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Opinion Features

Behind the scenes: How romantic relationship forms?

Awais Ahmed

When you are looking for love, you often find certain characteristics like a good sense of humor or maybe good appearance. But sometimes you fall in love at ‘first sight’. How can all this happen in such a short order? Science is the straightforward answer to this question.

Many factors influences our choices such as social status, financial stability, intelligence, cultural values, religion. But chemical and biological reasons are the major impact players in the game. We call it love but a cocktail of chemicals is been made up in our brain which makes us fall in love.

According to scientists, we all have different classifications of chemicals in our body. Dopamine, estrogen, serotonin and testosterone are some of them. People choose their partners based on the composition of the chemicals. You will tend to choose a partner with chemicals that complement your own. Nevertheless, psychology plays an important role as well.

There are three stages of love – desire, attraction and attachment. Each stage is controlled by different hormones and chemicals. Let’s look at the science of love – pheromones?

Stage One: Desire

You are single. You see an attractive person and instantly imagine yourself having an intimate relationship with that person. This is the first stage of love called ‘desire and lust’ which is primarily driven by sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. However, women have testosterone in smaller amounts than men. These hormones modulate reproductive system and are activated when someone attractive comes in front of you.

Stage Two: Attraction

This is the complex part of love. A combination of strong hormones like dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin turn us into love fanatics. People under the influence of these hormones spend time thinking about other people and change their daily routine.

  • Dopamine

It gets activated when something good happens. These work to control the pleasure centers. High dopamine levels informs us that being around our partner is same as doing something pleasurable. It is very strong stuff.

  • Adrenaline

It is also present in this phase. It makes your heart go fast and your body sweat. It triggers the charming effect when you meet your new love.

  • Serotonin

This is a brain chemical associated with all systems in our body like mood and appetite. This is the reason why your new lover keeps coming in your mind.

Stage Three: Attachment

After the attraction phase, your dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline levels go back to normal and two new hormones show up named oxytocin and vasopressin.

  • Oxytocin

This is a powerful hormone which is released by both genders during orgasm. This makes the couple feel much closer deepening the attachment levels. This hormone is the reason behind a long-term bonding of a couple.

  • Vasopressin

This is another important hormone helping to maintain a long-term commitment.

This is one of the reasons why ‘no-free will’ approach is advocated by many. It seems we do not have much control over what we feel and what we think. Our bodies are the ones that calls love. But being in love is a good in itself.