THE CHEMIsTRY of LOVE
Chemistry is a vital component when it comes to people and what it is exactly that causes them to become strongly attracted to each other as well as other living creatures.
The first stage of a sexual relationship between two people involves the release of estrogen in women and also rather a lot of testosterone in both men and women. At this stage it is merely sexual attraction.
If two people go on, perhaps foolishly, to fall in love then the chemistry changes again.
In the second stage of human love-intoxication people often find themselves losing their appetites. Lying awake all night tossing and turning unable to sleep is normal at this point.
Attraction is intense. The object of desire surfaces continually into the waking imagination. The afflicted one speaks of nothing else, eventually driving all those around him or her to absolute distraction.
Singing can occur, paperwork is mis-filed, important and key points of the workday are completely forgotten and small fires and other assorted little accidents often happen due to absent-minded carelessness.
Why is that, you may ask Wotta Tripp? It's all because the person is carrying all the symptoms of being hopelessly in love, a disease which must run its full course and for which there is no known cure.
In Love - Again
At this point there are several chemical compounds being released, or perhaps poured, into the brain of one so stricken.
These include neurotransmitters such as:
· Norepinephrine - this is what causes the intense excitement of new love.
· Serotonin - contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness and also regulates the circadian cycle.
· Dopamine - this is another substance that helps people feel pleasure and happiness, but it can cause problems and these will be covered separately further on.
· Phenylethylamine - this amphetamine-like neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain can be triggered by relatively small events. Just a touch of the hand, a quick look or a love-note can cause floods of heart-pounding, exciting phenylethylamine to be released.
With this potent alchemical soup racing round a person's system, no wonder they barely ever stand a chance.
People will do almost anything for love at this point, because they have turned into weak-willed, weak-kneed drug addicts focused only on getting their next 'fix'.
After The Rush is Gone
The third stage of love occurs anytime from three months to several years into the relationship and can sometimes mark the beginning death knell for a couple.
Very often this is because one or both partners has stopped wanting to have sex.
There may be quarrelling, intolerance, jealousies and irritation coupled with a reduction of or complete lack of intimacy.
In the end, be it after months or years, the excess hormones and neurotransmitters of 'being in love' slow down or stop in their response to the possibly not-so-loved one.
Two hormones are released during orgasms. Women produce oxytocin and men produce vasopressin.
These can help keep a relationship going, as long as a couple continue to have sex with each other. Of course, these hormones will be produced when partners have sex with other people as well, and this does tend to happen quite a lot.
A sizeable percentage of relationships end in infidelity and subsequent discovery followed by the inevitable break-up.
The End of the Road
First comes the break-up, with all its attendant pain, anger, bitterness, fear, blaming, crying and emotional distress. It's the stage when mourning is at its most acute, and it can resemble the effects of a death.
Next comes acceptance and the ensuing depression, and now is also the time for all the frustration, self-pity, confusion, annoyance, fatigue, ennui, drinking, losing or gaining weight, resentment, sleeping, wishing you could get your time (and CDs/money/flat-screen TV) back and staying home sulking heavily that you will be doing for the next little while.
In the final stage people to their great relief typically begin to feel better and much more like their old selves once again.
That's because all the different parts of you have finally agreed at the same time that you don't want to feel this way anymore because it's painful and a complete waste of time as well.
As soon as you're fed up enough of it your brain will cease over-producing annoying and uncomfortable neurotransmitters and one morning you'll wake up feeling much more like you used to before you got together with him or her, and you'll be ready to start the entire cycle anew.
You see, it's best to know early on that now and again things can often go a little bit wrong.
Taken to extremes, falling in love can cause psychotic behaviours to manifest in certain folk. And becoming aroused, as people frequently do when in love, or even when they are merely 'in lust', can make the situation much worse.
Human beings are often very much at the mercy of their glandular secretions, and some people can expect a roller-coaster trip for themselves, and thus so can any partner along for that particular ride.
Dopamine is frequently the main culprit. This chemical, a monoamine neurotransmitter, is created in several areas of the brain for good measure.
It is released in response to certain stimuli, including sexual arousal. It's a reward dished out by the brain for getting aroused in the first place, which clearly some people just don't deserve.
Usually when feelings of arousal and intense affection occur, dopamine is ejected from nerve cells in the brain in copious amounts and everybody feels rather good.
Dopamine is always the substance released in the brain as a 'reward' and can be stimulated to release as a learned response, which in itself can be addictive in nature.
There are those, however, who produce more dopamine than average and this can create problems that can range from slightly invasive to downright sinister in nature.
The high dopamine levels cause an extreme addiction to the object of love and adoration, along with anxiety, fear and obsession which can become very intense and cause strange behaviour, such as stalking.
It's a chemical attack on the body.
Certain drugs have a strong action on dopamine production, including cocaine and methamphetamine, which can obviously cause further complications. Alcohol and nicotine also raise levels.
This sort of activity can lead some people to become 'rabbit boilers', such as the one portrayed in what I have been told on good authority was a rather bad movie, and no good can come of such atrocities, apart from the possibility of a tasty, filling stew for those so inclined.
That's why people use the phrase 'madly in love'. It can be similar to a state of insanity, which people who are not madly in love can understandably find extremely irritating, even sometimes worrying.
Some people just shouldn't be together.
Wotta Tripp has had to assume for the purposes of this article that the reader is mentally sound, has dopamine production occurring within normal ranges and is not a boiler of lagomorphs.
Is It All Bad News?
It may sound like it, but really there is so much people fail to realise about love.
There are different types of love, and many people are not aware of most of them. The love on offer is usually either instinctive love or emotional love. The love that lasts is called 'conscious love'.
Hormonally driven, instinctive love may not last, and it certainly won't if partners don't regularly work together on their relationship.
Emotional love is self-serving and almost always short-lived.
Good chemistry is necessary between people, but so are mutual respect and similar values as well as having several interests in common.
The good news is that you can develop conscious love if you wish to. This is an enlightened love that isn't dependent on hormonal secretions and can be permanently sustained.
Wotta Tripp is not here to teach you how, but she advises that you research 'conscious love' and study tantra as well.
It will open new doors in your life and inspire you to evolve a little more. It will improve all your relationships and also your chances of finding and staying with the person who will be right for you.
Try not to be judgmental of other people's choices. Some people are most peculiar, but they usually deserve love too, and there is nearly always somebody equally as peculiar waiting in the wings for them.
Just try hard not to stare, because you know it's very rude.