The 3 Stages of Love: According to Science
Psychologists have shown it takes any where from 90 seconds to 4 minutes to decide if we’re attracted to someone.
These factors have much to do with what’s NOT said.
Here’s the breakdown on how we decide if we’re interested in someone:
- 55% of our attraction is through body language
- 38% of our attraction is through the tone and speed of their voice
- Just 7% is through what is actually said
- Subconsciously we sense whether a person has similar genetic material to our own
- Smell is also an important factor. Research says we like the smell of people who remind us of our parents. Go figure
According to scientific research there are three stages to love each with their own accompanying hormone or group of hormones.
These hormones can determine whether a relationship will last or not. When it comes to love, we are mostly at the mercy of our biochemistry. At least, at first.
Helen Fisher, a scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey has determined there are three different sets of chemicals that are released during the three different stage of love.
The First Stage of Love: LUST
No surprise here… lust is the first stage of love as we are driven by the sex hormones. Both men and women have testosterone within their systems. It’s the testosterone which kicks in during lust to magnetize us toward the opposite sex to have… sex.
Testosterone is the hormone that gets activated when a woman feels that tingle in her hips at the glance of a muscular shoulder. It’s testosterone that makes a man go “Snap!” at the sight of a pair of shapely legs in a mini skirt.
The Second Stage: ATTRACTION
This is the phase when we are in the midst of falling in love. Some people may lose their appetite or go on less sleep as the euphoria of new love is invigorating.
In the second stage of Attraction there are three hormones:
- Dopamine – This chemical stimulates an intense rush of pleasure. It has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine or even nicotine
- Norepinephrine – Otherwise known as adrenalin. This hormone gets our hearts pumping, makes us sweat and turns us flush-faced
- Serotonin – One of love’s most important chemicals and one that may actually render us temporarily insane. This hormone often gives us increased energy, less need for sleep or food, hyper attention to detail and better focus
The Third Stage: ATTACHMENT
The Attachment Stage is the phase where a strong bond forms between a couple. This is to keep them together long enough to have and raise children.
There are two major hormones involved in the feeling of attachment:
- Oxytocin – This hormone is released during child birth. It helps cement the strong bond between mother and child. It’s also released by both sexes during orgasm and thought to promote bonding when adults are intimate. The theory goes… the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes
- Vasopressin – This hormone is an important controller of the kidneys and often used as an anti-diuretic to control thirst. It also has a role in long-term attachment and relationships. It’s thought that vasopressin and oxytocin are released after sex and help forge a deep bond. However, when vasopressin was low, the bond deteriorated quickly and men became less devoted and protective of their partner
Interesting Fact #1: The brain activity present when we are in the midst of falling in love is similar to the brain activity of mental illness. (*source – http://www.bbc.co.uk)
Interesting Fact #2: York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, conducted an experiment. He asked complete strangers (men and women) to reveal intimate details to each other about their lives for 30 minutes.
Then he asked them to stare deeply into one another’s eyes, without talking, for four minutes.
He found that many of his couples felt deeply attracted to their partner after the 34 minute experiment. In fact, two of his subjects felt so attracted to each other they later got married!
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