Love Science

Love Science

The chemistry behind relationships

What happens inside our bodies as we date? Allan Judd, a physiology and developmental biology professor, explained some of the basic physiology behind dating.

Positive experiences trigger the release of a neurotransmitter called epinephrine. This hormone causes your pupils to dilate, which allows more light into your eyes, causing them to sparkle.

When you anticipate kissing or holding someone’s hand, your body releases epinephrine. This hormone causes your heart to beat faster, your palms to sweat and your blood pressure to rise.

A good boyfriend gives his girlfriend chocolate, but a wise boyfriend makes it dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains cannabinoids, a neurotransmitter that makes people think everything in the world is better!

Oxytocin is a powerful neurotransmitter that influences us to trust the person we are with when the hormone is released. This is why you sometimes long for your ex again.

Kissing triggers the release of oxytocin. As the hormone flows through your body, you begin to trust the person you are with. This is why our bodies trust people with whom we are physically intimate.

Fear is another trigger that causes the release of oxytocin and epinephrine. These hormones keep people coming back to scary movies, midnight hikes and haunted houses.

Oxytocin also influences us to think others are more attractive – especially the person we are with when the hormone is released. This is why people get “twitterpated.”

Good dates consist of food for a reason. Eating triggers the release of dopamine, which sends endorphins and cephalin into the body. These hormones create feel-good sensations.

Knowing these hormones affect our decisions of who to date and who to marry, Judd encouraged students to include their hearts and minds in those important decisions. Don’t leave them up to your emotions, Judd said.

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