Stories

Science of Love

 

When do you know if you fancy someone? What does love do to your brain chemicals, and is falling in love just nature’s way to keep our species alive?  We call it love. It feels like love.

But the most exhilarating of all human emotions is probably nature’s beautiful way of keeping the human species alive and reproducing.

With an irresistible cocktail of chemicals, our brain entices us to fall in love. We believe we’re choosing a partner. But we may merely be the happy victims of nature’s lovely plan.
It’s not what you say…
Psychologists have shown it takes between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if you fancy someone.
Research has shown this has little to do with what is said, rather

55% is through body language
38% is the tone and speed of their voice
Only 7% is through what they say

The 3 stages of love
Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in the States has proposed 3 stages of love – lust, attraction and attachment. Each stage might be driven by different hormones and chemicals.
Stage 1: Lust
This is the first stage of love and is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen – in both men and women.
Stage 2: Attraction
This is the amazing time when you are truly love-struck and can think of little else. Scientists think that three main neurotransmitters are involved in this stage; adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.
Does love change the way you think?
A landmark experiment in Pisa, Italy showed that early love (the attraction phase) really changes the way you think.
Love needs to be blind
Newly smitten lovers often idealise their partner, magnifying their virtues and explaining away their flaws says Ellen Berscheid, a leading researcher on the psychology of love.
New couples also exalt the relationship itself. “It’s very common to think they have a relationship that’s closer and more special than anyone else’s”. Psychologists think we need this rose-tinted view. It makes us want to stay together to enter the next stage of love – attachment.
Stage 3: Attachment
Attachment is the bond that keeps couples together long enough for them to have and raise children. Scientists think there might be two major hormones involved in this feeling of attachment; oxytocin and vasopressin.
And finally … how to fall in love

Find a complete stranger.
Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.

John & Mary