Monday, February 4, 2008

The Chemistry of Love

It's February once again. . . love is in the air. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it is inevitable that love will be written about and discussed everywhere where there are readers. Bloggers are not an exception. So here's a different viewpoint on love-for a change.

According to Helen Fisher, a leading expert on love, there are three stages of love. The first stage is LUST. She describes it as the initial, mostly sexual desire between two individuals which promotes mating. At this stage, the body shows an increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects, she found, rarely last more than a few weeks or months. But this is the stage of love that is prevalent among most people who are "involved" with someone.

The second stage is ATTRACTION. This is basically the romantic desire for a particular person. It develops out of lust to a commitment to a specific person. At this stage, individuals tested show that their brains consistently release a certain set of chemicals such as pheronomes, dopamine, and serotonin which have effects that are similar to amphetamines. These chemicals stimulate the brain's pleasure center and produces side-effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research indicates that this stage generally lasts from one and one-half years to three years.

The third stage is ATTACHMENT. This stage is based on the type of bonding which promotes longer lasting relationships. It is based on commitment such as marriage and children, or on deeper friendships due to shared interests. The body, at this stage, releases higher levels of chemicals such as oxytocin and vasopressin.

The brain scans of people who are infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with mental illnesses. This is indicative, therefore, that new love is possibly more physical than emotional. Over time, this type of reaction mellows and the different areas of the brain are activated. These activities are based mainly on long-term commitments.

To those of you who have dates on Valentine's Day and are planning on taking their relationships a step further, keep this in mind. If you're in that stage where your heart races at the site of your "new love" and you can't seem to find your appetite for food or for sleep, then be aware that you are only on the second stage of love. This stage, as studies have shown, lasts all of three years. If you are looking for a life-long partner, you might want to wait until the "excitement" mellows before taking the plunge.


Max said...

Hey WS (I hope you don't mind my calling you this)!

I came to help you with photo uploading (since I was going to tag you but you already came to my blog):

Go to "Create a post" then on the toolbar click on the "add image" icon (it looks like a photo - it is place to the right of ABC icon, then click "browse" select the picture you wish (that is supposedly saved in your computer) and then click where you wish the photo (centre, left, right etc) and which size you wish (Small, medium, large) and finally click "upload". Then wait until it does, and after seeing the picture on the post, click done on the upload box (it is crucial that you do this, otherwise the photo won't show on your post).

I hope I could be of some help :D!

About this post:
Love is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave us; but people too often jump into fruitless relationships *nodding*. I have been dating my fiancé for the last 4 years, and we will get married this year :) will be the greatest moment ever :D!


Amel's Realm said...

This is a VERY interesting post!!! :-)))

I also read somewhere that provided that a long-distance relationship lasts, the second stage lasts longer than in normal relationships he he he...

日月神教-任我行 said...