For the longest time I’ve been wondering what the ” butterflies” feeling is all about. Why do some people make you feel like you have butterflies in your stomach and why do some just make you flat out sick to your stomach? More importantly how and why do we fall in love? I’ve recently done a little research on this topic and would like to share what I’ve found with you guys.
Scientist have credited the feeling we all know as “love” to a number of naturally produced hormones that are systematically secreted in the human body during different types of interactions between two individuals.
Studies by Psychologist have shown that it takes between 90 seconds to 4 minutes for two people to decide whether or not they have chemistry. During this encounter it’s not actually what’s being said between the two people involved but how it is being said.
55% of this communication is done through body language, 38% is tone and speed of voice and merely 7% of this communication accounts for what the two people are actually saying.
The ” 3 stages of love” were proposed by Researcher Helen Fisher of Rutgers University
Stage 1: Lust
Lust or very strong sexual desire is driven by the male and female hormones Testosterone and estrogen
Testosterone and estrogen: influence physical attraction and sexual arousal in both men and woman.
Stage 2: Attraction
Attraction or as I like to call it “Infatuation” is the time in a relationship when you become so wrapped up in a person that you can’t think of anyone else (Sometimes not even yourself. yikes!). The hormones responsible for this stage are adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.
The initial stages of “falling” for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of Adrenalin and Cortisol. This is why we often sweat, our hearts race, and our mouths go dry when we encounter our new love interest.
Dopamine is the hormone responsible for feelings of euphoria. When this hormone is activated it secretes an intense rush of pleasure.
Fisher suggests “couples often show the signs of surging dopamine: increased energy, less need for sleep or food, focused attention and exquisite delight in smallest details of this novel relationship” .
These characteristics are very similar (if not the same) to those of individuals with addictive behaviors like drug addicts and heavy gamblers.This can be seen as evidence that one can in fact be addicted to love or loving someone no matter how destructive the relationship is to the persons well being.
Serotonin is believed by many researchers to be responsible for the feelings of happiness and well being in a person. Studies show low levels of serotonin to be associated with depression.
Stage 3: Attachment
Attachment is the bond that keeps couples together long enough to reproduce and/or build lives together. Scientist associate the two major hormones Oxytocin and Vasopressin with this feeling.
Oxytocin is responsible for creating the feelings of deep connection leading to attachment and commitment. Oxytocin is secreted during childbirth, breast feeding, and during an orgasm. A popular theory is that the more sex a couple has the stronger there bond becomes.
Vasopressin is also a hormone that contributes to strong bonds between couples.This hormone is secreted after sex. This conclusion was made after A study done by scientist using Praires Voles showed that the presence (or lack thereof) of Vasopressin played a significant role in the amount of devotion (or lack thereof) the subjects had toward there partners. Praire Voles relationship are similar to human relationship in that they have far more sex than is required for reproduction and also form fairly stable pair bonds.
The love spell
If you’re planning on going on a date with someone you’re interested in this exercise created by Psychologist and University Professor Arthur Arun should be interesting and fun to try:
Find a complete stranger. (doesn’t have to be a stranger could be someone you feel you don’t know well enough.)
Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
Then, stare deeply into each others eyes without talking for four minutes.
Many of the subjects involved in this study reported to feel deeply attractive to one another after 36 minutes. Two of the couples in this experiment later got married.