LOVE: It Comes Down to Science

“Love is the most important emotion for people”. So how do we make people fall in love with us?

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Love really is a crazy, stupid thing. Think about it, we as humans are merely creatures of a biological world who desire security, stability, structure and protection from loneliness. These all-encompassing desires derive from our physiological, psychological and biological need for love.

So how do you fall in love? What qualities do you need? Some people seem to make love look so easy, while others just can’t seem to make it work. Dr. Nasser Zawia explains in a study, “In the beginning, the most important part is biology, then, as love matures, psychology becomes the most important.” He also states “love is the most important emotion for people”.

Your entire body responds:

Those who have experienced “love at first sight” (yes it can actually happen apparently), describe it as “a shock to the system” or “electric”, this feeling is actually the biological response. Research has found that due to a shot of adrenaline, your palms sweat, your breathing gets shallow, your skin feels hot and your pupils dilate.

So you actually can see desire in the eyes of someone who has fallen in love with you, it’s like “looking into fire”.

“We fall in love with the brain”

Contrary to the media’s cliché depiction of “love”, which shows perfect supermodel girls in bikinis and muscular men with their shirts off drilling something on a construction site, we actually fall in love with what’s on the inside (specifically the brain).

Academic and author of the study, Heather M. Chapman explains, “while neurotransmitters do play an enormous part in the brains role in falling in love, there are structures of the brain itself that change when a person is in love”.

A study was conducted analysing the brain of a person who was looking at a picture of their beloved that showed that dopamine, (a feel good chemical) was being released by the right ventral tegmental area of the brain. Being “in love” caused this to happen. This then, causes the person to feel good whenever they spend time with their loved one and the more neurotransmitters being released, the more time couples spend together, creating an ever-repeating cycle.

Smell me…

Um… what? Yes you heard it right, smell plays a staggeringly important role in the game of attraction. We do everything we can to make ourselves appealing to the sex we are attracted to, like making sure we smell nice by showering, using scented soaps and drenching ourselves with extravagant perfumes and colognes. This is where pheromones play an important role in falling in love. Dr. Zawia says, “If you like someone’s smell, you want to be with them.” However if someone doesn’t like the pheromones you release, then all the perfume in the world won’t help you.

And don’t forget, while many biological and phycology aspects play a part in finding the one, you have to make sure you hold the simple qualities like kindness and generosity, because no matter how attractive, fit and nice smelling you are, if you’re one to be bossy and un-grateful, it’ll be hard to get someone to live happily ever after with you.

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Amanda is an imaginative and enthusiastic writer currently studying a Masters of Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She is passionate about her family, friends, good food and good music (and maybe that glass of Sav Blanc too). Catching the travel bug at fifteen, Amanda liked what Europe had to offer and after graduating high school she took on a work and travel gig with her twin sister in 2012. She spent the adventurous and rewarding year waitressing in England, bike riding in Tuscany, getting caught in the rain in Spain (literally) and visiting family in Croatia. Now Amanda lives in Melbourne where culture and cuisine come alive and while she completes her post-graduate studies, she will work towards landing the job of her dreams within the writing, editing and publishing industry.