Chemistry: What really happens when you fall in love

Your body is like a hormonal theme park with chemicals and chain reactions that turn love into the ultimate thrill ride. Wonder what that entails? Here are just a few of the physical things that occur when you fall in love with someone.

You’re designed to attract and arouse. (And others are meant to get you hot too.) We emit pheromones—or scents—designed to appeal to those who are genetically compatible with us. We also display body language to flirt and indicate we’re interested.*

You’re wired for lust. (You’re not imagining things. You really do want that certain someone with your whole body.) Estrogen and testosterone fuel lust. When they surge, we want to merge. If you’ve found the object of your affection, your body releases Dopamine (to feel happiness) and Norepinephrine (to feel giddy excitement). This creates elation and the first flush of love. Adrenaline will kick in to make your heart race. And Serotonin levels will influence how much you think about them. (As in non-stop.)*

You’re meant to feel close, attached, and lovey dovey. (It’s no accident.) Once you’ve had sex, you release Oxytocin (to feel a strong bond) and Vasopressin (to feel attached). Sex also unleashes Endorphins (to feel peaceful, secure, and alive). Put together, all of these things are a strong physiological cocktail that makes you feel really, really awesome around your significant other.*

Read more about it on How Stuff Works and Your Amazing Brain.


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*Editor’s note: The March 4, 2011 Frisky Friday, “Chemistry: What really happens when you fall in love” initially focused on guy/girl sexual chemistry. But a concerned reader reminded us that lust is lust no matter the sexual orientation. So we revised this post to be all-inclusive.

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