The Science of Love

The subject of love can be a very tricky one. While many people believe that love starts out as a physical attraction, others believe you must get to know one another intellectually first. Some people believe in love at first sight, others believe that dating must occur for a long time before love can bloom. However, recent advances in the subject have found that there are chemicals that come into play when a person falls in love. Many studies have been conducted with the conclusion that being attracted to someone and falling in love can be very similar to being addicted to drugs. Your heart is affected, your mind may be going a bit crazy, and you can even experience certain withdrawal-like symptoms when away from the person.

Additionally, scientists have used animals to test their theories on the science behind love. Prairie Voles, a type of rodent, were carefully monitored and studied. This particular rodent mates for life, in contrast to 95% of mammals who do not. During the study, it was found that there are certain hormones that create bonds comparable to the those found between a parent and a child. To obtain these findings, the chemical hormone oxytocin was injected into the female, who would then be observed forming a bond with the nearest male. Oxytocin has been found to help people maintain excellent relationships with those around them. The hormone Vasopressin also helped to encourage pair bonding in the male rodents as well as stimulate behaviors geared toward fatherhood, such as helping the younger voles groom themselves. It was also found that some voles are more suited to be monogamous than others, just as humans are.

When it comes to humans, love is sparked through chemicals and hormones. When that first attraction occurs, the brain is releasing a neurotransmitter chemical, which is called dopamine. When this chemical is released into the body, reactions such as a pounding heart, blushing, and sexual attraction can occur. Other symptoms can be the feeling of butterflies, sweaty or cold palms, and a small shivering sensation. This is just the beginning of the reactions the body goes through.

When a person is in love, their body will release certain chemicals that help them feel happy and content. Attraction also activates the neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. This is very similar to adrenaline, the chemical that can cause the heart to race, increased energy, and flushed skin. Serotonin levels are low in a person who is in love, which also occurs in people who have some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder. This explains why people become almost obsessed with their boyfriend or girlfriend when they are in love with them.

Falling in love and relationships release many chemicals in the body, and it is easy to see how they are related to one another.

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