Hormones of love

How long does it take to fall in love?

Specialists believe that our brain needs from 90 seconds to 4 minutes to fall in love( 1).In this case, the key attractiveness factors are body signals( 55%), followed by a tone and a voice rate( 38%), while the words directly spoken are the least important( 7%).

Dr. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University , USA, has identified three phases of love: "lust", "attraction" and "attachment"( 2).Each of these phases is characterized by special hormones produced by the body.

Phase 1: Lust

The primary phase in both men and women is regulated by the main sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen. The main trigger, provoking the production of these hormones, is the smell of another person, in second place - physical characteristics.

Specialists tend to believe that in this way the body checks the potential sexual partner or partner for the compatibility of the gene combination, because most of all individuals like a smell similar to the smell of his own parents( 1).

Phase 2: Attraction of

The main difference of the second phase is that the brain is "fixed" in a certain way on the object of falling in love, significantly reducing the ability to concentrate on other persons and tasks. The regulating hormones of this phase are adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.

If the effect of adrenaline is due to reddening of the cheeks, increased heart rate and dry mouth, dopamine is responsible for the appearance of mild euphoria and increased energy. Interestingly, but this hormone is produced by the body when taking cocaine.

Phase 3: Attachment of

Many researchers believe that the main task of the third, most prolonged, phase of falling in love is to maintain the unity of the couple sufficient for raising children's time. The main hormones of the attachment phase are oxytocin and vasopressin.

In adults, the hormone oxytocin is produced during orgasm, in infants - when fed by mother's milk. It is believed that oxytocin is the main hormone provoking a sense of kinship, intimacy and trust in another person( 3).

The main hormone of love

Apparently, it is the hormone oxytocin is the main hormone of love, because it makes you feel uncomfortable in the absence of the object of love - thus the body requires a chemical "dope", obtained during sex with your beloved or loved one.

As with dopamine, which increases with cocaine use, oxytocin synthesis is also stimulated by drugs, and in particular MDMA( ecstasy).However, after taking drugs, the production of these hormones decreases, triggering depression( 4).

How to fall in love: 3 main steps

Professor Arthur Arun, University of Toronto , developed a formula that allows you to fall in love. In the experiments conducted by this doctor of psychology, many of the participants began to feel an obvious attraction to each other, and two couples eventually married.

  1. Find a stranger or stranger,
  2. Speak thirty minutes about the intimate details of your life,
  3. Look closely into your eyes for 4 minutes.

According to the data of Dr. Arun, the most important point is the gaze in the eyes( 1).

First Love

Studies show that the first love occurs in teenagers at about 15 years old, and lasts from three to four months. In this first two phases of love, lust and attraction, they are usually expressed more clearly than the third phase - affection( 5).

Some psychologists believe that limiting the third phase of love, responsible for long-term relationships, is one of the stages of evolution. No matter how sad it may be, it is disappointments in love that contribute to the formation of an integral personality.


Like all other processes in the human body, love can also be characterized by the action of hormones on the brain. The hormone oxytocin is responsible for the appearance of a sense of proximity to another person, and the hormone testosterone - for the occurrence of sexual desire.

Scientific sources:

  1. The science of love, source
  2. BBC Science: Human body and Mind, Cupid's chemicals, source
  3. Oxytocin, Wikipedia article, source
  4. MDMA, Wikipedia article, source
  5. BBC Science: Your first love, source