The Science Of Falling In Love

Old Vs New Chemistry
Credit: Orlando/Getty Images

Love has inspired the most beautiful poetry and the most embarrassing text messages. It makes us feel and act so strangely, and we’ve got no idea why…’cause we’re not scientists, who are just beginning to understand how love changes our brain chemistry.

So the next time you fall head over heels for a girl, just remember: You’re actually falling hormones over neurotransmitters.

1. Oxytocin

Sometimes referred to as the “love hormone” or “the cuddling chemical,” oxytocin is released after orgasm to help form an emotional bond. Have you ever suddenly felt the desire to say “I love you” while cuddling after sex? That’s because oxytocin has you just as whipped as your girlfriend does.

2. Vasopressin

Likewise produced after sex and linked with pair bonding. A study of monogamous rodents found that decreasing vasopressin levels increased partners. So if you ever accidentally cheat, don’t blame it on the vodka; blame it on the vasopressin.

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3. Dopamine

Dopamine is a chemical associated with feelings of bliss, euphoria and craving. When you’re falling in love, there’s increased blood flow to your dopamine receptors. Just like if you take drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Gives new meaning to “Addicted to Love.”

4. Adrenaline

Love’s associated with higher levels of adrenaline, which increases heart rate. So don’t bother trying to impress a girl with your romantic side; just startle her while wearing a “Scream” mask.

5. Serotonin

When you first start dating someone, you can’t get her out of your thoughts. That’s because your serotonin level is actually (temporarily) the same as an OCD sufferer’s. Not surprising that a relationship is biologically similar to an anxiety disorder.

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Neal Stastny (@NealStas) is a comedian and writer in New York.