But as much as love is emotional, physiological, and physical, science has proven that it is also chemical. Surprised? Come on, what hasn't science proven? (They have an answer for even the unexplainable, but that's another topic entirely.) Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who studies love at Rutgers University, has categorized love into 3 stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Each stage has its own chemical breakdown:
- Lust responds to testosterone in both men and women. Yes, women have testosterone too, generally much less than men, but some women have more than others.
- Attraction is marked by high levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, and low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
- Attachment is associated to varying levels of the hormones vasopressin and oxytocin.
Someone once said, "dopamine brings people together and oxytocin keeps them together." And at the end of the day every woman and man-- don't be fooled, men need love too--want to know that their chemicals are in balance...not imbalanced.