Is There Really a Chemistry of Love?

How the Chemistry of Love Works

Is love all a matter of chemical reactions?
Is love all a matter of chemical reactions?. Günay Mutlu, Getty Images

Question: Is There Really a Chemistry of Love?

Answer: Scientists haven't developed any magic love potions that you can use to make someone fall in love, but chemistry does play an important role in how a relationship progresses.

Chemistry and Stages of Love

First, there's attraction. Nonverbal communication plays a big part in initial attraction and some of this communication may involve pheromones, a form of chemical communication.

Did you know that raw lust is characterized by high levels of testosterone? The sweaty palms and pounding heart of infatuation are caused by higher than normal levels of norepinepherine. Meanwhile, the 'high' of being in love is due to a rush of phenylethylamine and dopamine.

All is not lost once the honeymoon is over. Lasting love confers chemical benefits in the form of stabilized production of serotonin and oxytocin. Can infidelity be blamed on chemistry? Perhaps in part. Researchers have found that suppression of vasopressin can cause males (voles, anyway) to abandon their love nest and seek new mates. Hey, you gotta have chemistry!

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Is There Really a Chemistry of Love?" ThoughtCo, Jan. 20, 2016, thoughtco.com/how-love-chemistry-works-602189. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2016, January 20). Is There Really a Chemistry of Love? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-love-chemistry-works-602189 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Is There Really a Chemistry of Love?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-love-chemistry-works-602189 (accessed November 21, 2017).