“An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.” — Agatha Christie
What makes us fall in love? Having an understanding of how love works can help us understand ourselves and not make the same mistakes again. We have a love template, which has been formed from early childhood. There are chemicals that our brain and body reacts to and without them we might not never feel love.
What is the science of the chemistry of love? “Love is a chemical state of mind that’s part of our genes and influenced by our upbringing.” According to Lee Ann Obringer in her article, How Love Works, she also states “that scientists are discovering that the same chemical process that takes place with addiction takes place when we fall in love”. What makes us fall in love starts with this template that is buried in our subconscious brain and it’s that subconscious brain that spots the one person across that crowed room that catches our eye. Researches have long believed that we are attracted to a man who reminds us of our parents and possibly someone who reminds us of ourselves. We tend to prefer those who remind us of our parents or others close to us through childhood because of their personality, sense of humor, attitudes even taste in clothes.
Pheromones are chemicals produced by living creatures, in small amounts, used to signal something like danger or readiness to mate which cause behavioral changes. Insects release a pheromone into the air that signals their readiness to copulate; ants lay a trail of scent pheromones to lead the other ants to food. Pheromones are the sense of smell in humans. Human sweat is believed to be an important aspect of love by some scientists. As in the animal world, it seems that with men and women, sweat can be attractive. One reason the perfume industry is so successful.
Aphrodisiacs stimulate hormones through certain foods, herbs and extracts can make you more interested in falling in love has not been proven by the Food and Drug Administration, but there are those that swear by them. Rumor has it that: oysters contain a high level of zinc, which encourages testosterone production which in turn increases libido in both sexes and chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, another aphrodisiac. The Greeks and Romans sucked anise seeds. Basil promotes circulation. Cardamom claims to help impotence as it is high in cineole which increases the blood flow in areas where it is applied. Chili generates physiological responses in our bodies to sweat and sweat is a human pheromone.
Another interesting fact in falling in love, it has been found that when we are beyond the attraction phase and looking for long term love, the more we idealize the person we want to commit to, the stronger the relationship becomes. It seems that just this can keep a relationship going.
The chemicals, estrogen and testosterone are necessary in the initial stages of love; and it’s the dopamine and norepinephrine—the pleasure chemicals, that take us to the next step, a feeling of bliss, excitement, energy and an intense focus on that person.
In romantic love, when two people have sex oxytocin is released bonding the relationship. The more sex, the more an emotional bond is created. Vasopressin is another chemical that is released which also play a role in developing a long-term relationship. As these two chemicals increase, they interfere with the earlier dopamine and norepinephrine in the system, changing the dynamics from passion to attachment.
Here’s the things to be aware of when dating on the internet, men get addicted to this dopamine-norepinephrine high, wanting more and more becoming love junkies. They go through relationship after relationship looking for the next fix having developed a drug-like dependency.
Psychologists will tell you that the longer the courtship, the stronger the relationship as passionate love, that euphoric feeling fades; you begin to see faults seeing him more realistically. At this stage it is either going to work, or not. If it can work, other chemicals kick in, develop and increase providing a sense of well-being, security and attachment.
Having had over 125 Match dates and not having found the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, I got really concerned. I tried to get a sense of what went wrong. My photos were current and looked like me, no question I’m attractive and carry myself at my ten-year-younger age. I couldn’t help but think it must be my personality. I must be a bore? Talk too much? Not a good listener?
Then again, I also didn’t find anyone I wanted to be with, as I found older men were so stuck in their ways. And I realized how this blog would be an eye opener for them. The following is true for everyone.
You are fifty or sixty or seventy–the new sixty–and back in the dating game, what matters more, looks or personality?
Science has found that a beautiful face in the initial impression becomes less important and that attraction is more of a halo effect—visual signs of good health, tight skin, athleticism, mental sharpness, good hair and dressing “not like your mother”, are among some of the aspects that keep us looking ageless, but is that all?
In their paper, researchers Paul Eastwick and Lucy Hunt, found that it’s “uniqueness” that becomes more appealing. (Relational Mate Value: Consensus and Uniqueness in Romantic Evaluations). A pretty face has a short-term advantage, but in the long run, it’s getting to know someone over time, is what makes them more attractive. Attraction is more. It’s how a person makes you feel. The more that person makes us feel good, the more we want to be with that person with the individual traits that make them unique.
But, you are now fifty or sixty and meeting someone for the first time, what is it that will get his attention? How can you nail that first impression?
There are many incredible beautiful women out there. They walk in a room and heads turn, yet they are not necessarily the ones a man wants for a long-term relationship. Remember the “feeling” quality that is the hook. He’s looking for someone that’s going to make him feel happy even when he’s not with you, just the thought of you. He’ll remember your laugh. Or maybe it’s the way you look at him when you want your way. Or maybe it’s the team spirit and the, I’ve got your back strength, he’s needs in his life–your overall positive energy. It’s the package we call “attitude” that you bring with you as you walk in the door! You want to reek of excitement, being unique and of feeling good about yourself.
In the Eastwick and Hunt study they found that people seem to make their consensus about somebody’s appeal fairly quickly. If you think relationships are formed by this “love at first sight”, you are wrong. Only a 6%-11% of people fall in love with someone they just met. Romantic relationships form over time, getting to know someone makes one more attractive.