe it or not, what we often call a feeling is actually a phenomenon according to science.

It is not just a surge of emotions that makes us fall in love with somebody. It’s actually a chemical chain reaction that is triggered in our bodies, which in turn makes us fall in love.

There is science behind true love!

The State University of New York psychologist Arthur Aron conducted research to find out if two persons willing to feel more connected to each other, could do so in a short span of time.

Through a set of 36 questions that he created, he found out that on an average the mind of a person only takes between 90 seconds and four minutes to determine if they are love-struck.

In his study he uncovered the following science behind true love.

  • Body language plays about 55 percent of the role. So basically the brain detects body movements and decides if it has received the signals of love.
  • Almost 38 percent of this decision is dominated by the voice of the person. It could be the change in frequency and tone.
  • The choice of words determine about seven percent of the reaction.

Incidentally, this is not the only study to uncover the science behind true love.

There is another study that looks more comprehensively into the process of falling in love. And this is also the one that truly explains the science behind true love.

A study by the Rutgers University in the United States discovered that there are approximately three stages of falling in love. These include lust, attraction and love.

science behind true love

In the second stage of love, you and your partner will only want to physically spend time with each other.  | Image courtesy: Pixabay

Each of these stages involves a chemical reaction of the brain and hormonal changes that lead to two people falling in love.

1. Stage 1: Lust

As per the study, lust is driven by the hormones including testosterone and oestrogen. Testosterone plays the major role in the sex drive of women as well as men. These hormones, as the study’s author Helen Fisher says, “get you out looking for anything.”

2. Stage 2: Attraction

The second stage is that of attraction. You can easily call this the love-struck phase. In this stage when two people fall in love, they only have eyes for each other. In fact, they often think about their partner and only want to spend time with them. This could even mean that they may lose their appetite and just daydream about their newfound love.

In this stage, neuro-transmitters called ‘monoamines’ play a crucial role. These include the following:

  • Dopamine. It is a chemical released by our neurons and can cause the body to make several unnecessary movements.
  • Norepinephrine. This is also called adrenalin and can force us to start sweating. Or it gets the heart racing.
  • Serotonin. This is one of the most influential love chemicals and it can possibly make you insane because it maintains your mood balance.

3. Stage 3: Attachment

After attraction comes attachment. This often determines if your relationship will last as long as you desire. Because let’s be honest, you cannot just stay in the second stage and expect a long-lasting relationship. You have to go beyond and explore the commitment side of it.

This stage is what keeps the two of you glued together and perhaps even think of a future with a house and maybe even kids. Scientifically, this stage comes when two hormones are released in our nervous system. They help you become more attached with your partner.

  • Oxytocin. This chemical is released by the hypothalamus gland typically during child birth. It helps the mother express breast milk and even cements a strong bond between her and the baby. Interestingly, oxytocin is also released by both sexes during sex (read orgasm). It basically promotes bonding between two adults when they get intimate. That’s why you may have heard that if a couple’s sex life is rocking, their love is as well.
  • Vasopressin. This is another important chemical that keeps a relationship in long-term stage. It is an important controller of the kidney and is also released during sex by the pituitary gland. It also helps two people bond.

Incidentally, both these studies are indicative that falling in love is not just about attraction, many chemicals and hormones play a crucial role in who we choose as our partners for life.

But of course, you cannot ignore the sensual attraction between you and your partner. All you can really do is enjoy this deep feeling, puzzle over it and hopefully make a wonderful life together.

 

Source: Examined Existence, BBC 

ALSO READ: Love thy self…just as much as you love your partner

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore