Process of falling in love psychology

Why, How to Tell, More

How Long It Takes to Fall in Love Varies: Why, How to Tell, More
  • Health Conditions
    • Featured
      • Breast Cancer
      • IBD
      • Migraine
      • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
      • Rheumatoid Arthritis
      • Type 2 Diabetes
    • Articles
      • Acid Reflux
      • ADHD
      • Allergies
      • Alzheimer's & Dementia
      • Bipolar Disorder
      • Cancer
      • Crohn's Disease
      • Chronic Pain
      • Cold & Flu
      • COPD
      • Depression
      • Fibromyalgia
      • Heart Disease
      • High Cholesterol
      • HIV
      • Hypertension
      • IPF
      • Osteoarthritis
      • Psoriasis
      • Skin Disorders and Care
      • STDs
  • Discover
    • Wellness Topics
      • Nutrition
      • Fitness
      • Skin Care
      • Sexual Health
      • Women's Health
      • Mental Well-Being
      • Sleep
    • Product Reviews
      • Vitamins & Supplements
      • Sleep
      • Mental Health
      • Nutrition
      • At-Home Testing
      • CBD
      • Men’s Health
    • Original Series
      • Fresh Food Fast
      • Diagnosis Diaries
      • You’re Not Alone
      • Present Tense
    • Video Series
      • Youth in Focus
      • Healthy Harvest
      • No More Silence
      • Future of Health
  • Plan
    • Health Challenges
      • Mindful Eating
      • Sugar Savvy
      • Move Your Body
      • Gut Health
      • Mood Foods
      • Align Your Spine
    • Find Care
      • Primary Care
      • Mental Health
      • OB-GYN
      • Dermatologists
      • Neurologists
      • Cardiologists
      • Orthopedists
    • Lifestyle Quizzes
      • Weight Management
      • Am I Depressed? A Quiz for Teens
      • Are You a Workaholic?
      • How Well Do You Sleep?
    • Tools & Resources
      • Health News
      • Find a Diet
      • Find Healthy Snacks
      • Drugs A-Z
      • Health A-Z
  • Connect
      • Breast Cancer
      • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
      • Psoriatic Arthritis
      • Migraine
      • Multiple Sclerosis
      • Psoriasis

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph. D., LCSW, CST — By Crystal Raypole on August 30, 2021

  • People can experience feelings of love at different points in a new relationship.
  • People may feel attraction at first sight.
  • Older research into how long it takes people to confess they’re in love suggests that many people confess after a few months.

Love tends to be somewhat complicated. Most people would probably agree, in fact, that even “complicated” is putting it mildly.

Even the act of falling in love can mean different things to different people — or at different points in your life. If you’ve fallen in love a time or two before, you might have some firsthand knowledge of its complexities. You might even find it a slippery thing to define, no matter how many times you’ve experienced it.

Is it that first rush of powerful attraction that leaves you dizzy, breathless, and feeling like you’re about to literally fall over? That spark of absolute certainty that you’ve finally met your match? That moment when you can no longer imagine a life without that person in it?

As you’ve probably guessed, there’s no simple answer.

If you already know people typically don’t fall in love at exactly the same time, in exactly the same way, it may not surprise you to learn that researchers find it somewhat challenging to pinpoint the time it takes to fall in love.

Basically, it’s tough to measure a process that doesn’t fall within any defined parameters. There’s no set test that can determine whether you’re in love or not. You might not even know with any certainty exactly what your own feelings mean.

But researchers have tried to measure how long it takes people to feel like confessing their love. Using this as a litmus test for falling in love makes sense, when you think about it.

You might choose to wait before saying those three (not-always-little) words, sure. But chances are, you wouldn’t start to consider saying them unless you actually had started to fall for someone.

A 6-part study published in 2011 looked at various aspects of commitment in romantic relationships.

In one experiment, researchers asked a total of 111 university students (45 female, 66 male) two questions about their current or most recently ended romantic relationship:

  • Who confessed their love first?
  • About how long did it take before you started to consider saying you were in love?

The results suggest it took male participants just over 97 days, on average, to consider sharing their feelings. Female participants reported taking more time to think about ‘fessing up: nearly 139 days, on average.

Various other surveys conducted by dating sites have found similar results, suggesting that it generally takes at least a few months to fall in love, regardless of gender.

Of course, gender goes beyond the male-female binary reflected in these studies and surveys.

Life experiences and social expectations around gender roles can absolutely play a part in the amount of time it takes you to confess your love.

But your actual gender, wherever it falls on the spectrum, may have little to do with the act of falling in love itself.

Romance novels, fairy tales, and romantic comedies would have you believe in the magic of chance encounters and serendipitous insta-love. Science suggests an alternate explanation: attraction at first sight.

Upon first meeting someone, you probably know next to nothing about their personality traits, ability to commit, or typical relationship behavior — you know, all those factors that play a major part in sustaining long-term love.

You don’t have much more to go on than physical appearance, in fact, and 2017 research supports the idea that most reports of “love at first sight” stem from that first flash of attraction.

Study authors also suggest some partners might put a more romantic spin on their connection by remembering that early spark of desire as love.

So, we’ve established you can’t use time to reliably predict when you might fall in love. Then how can you tell when it actually happens?

Most people agree it usually involves some of the following:

  • A burst of energy and excitement. You might describe this as feeling “on top of the world.”
  • A sense of newness. Your day-to-day routine might feel revitalized, brighter, or more interesting.
  • Difficulty focusing on anything else. Most of your waking moments, plus plenty of your dreaming ones, center on memories of your past encounters and plans for future meetings.
  • A desire to spend as much time together as possible. You don’t even care what you do together. Run errands? Scrub floors? Anything sounds fun when they’re around.
  • Interest in everything about them. You want to learn everything you possibly can — favorite foods, dreams and goals, and secret fears, not to mention anything you might have in common.
  • Feelings of attachment. Your bond isn’t just physical, though great chemistry might factor in. You also feel a strong emotional connection.
  • A sense of security. You don’t just feel physically safe around them. You also know you can open up about your deepest, most private thoughts and feelings — and trust them to understand and respect those emotions.

Intrigued? Learn more about the key signs of falling in love here.

Researchers have identified three main stages of romantic love.


This stage has a lot to do with sexual desire. You can thank your evolutionary impulse to propagate the human species for that.

On a more chemical level, the hormones estrogen and testosterone (present in varying levels in people of every gender) help boost libido and prompt the urge to get physical. That’s one good explanation why the early weeks of a relationship often involve plenty of physical intimacy.


This stage can also involve feelings of lust and desire, but it goes a little deeper.

As attraction takes root and blooms, your brain produces higher levels of different hormones, namely dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals can boost energy levels and leave you with a sense of giddy bliss — and sometimes, feelings of jealousy and a need to fiercely protect a partner and your relationship.

This euphoric state can even begin to affect other body processes, like sleep and appetite.


Once your attraction stabilizes, it can eventually transform to long-term attachment. The hormones oxytocin (aka “the love hormone”) and vasopressin take the leading roles here.

This stage tends to prompt the desire to form lasting bonds and nurture your existing attraction. Here, you might make a conscious choice to develop your feelings of love for someone who feels right for you, instead of simply dancing to the tune of lust and attraction.

Want to learn more? We break down love’s effects on your brain and body here.

If you tend to fall in love pretty easily, saying “I love you” may not feel terribly monumental. You recognize the feelings when they come up, so you share them with a partner because, well, why not?

Yet sometimes those three words represent an enormous leap of faith and trust. You want a partner to respond in kind, and you don’t know what you’ll do if they don’t return your love.

In either scenario, a confession of love is always a great place to hit “pause” and have an open conversation about what you want from each other.

Questions to explore together

  • What do you want from the relationship? Do you prefer to keep having fun and see where it goes? Or talk about a longer-term commitment?
  • How do you define its terms and boundaries? These might include things like your need for personal space or behaviors you don’t feel comfortable with, like flirting or spending one-on-one time with an ex.
  • Do you have similar relationship goals? It never hurts to share your thoughts on things like cohabitation, marriage, and children before things get more serious.
  • Are you compatible on a basic level? While you don’t need to agree on everything, it can still help to discuss key values and other things that really matter to you before working to establish a deeper commitment.

These questions typically take some time to talk through, and it’s OK if you don’t have all the answers right away. Regular communication can help ensure you stay on the same page — plus make it easier to navigate any challenges that come up.

What if only one of you feels “in love”?

People fall in love at different rates, so one of you will probably fall in love first.

“In healthy relationships, it’s normal for partners to feel different levels of intensity and certainty in their feelings of love for each other,” says Dr. Melissa Estavillo, a Phoenix psychologist who specializes in relationship counseling.

She goes on to explain the relationship isn’t necessarily doomed if you don’t fall in love at the same time or have varying degrees of certainty about the relationship’s future.

The best way to handle the situation? She recommends getting more comfortable with sharing feelings honestly.

“Feeling more sure of the relationship shouldn’t be embarrassing or shameful,” she says. “Just be patient for your partner to develop these feelings in their own time.”

That said, it can also help to decide for yourself how long you’re willing to wait for a partner (or the object of your interest, if you aren’t already in a relationship) to reciprocate those feelings.

You think you’ve fallen in love, but you worry it might be too soon. After all, you just started dating a few months ago. Can you really love them already?

Maybe they confessed their love, but you don’t know exactly how you feel. Do you love them? Or just like them an awful lot?

Most people need at least a little time to sort out complicated romantic feelings. If you have a secure attachment style, Estavillo explains, you might be more likely to trust your gut, or your intuitive sense of the relationship.

Accepting your feelings as they come might prove more challenging when you have an insecure attachment. Estavillo explains that an anxious-insecure attachment can mean you:

  • fall in love quickly
  • consider yourself unlovable
  • cling to relationships where you feel loved or have hopes of being loved

An avoidant attachment style can sometimes develop as an outcome of trauma or emotional neglect. With an avoidant attachment style, you might:

  • doubt your feelings
  • find it tough to trust others
  • struggle to share vulnerabilities
  • fear further hurt

Click here to learn more about the factors that shape attachment styles and how this can show up in your relationships.

It’s true that love carries some risk of pain. Still, you can’t get its benefits — companionship, safety, belonging — without accepting that risk.

What’s more, feelings of love that rapidly burst into existence might stem from a deep-seated sense of insecurity, a driving need to be loved by someone, anyone.

The bonds of early childhood may seem like ancient history, but attachment issues usually continue to resurface in your relationships until you make a dedicated effort to address them.

The good news? You absolutely can learn to create healthier, more secure attachments. Get started here.

You know you do want to fall in love, just not too quickly. So what’s a good middle ground to effectively build intimacy?

Generally speaking, this means letting love bud and flower naturally instead of forcing it. Nurture new love with:

  • open communication
  • clear boundaries
  • shared vulnerabilities

If you find it tough to trust a new partner, Estavillo recommends offering small opportunities to earn your trust:

  • Pay attention to how they react to your boundaries.
  • Consider how they respond when you share things that matter.
  • Practice taking risks together.

When to call it quits

Dealing with a one-sided love situation? You might wonder how long to wait before moving on.

Keep in mind it could take weeks, even months, before a partner (or you!) feels secure enough to say “I love you, too.”

Rather than using those words to assess the situation, it’s often more helpful to consider how you feel within the relationship.

Do you feel safe and secure, comfortable with your vulnerability, and excited and hopeful for the future? These signs suggest a healthy relationship, so there’s no harm in giving things time.

But what if you feel lonely, ashamed, or critical of yourself? Or believe you just have to do more to make them happy or relax your boundaries in order to “win” their love. In that case, the relationship probably isn’t serving your needs, since these signs don’t suggest healthy love.

Love doesn’t happen in the same way for everyone. It stands to reason, then, the amount of time it takes for your footing to falter as you tumble head over heels can vary pretty widely, too.

Instead of counting the months that pass, try focusing on how you feel around your partner. Love can exist and flourish without words, after all, and you might feel its presence before anyone gives it voice.

Crystal Raypole writes for Healthline and Psych Central. Her fields of interest include Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health, along with books, books, and more books. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. She lives in Washington with her son and a lovably recalcitrant cat.

Last medically reviewed on August 30, 2021

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Ackerman JM, et al. (2011). Let's get serious: Communicating commitment in romantic relationships.
  • Estavillo M. (2021). Personal interview.
  • Wu K. (2016). Love, actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship.
  • Zeki S. (2007). The neurobiology of love.
  • Zsok F, et al. (2017). What kind of love is love at first sight? An empirical investigation.

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Aug 30, 2021

Edited By

Tess Catlett

Medically Reviewed By

Janet Brito, PhD, LCSW, CST

Copy Edited By

Naomi Farr

Share this article

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST — By Crystal Raypole on August 30, 2021

Read this next

  • Is It Love? Dilated Pupils and 7 Other Signs to Watch For

    Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT

    Are dilated pupils really a sign of attraction? Yes — but let’s take a sec to discuss it before you start making assumptions about every set of…


  • Stuck on ‘Loves Me, Loves Me Not’? Look for These 12 Signs Instead

    Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST

    Love comes in all shapes and sizes, but you can usually identify it by these key traits.


  • The Difference Between Loving Someone and Being in Love with Them

    Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST

    What does it really mean to be in love? And is it that different from simply loving someone?


  • How to Recognize A Bout of Lovesickness — and What You Can Do to ‘Cure’ It

    Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST

    From culture to culture and era to era, the general symptoms of lovesickness remain much the same. We break down what it means, how to recover, and…


  • 15 Ways Love Affects Your Brain and Body

    Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST

    They say love works in mysterious ways, but things start to make a lot more sense when you look at its effects on your mind and body.


  • 5 Consequences of an Unhappy Marriage and 5 Tips to Work Toward Change

    Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST

    Conflict, mismatched needs, and communication issues can cause unhappiness in your marriage and ongoing emotional distress. These tips can help.


  • What It Means to Be Polyamorous

    Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST

    Communication and honesty are key in polyamorous relationships. Let's take a closer look at this ethical form of non-monogamy.


  • Your Guide to Codependent Relationships and Recovery

    Let's look at some possible signs of codependent relationships, as well as some ways you and your partner can work to have a happier and healthier…


  • Your Guide to Monoclonal Antibodies’ Side Effects

    Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm. D.

    While monoclonal antibodies may seem intimidating, their side effects are known to be mild. Let's look at what we know and don't know:


  • 7 Signs That It’s Healthy to Be Friends with Your Ex

    Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST

    Welcome to the deliberation stage. It’s a complex space to navigate, requiring serious self-evaluation. Here's how to separate lustful fantasies from…


The Early Stages of Falling in Love

There's nothing quite as exhilarating as the early stages of a romantic relationship. Just the thought that you may have found your one-and-only can be so thrilling. But, the early stages of falling in love can be as frustrating as they are wonderful. Your new love life may consume your energy, focus, and time to the point where everything else going on in your life may feel like a rude intrusion. You can't stop thinking about your lover. You get up and go to sleep obsessing about the relationship and what your future will look like together.

To some of you, this reaction to love may seem overboard. But many of you know firsthand how falling in love can turn you into an obsessed, needy, and insecure person for a time. You don't have to have emotional issues from the past to feel this way—although if you do, this stage will be particularly difficult.

Remember, the saying is not staying balanced in love, it is falling in love. If you are in the early stages of falling in love right now, and you feel a little crazy, don't worry: You kind of are. You are under the influence of hormones that are making you feel, all at once, euphoric, endangered, and exhausted. Let's call these the Three Es of falling in love.


Researcher Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa, Italy helps us to understand the euphoria we feel in the early stages of romantic love. She says it is more than two hearts igniting when people fall in love; their hormones ignite as well. The nerve transmitters adrenaline and phenylethylamine, or PEA (also present in chocolate) increase when two people are attracted to each other and put them in emotional overdrive. Additionally, the relaxation, feel-good hormone serotonin lowers, causing you to obsess about your lover and consistently reflect back on the romantic times spent with him or her.

Falling in love produces a biological state that is a similar high to being on cocaine. More interestingly, Marazziti discovered that falling in love also alters testosterone levels in men and women. This is the male sex hormone that makes men hunters and gatherers and more able than women to be sexual without an emotional commitment. Increased testosterone levels in women during the early stages of romantic love make them more sexual and aggressive. Decreased testosterone levels in men make them more emotional and receptive at this time.

This finding makes me smile. I have heard more than one man say through the years, "What happened to her sex drive? When we first went out, she was sexually wild. I couldn't keep up with her. She tricked me." If you have felt this way about a female lover, now you know that it was her hormones that made her into a girl gone wild.


Why can love's early stages make you feel personally endangered as well? First, the euphoria you feel can disorganize you. You are adding a dating relationship to your normal, busy routine. Your normal responsibilities at work and home may fall to the wayside as you put more energy into solidifying your love relationship. This can make you more anxious.

Also, loving asks you to lower your defenses and loosen up your personal boundaries so that you can merge your needs and desires with those of your lover. This process can be threatening and make you feel unsafe.

Nonetheless, this is the making of a strong, healthy relationship attachment. It takes time to trust each other and to know that this attachment will not hurt you. No wonder we can feel anxious and unsafe when we first fall in love. There's much to gain, and to lose. The fear you feel is palpable. You may unconsciously create emotional issues and dramas to give voice, and make tangible, the endangerment you feel.


With all of the hormone changes and fears going on inside of you, it is no wonder you may feel exhausted in the early stages of falling in love. I've heard several people say that they can't wait until the honeymoon period is over so that they can get some rest. It's no wonder that some people may rush to seal the relationship deal, just to put an end to these uncomfortable feelings.

Knowledge Is Power

Hardy individuals arm themselves with knowledge. They approach new experiences as a chance to learn something new about themselves (the hardy attitude of challenge), and learn what they can to cope effectively with stressful situations (the hardy attitude of control).

Indeed, the early stages of falling in love are stressful. The following recommendations can help you to navigate the falling in love stage more smoothly, so that you can treasure this very special time in your life.

  1. Enjoy the high, but don't lose yourself in it.
  2. Keep your schedule, no matter how much you want to throw it over.
  3. Acknowledge you are under the influence of some powerful hormones.
  4. Get the nutrition, rest, and relaxation that you need to stay physically, emotionally, and mentally sound.
  5. When concerns and fears come into your mind about your lover, ask yourself if you are just trying to discharge the anxiety that you feel about the unknown, so that you can stop a personal drama in its track.
  6. Don't rush to seal the relationship just because you can't stand the anxiety of having to go through the stages of falling in love. Accept your anxiety and learn to work with it.
  7. Research shows that falling in love also makes you more creative. So work out that anxiety and fear through some creative activities.
  8. Don't lower your defenses, personal boundaries, and expectations to the extent that you are denying what you really desire and need. This never works out well. You want to build an authentic relationship attachment, rather than one based on fantasy alone.

Love is like a neurosis: why falling in love

"Unsolved Mysteries": Why love is a disease

About 7 billion people live on our planet, differing in skin color, wealth and temperament. But there is one feeling that unites everyone - this is love. It turns heads and brings happiness, and it also happens that a wonderful feeling becomes a dangerous tool that in an instant can break a person’s life or cause unbearable pain.

Each of us, probably, wondered: "Where is love born?". Some answer this question - "in the heart", while others say - "in the brain." Why was it called a disease and is it true that love lives for three years? How do we choose each other and why do we fall in love with the wrong people? The answers to these and many other questions are in our material.

Symptom one: "tunnel vision"

According to psychologist Ekaterina Stepanova, love is like a fever, some kind of strong emotional outburst. “When people fall in love, they first go through the stage of“ fusion ”- lovers do not notice the differences between themselves, but pay more attention to similarities. This is how the general concept of“ we ”appears, which blurs the individuality of each lover,” she explained.

Psychologists unanimously say that all love stories begin the same way, but end differently. Among the first symptoms of love, experts distinguish "tunnel vision", when a person is not able to perceive anything that does not directly or indirectly relate to his object of love.

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Aleksey Danilov is sure that at the first stage of love, the fate of a person’s further state of mind is decided: “If a person does not find an answer from the object of love, then depending on his level of culture, his moral values, a person is able to become evil, commit a crime aimed at a partner or circumstances around. Or he can write a picture, a poem, music, perform a feat in the name of his love. "


Symptom two: flight and clouding of reason

Another symptom of love is the sharpening of feelings. So, a person has a certain feeling of flight and a strange clouding of reason. A lover wants to sing, dance, do something unusual all the time, he wants to move mountains...

"A person really becomes stupid at this time. And such perception is called limitation. There is an idealization of the image of a beloved, which a person does not want to destroy at all," - says psychologist Ekaterina Stepanova.

During the passage of this stage, experts note emotional and psychological instability in lovers, accompanied by insomnia, which does not affect performance in any way, there is no feeling of fatigue. In this state, a person is not afraid of bacteria and viruses, no disease will take him. However, the person is already sick.

It is worth noting that in 2000 falling in love was officially recognized as a disease and included in the international classifier of diseases under the code F63. 9 - doctors attributed this romantic feeling to psychiatric deviations.

"Love is akin to a neurosis. A state that is ready to turn into a borderline state if a person does not direct his attention to other aspects of life. Then it can even turn into a psychotic state," continues Ekaterina Stepanova.

Where does love originate - in the heart or in the brain?

The emergence of falling in love occurs simultaneously in the brain and in the heart. "The brain is the coordinator, and the heart is the motor of love," notes Alexey Danilov.

According to him, now science is discovering neurophysical and biological mechanisms that help to understand this connection: "It is already obvious that in a person in love both the heart sings and the brain is happy."
Scientists are convinced that love is nothing but a chemical reaction, under the influence of which all human systems and organs begin to work differently.

"The intensity of love depends on hormonal saturation. The higher the content of hormones that are responsible for the state of love, the more pronounced the manifestations of love in a person," says endocrinologist Svetlana Kalinichenko.


Love originates in the adrenal glands

When a person falls in love, the adrenal glands are the first to respond. They begin to produce hormones of passion and fear. At the sight of an object of love, thanks to adrenaline, the heartbeat quickens, blood flow accelerates. The hormone cortisol increases the production of glucose in the pancreas, giving the body more energy. It is because of this that lovers do not want to sleep or eat. It also increases the breakdown of fats, so you can lose weight from love. Norepinephrine gives a feeling of slight intoxication, which causes addiction, which is why it is so difficult for lovers to part even for a few hours.

According to Professor Alexei Danilov, love is a very powerful biochemical explosion, a very well-built, beautiful neurochemical concert: "Love is a very good training for the brain, because it is well supplied with blood in this state. "

Butterflies in the stomach

Scientists compared brain tomograms of couples in love and drug addicted patients. As a result, in both cases, the same zones were active, responsible for the so-called "reward system". This is expressed by an increased level of dopamine - a substance that causes a feeling of pleasure. Only for lovers this increase was natural, and for drug addicts it was artificial. The hormone dopamine gives a feeling of "butterflies in the stomach", this is how our hormonal background works.

Love does not come from hormone injections

There were many experiments with different sets of hormones, but nothing worked. It turned out that love causes a surge of hormones, and a surge of hormones cannot cause love.

Scientists say that romantic attraction is born in the unconscious, it is this part of the psyche that commands the body to start the biochemical processes characteristic of falling in love. People intuitively know more about each other than the rational part of the mind can comprehend.

Initially, a person sees an image, and inside his unconscious, literally within 30-60 seconds, an acceptance or rejection of this image is formed.

According to psychologists, this perception gives our image-ego. We are talking about a certain image, assembled from fragments. The fragments themselves come from people who influenced us in childhood: these are parents, grandparents, siblings, a kindergarten teacher, a neighbor, a passerby on the street, and so on. Our brain stores all the information about these people. The sounds of their voices, the degree of their concern for us, the complexion in a moment of anger, smiles in a moment of happiness.

Absolutely everyone we meet, whether we like it or not, we compare with our image-ego. If there is a match on some grounds, we immediately feel interest, while recognition occurs by facial features.
"We can determine the success of a man by behavioral factors. Women choose different characters, and men choose a fragile image that needs protection and care," explains psychologist Ekaterina Stepanova.


People fall in love with asymmetry

We know that our faces are not symmetrical. When evaluating a potential partner, we first look at the face. One glance is enough to understand whether you like it or not. If yes. We move on to scanning the appearance as a whole.
Thus, women instinctively pay attention to the reliability of a partner and the opportunity to acquire offspring with him, to social success. And men - on the sexuality of women.

There is an opinion that modern men are attracted by slimness or even thinness. But this is a myth: men chose both slender and plump women, but everyone chose women with a pronounced waist.
The figure of a woman depends on how the adipose tissue is distributed.

Apple, pear and banana

There is a conditional division of female figures into three types: apple, pear, banana. The "apples" have a distribution of fat in the upper torso, and no waist. The "banana" body is toned, slender, but there are no characteristic female curves. Pears have a thin waist and wide hips, which are the most attractive for men.

According to psychologists, a man sees in such a woman an ideal vessel for giving birth and bearing a child.

But there is another very important factor besides appearance – smell. The specificity of the smell of a person is added by substances due to which we experience excitement - sexual attractants. The hormone testosterone is responsible for their production.

People choose their partners by smell. This is not a perfume, but a subtle smell of sweat, which contains sex attractants, testosterone derivatives.

Sweat contains two types of steroids: androstenol and andostenol. They are in men and women, only in different proportions. If people have a proportionately opposite content of these steroids, this is an ideal couple. Healthy children should be born from this couple.

The level of production of sexual attractants depends on the general state of health, libido and even mood. This aroma is very weak, it is not captured by our consciousness, but is evaluated by our subconscious and is an important selection criterion. Thus, we weed out a healthier, stronger, sex partner for life.

When we smell, a nerve impulse goes from the nose to the brain. The signal goes to the frontal lobe, where it is determined what kind of smell it is, and to the limbic system - this is the part of the brain that contains the memory of the emotions that we experienced when we felt this or that smell. Therefore, the smell is able to evoke strong emotions based on previous experiences.

Scientists have found that couples who have lived together for a long time become similar. They have common habits, words, gestures, even outwardly they resemble each other.


The average duration of love is 1.5-3 years

Every time we fall in love, it seems to us that it is forever. But sooner or later the euphoria goes away, and with it the desire to be together. The average length of love is 1.5-3 years. This is enough for the child to be born and grow stronger. If you've been with your partner longer, there's more than just chemistry between you. How is true love different?

Monroe's Syndrome

"Monroe's Syndrome" - another psychological disorder, love addiction. Dependent people are most often those who say: "I will die without this person." When there is such an attitude, it is not love, but a painful perception of this feeling, psychologists say.

The lack of love in childhood is to blame. Love addiction does not allow a person to live in harmony with himself. A person loses himself in alcohol addiction, in depression, he is prone to suicide.

The emotions of a love addict resemble a swing. When he experiences love and connection with a partner. He is euphoric, but as soon as he feels coldness, depression sets in. The psyche can't handle it.

One step from love to jealousy

Falling in love is the state of being “in love with love”, in the image that a person likes. And love is a feeling of love for this particular person, with all his shortcomings. Jealousy is the opposite of love. Even with minor manifestations, her person becomes dangerous for himself and others.

The main indicator is selfishness. It is developed to such an extent that a person is perceived as personal property.

According to statistics, every fourth union breaks up because of jealousy. This feeling is destructive, first of all, for the jealous person himself.

Professor Alexey Danilov believes that people who live together for a long time get used to each other biochemically and need to feed on each other: "When a person loses such a partner, the level of serotonin in the brain decreases."

Attachment hormone

Oxytocin binds two loving people. It is called the "attachment hormone". Each person has oxytocin receptors, which means that all people are capable of love and affection. Therefore, no one can escape love.

Note that people who experience love and gratitude are better protected from strokes and depression.

Love moves us, determining our destiny. It is spontaneous, illogical, and its ending cannot be predicted. But much depends solely on us.

Love is work. You need to be able to set yourself up for love.

Thousands of books have been written about love, but it is a secret with seven seals that must be found after going through a long path of patience and loss.

Plot: Urban stories

choices love biochemistry read falling in love

What happens to us when we fall in love?

Sign up for our newsletter "Context": it will help you understand the events.

Image copyright Thinkstock

Image caption

Love goes through several stages, but not necessarily in the same order. The stages are always the same - but their sequence can be anything.

The word "chemistry" is figuratively used in relation to love, but in reality love is really a series of chemical reactions. Scientists believe that falling in love triggers a number of processes in our bodies that are ultimately aimed at preserving the human race.

The symptoms of love are like a disease state: sweaty palms, loss of appetite, euphoria, flushed face and rapid heartbeat.

Love goes through several stages - each of them depends on certain chemical elements that trigger the corresponding reactions in the body.

Image copyright, Thinkstock

Image caption,

The first stage, the desire stage, is determined by the action of sexual hormones and is expressed in the search for a partner

But the order in which the stages follow one another can be arbitrary, emphasizes a researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey Helen Fisher.

"You may have a strong attachment to someone at work or in your social circle, and only after many months or years something happens, the situation changes, and suddenly you find that you have fallen in love with this person," explains Helen Fisher .

"So first comes attachment, then comes romantic infatuation, and only then emotions associated with sexual attraction. Or we can meet someone who seems sexually attractive to you, you fall in love with him, and only then come to a feeling of deep affection Or you can suddenly fall in love, literally lose your head because of someone with whom you had sex a long time ago, at that moment it did not cause strong feelings, "continues Fisher.

image copyrightThinkstock

Image caption,

The symptoms of love are like a disease state: sweaty palms, loss of appetite, euphoria, a flushed face and a rapid heartbeat.

Different chemicals come into play at each of these stages, and scientists now know which elements correspond to which process.

Stage 1: Sex

Desire (or to put it more roughly, but precisely - lust) is caused in us by sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone is not exclusively a "male" hormone. In the female body, it plays the same important role in arousing sexual desire.

Stage 2: Attraction

Photo by Thinkstock

Image caption

Long-term relationships are based on the instinct to care for children and secure their future apart from the object of desire, they sleep badly and are always in a state of blissful or disturbing thoughts about it. They may even lose their appetite.

At the attraction stage, a group of neurotransmitters from the monoamine group enters into action:

  • Dopamine is the same substance for which some people inject cocaine and nicotine into their bodies
  • Norepinephrine is the closest relative of adrenaline. Makes us sweat and our hearts beat faster.
  • Serotonin is the main "engine" of love, its deficiency leads to depression, and its excess leads to natural madness.

Stage 3: Attachment

These are the feelings that arise in us if the relationship is destined to last for a long time. If the attraction stage continued indefinitely, they would hardly have turned out to be anything worthwhile, except for a bunch of children.

Photo credit, Science Photo Library

Photo caption,

Oxytocin is responsible for a strong emotional bond between mother and child

Attachment is a long-term voluntary commitment, it is a bond between people who decide to form an alliance and acquire offspring.

At this stage, the nervous system releases two hormones into the body, which, according to scientists, are responsible for the social connection between people: