Physiology of Love
Love is a wonderful feeling that can almost not be put into words. There are many poems and quotes out there that try. One being, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” This was stated by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Love can be wonderful and terrifying all in the same breath. What is it that makes us go absolutely crazy mentally and physically? Your heart races and your head spins and you may even feel light-headed when you first begin to fall in love.
The Love Chemicals
There is a chemical reason for this feeling and its name is dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel high, whether gambling, doing drugs, or when falling in love. It makes couples feel ecstatic to be around one another and they act as if they can’t get enough of each other. Once dopamine has been activated, there is nothing that can keep you from your path to your loved one and your happy ending. They become your end-point goal and everything you do and breathe revolves around them.
Do you feel tongue-tied and stumbling over your words and thoughts? This may be due to norepinephrine found running through your body. This is a stress hormone that increases heart rate and makes you feel hot and flustered. It can be the cause for butterflies in the stomach and sweat palms.
Once the initial attraction occurs, oxytocin may show itself. This chemical is responsible for the romantic feelings you begin to have for your partner. This is the intimacy you are feeling involving kissing, hugging, and sex. This chemical also rises when mothers are lactating, which promotes bonding with the baby.
Testosterone is a hormone that also becomes plentiful when you are intimate with your partner. It increases in females and in the males and causes the passion to increase when you are intimate. Another thing that you may smell is termed pheromones. These pheromones are chemical messengers that play a part in physical attraction. You will usually love your partner’s scent and wear their shirt or even keep something with her perfume if you are apart for some time. Smell is a wonderful gateway to memories.
That chemical reaction you feel when you are near someone, is actually called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). This is a set of genes that control cell surface molecules. Our body exudes MHC’s through sweat and odor levels. Based on scent and taste, we will be attracted to those with MHC levels that differ from our own, which is good because we have similar MHC levels with closely related family.
Love can help keep your stress down, and thereby improve your health. In fact there’s even been a study, that shows that expressing love can improve your health.
Love is a wonderful thing and it is not a mystery why we feel the way we do. All of the emotions we are feeling and living are chemically explained. There are chemicals and hormones that are released that help us feel the emotions we are feeling and experience the ultimate experience in life, called love. Love is a wonderful feeling that can’t be replaced with a substitute. Love with all of your heart.