Tag: falling in love

Three Stages of Falling in Love

Three Stages of Falling in Love

There are three stages to falling in love and different hormones are involved at each stage. Events occurring in the brain when we are in love have similarities with mental illness.

When we are attracted to somebody, it could be because subconsciously we like their genes. Smell could be as important as looks when it comes to the fanciability factor. We like the look and smell of people who are most like our parents. Science can help determine whether a relationship will last.

Cupid’s chemicals

Flushed cheeks, a racing heart beat and clammy hands are some of the outward signs of being in love. But inside the body there are definite chemical signs that cupid has fired his arrow.

When it comes to love it seems we are at the mercy of our biochemistry. One of the best known researchers in this area is Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in New Jersey. She has proposed that we fall in love in three stages. Each involving a different set of chemicals.

Three Stages of Falling in Love

Three Stages of Falling in Love

Stage 1: Lust

Lust is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Testosterone is not confined only to men. It has also been shown to play a major role in the sex drive of women. These hormones as Helen Fisher says “get you out looking for anything”.

Stage 2: Attraction

This is the truly love-struck phase. When people fall in love they can think of nothing else. They might even lose their appetite and need less sleep, preferring to spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new lover.

In the attraction stage, a group of neuro-transmitters called ‘monoamines’ play an important role:
— Dopamine – Also activated by cocaine and nicotine.
— Norepinephrine – Otherwise known as adrenalin. Starts us sweating and gets the heart racing.
— Serotonin – One of love’s most important chemicals and one that may actually send us temporarily insane.

Stage 3: Attachment

This is what takes over after the attraction stage, if a relationship is going to last. People couldn’t possibly stay in the attraction stage forever, otherwise they’d never get any work done!

Attachment is a longer lasting commitment and is the bond that keeps couples together when they go on to have children. Important in this stage are two hormones released by the nervous system, which are thought to play a role in social attachments:

— Oxytocin – This is released by the hypothalamus gland during child birth and also helps the breast express milk. It helps cement the strong bond between mother and child. It is also released by both sexes during orgasm and it is thought that it promotes bonding when adults are intimate. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes.

— Vasopressin – Another important chemical in the long-term commitment stage. It is an important controller of the kidney and its role in long-term relationships was discovered when scientists looked at the prairie vole.

The frisky Prairie Vole

In prairie vole society, sex is the prelude to a long-term pair bonding of a male and female. Prairie voles indulge in far more sex than is strictly necessary for the purposes of reproduction.

It was thought that the two hormones, vasopressin and oxytocin, released after mating, could forge this bond. In an experiment, male prairie voles were given a drug that suppresses the effect of vasopressin. The bond with their partner deteriorated immediately as they lost their devotion and failed to protect their partner from new suitors.

Looking in their genes

When it comes to choosing a partner, are we at the mercy of our subconscious? Researchers studying the science of attraction draw on evolutionary theory to explain the way humans pick partners.

It is to our advantage to mate with somebody with the best possible genes. These will then be passed on to our children, ensuring that we have healthy kids, who will pass our own genes on for generations to come.

When we look at a potential mate, we are assessing whether we would like our children to have their genes. There are two ways of doing this that are currently being studied, (to find out more click on the links): pheromones and appearance.

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The Science of Flirting

The Science of Flirting

There are certain things you can do that might help your date go with a bang – and turn into something more serious.

It can take between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if we fancy someone. But this has little to do with your smooth-talking. As far as attraction goes, here’s how we get the message:

55% is through body language
38% is the tone and speed of our voice
Only 7% is through what we say

Stare into each others’ eyes

It is thought that asymmetrical features are a sign of underlying genetic problems. Numerous studies in humans have shown that men in particular go for women with symmetrical faces.

New York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying the dynamics of what happens when people fall in love. He has shown that the simple act of staring into each other’s eyes has a powerful impact.

He asked two complete strangers to reveal to each other intimate details about their lives. This carried on for an hour and a half. The two strangers were then made to stare into each others eyes without talking for four minutes. Afterwards many of his couples confessed to feeling deeply attracted to their opposite number and two of his subjects even married afterwards.

When we are aroused and interested in what we are looking at our pupils dilate. In medieval Italy, women put belladonna into their eyes to make them look bigger. In fact, bella donna means ‘beautiful lady’. However, this is not recommended, as belladonna is a kind of poison!

Match their moves

When people are attracted to each other, they tend to sit or stand in the same way and copy each other’s physical gestures. This is known as ‘mirroring’. When someone does this, it marks good communication and shows us that our interest is reciprocated. Mirroring also happens when talking to close friends as well as potential lovers, so be careful as you may misread signs of friendship as signs of love.

Don’t play hard to get

Research suggest that playing hard to get doesn’t usually work. However, there is a theory that we tend to fancy people who are hard to get for everyone else, but easy for us to get.

Scientists tested this ‘selective difficulty’ theory by using a computer dating experiment. One woman was keen to meet any of the dates that the computer selected for her. Another played hard to get and wasn’t enthusiastic towards any of her computer matches. A third was selective and only showed interest in one of the candidates. Out of all three women, the choosy woman was the most preferred by all the male participants.

Understanding lonely hearts ads

If you wrote a lonely hearts ad, what would it say about you? Does the opposite sex find you more attractive if you describe yourself as sexy or successful, or wealthy or reliable?

Another experiment showed that if people experience fear on a date they often misinterpret that feeling as love. So dates at a theme park are likely to be successful. A bungee jump might seal your relationship for life!

In fact, people who both like the same level of thrills and excitement are more likely to be compatible.

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If you are in love with ydir best friend

If you are in love with ydir best friend

If you’ve developed feelings for one of your best friends, you know how scary it can be. Should you tell your friend you’re in love with them? What happens if they don’t love you back – will you lose their friendship? Get the answers to these questions and more. (The only answer I don’t have is whether or not they like you back. You’ll have to find that one out on your own.)

1. Make Sure You’re Sure You’re Really in Love

There’s a difference between having a passing crush on someone and truly being in love. For instance, if:

You’re on the rebound from another relationship
Your friend is on the rebound and acting vulnerable
Your friend got a new style and has been looking extra cute lately
Your friend just started dating someone, and they’re spending less time with you
Someone said that you and your friend would make a cute couple
You and your friend became close only recently
Then you might just have a temporary crush on your friend. Give it a couple of weeks and see if those feelings disappear on their own. If they do, you’ll be relieved that you never said anything.

2. If It’s the Real Deal, Is It the Right Time?

Even if you’re sure of your feelings, you shouldn’t necessarily reveal them to your friend. Don’t drop the bomb under any of these circumstances:

If they’re dating someone, it would be unfair to sabotage their relationship by sharing your feelings.
If you’re in a relationship, you need to decide who’s more important to you. If your friend wins out, then you should break up with your bf/gf no matter what. It’s not fair to date someone who’s only 2nd place in your heart.
If your friend’s going through some major stress – like if they’ve got a big game or test coming up, or if they’re coping with the death of a relative – hold your tongue until their stress has passed. It would be selfish of you to throw them one more bowling pin to juggle.

3. How to Tell Your Friend That You Love Them

So you’ve decided that you really do love your friend and that the timing is right. Here are some tips on how to tell them the big news:

Don’t just blurt it out in the middle of a conversation. Plan on a time and place where you can be alone with them, face to face.
Look in their eyes and drop the bomb with a short statement like, “I’m beginning to like you as more than a friend.”
Don’t use the word “love,” even if you’re sure you’re feeling it. “Love” is a big word, and you might scare your friend off whether they have feelings for you or not.
Keep your tone upbeat. If you act like you’re revealing something horrible to them, they might react like it’s bad news.

4. What If They Don’t Like You Back?

By having this conversation with your friend, you’ve made the decision that it’s more important to reveal your feelings than to live a lie by hiding them any longer. Even if your friend doesn’t like you back, you’re still better off than you were before, because now you know how they feel about you. (I know, I know…it doesn’t feel like much of a consolation prize.)

Your friend is probably hoping that you’ll both be able to forget this conversation ever happened and go back to being friends. That might not be so easy for you. If it hurts too much to hang around your friend, take some time to get over your feelings. You might be able to be friends again down the road, but don’t rush it. Do what’s best for your heart.

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