The science behind falling in love

Why we fall in love - The main reasons why we fall in love come from our ancestors. The need for pair bonding and reproduction were essential for the evolution of our species.

Three stages of falling in love - When we fall in love, we go through three stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. All three stages are associated with different hormonal responses.

Lust - This is our limbic system working at its best. It's the initial sexual attraction we feel towards a person we find attractive. 

Attraction - This is where all the fun begins. This stage happens after the first biological response and it triggers a number of hormonal responses.

Attraction: adrenaline - It's likely that you have experienced these symptoms. Think a racing heartbeat, dry mouth, or sweaty palms.

Attraction: dopamine - Dopamine is a natural "high." Its stimulant effects on the brain can make you feel great!

Attraction: serotonin - Women tend to produce slightly higher levels of serotonin than men when falling in love. 

Attachment: oxytocin - Oxytocin is also the hormone that makes us bond as humans. It's key in the relationship between mother and child immediately after birth.

Attachment: vasopressin - Vasopressin is an essential hormone that promotes healthy, long-lasting relationships.

When the cocktail goes wrong - Excessive levels of dopamine can play a role in addiction. The same areas of the brain can be triggered by drugs or by binge eating for instance.

Love -
Love is a complex chemical cocktail that is an essential part of the human experience. Enjoy it!

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