What Happens In Your Brain On A Chemical Level When You Fall In Love

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The Chemicals That Cause Love, Attraction And Attachment

For many centuries, human beings thought that emotions like love, attraction, and attachment arose from the heart. However, studies into the science of attraction has proven that the brain is responsible for all these emotions, which involves hormones and chemicals.

Yes, the most important organ for love is the brain, not the heart.

The and the so-called "love chemical" responsible for all of it is actually a combination of chemicals including adrenaline, testosterone, oxytocin — and more. 

When you meet someone you like, your brain triggers the release of various love chemicals into your body.

These love chemicals and love hormones alter your mental state. Therefore, you'll find yourself perceiving and behaving differently from your usual self — signs you're falling in love.

RELATED: 9 Ways Being In Love Changes Your Personality

Here are 4 scientific, chemical-based things that happen when you're attracted to — and falling in love with — someone:

1. Your body gets excited and produces adrenaline.

Adrenaline, which is secreted by our adrenal glands when are are excited, is one of the most interesting love hormones in our bodies because it suppresses some of our body's functions while heightening others. 

Meeting someone new can be quite scary because of the uncertainties involved. And, since adrenaline is a survival hormone, it enables us to pursue the attraction despite the dangers involved.

Some of the physical effects of adrenaline include:

  • Dilation of the eyes
  • Increased sweating
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Heightened feelings of anxiety and nervousness
  • Butterflies in the stomach.

What's more, research shows that there is a significant positive correlation between adrenaline and attraction: As the level of adrenaline in the body increases, so does the level of appeal. 

If you're one of those people who learns best from videos, this one below explains the basics really well. 

2. Your brain produces more testosterone and estrogen, which boosts attraction.

The body releases testosterone in both men and women and estrogen in women. In women, estrogen creates a longing for physical closeness and desire for sex with the person you like. Testosterone in both sexes creates sexual desire, openness, and seductiveness.

The production of these love hormone is your body’s immediate reaction to meeting a potential mate — urging you to procreate.

While this is a heteronormative example, science shows that estrogen makes women more attractive to men. On the other hand, testosterone makes men appear more attractive to women by enabling them to achieve more masculinity.

When estrogen levels increase, women tend to:

  • Dress more provocatively.
  • Flirt more.
  • Experience shifts in scent, skin tone, and voice pitch — all of which makes women more attractive to men.

When testosterone is released in men, they:

  • Have a higher sex drive.
  • Appear more masculine.
  • Become exceedingly more attractive to women.

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3. Your body is flooded with "feel-good hormones", including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

Dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, referred to as "feel-good hormones", are released shortly after meeting someone we like.

Dopamine triggers an intense rush of pleasure — which has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine. Once dopamine is released into the body, it leads to:

  • Increased energy.
  • Less need for sleep or food.
  • More focused attention on the person whom we like.
  • Exquisite delight in all the smallest details of the new person.
  • Need for attention.
  • Feelings of excitement and happiness.

Serotonin plays a significant role in balancing mood, appetite, sexual desire and sexual function and is an essential chemical for the start of any new relationship. Serotonin diverts the mind and binds it to think about one’s lover and nothing else.

When this love chemical is in effect, people are engrossed in thought about the person they like about 65 percent of the day.

Oxytocin, known as the "cuddle hormone," is released equally in men and women who share romantic feelings and defines the depth of the love and forms attachment to the partner. It also helps improve communication between partners.

In a study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, the administration of oxytocin led to a significant boost in the ability of couples to interpret cues from each other’s eyes. Oxytocin is, therefore, associated with pair formation, pair maintenance, and partner attachment.

4. Your body produces a bonding hormone, called vasopressin.

Vasopressin is a love released by the brain at the end of the attraction phase. It's responsible for transforming a mere sexual attraction into a mature, committed and authentic relationship — and is responsible for keeping love alive over time.

Vasopressin is also known as the monogamy chemical. It induces the desire to stay with that specific individual and facilitates a strong emotional attachment by encouraging behaviors that produce long-term, monogamous relationships. With it, this love hormone brings a feeling of calmness, security, comfort, emotional union and the desire to protect one another.

When vasopressin levels reduce in the body, the bond that a couple share is weakened and the partners no longer willingly prevent themselves from being attracted to other people.

Learning about the science of attraction and what's happening to our brains and bodies on a chemical level can help us understand what is actually happening at each stage of your relationship.

By understanding the role of particular hormones, you are able to keep the right hormones flowing for a healthy, long-term relationship.

With the information you now have, you can either blame your brain for the failure of your relationship or you can use this knowledge in your favor and build a healthy, flourishing bond.

RELATED: How To Use The Law Of Attraction To Manifest Your Soulmate

Christopher D. Brown is a life and relationship educator. He helps women work through the relationship roadblocks that are keeping them single so they can learn how to find the right man — and keep him.

This article was originally published at RedesigningTheMind.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.