Stage 1: LUST The first stage of love is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen.
Stage 2: ATTRACTION In the stage where you are truly love-struck and can't concentrate on anything else, scientists believe that the chemicals involved are adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin;
Adrenaline: Initially meeting someone, your stress response is activated. You get nervous and you start to sweat, your mouth is dry and your heart races.
Dopamine: This chemical stimulates 'desire and reward', triggering and intense rush of pleasure, much the same that cocaine does to the brain. This results in more energy, less need for food and sleep and gives you focused attention, hinging on every word the other person says.
Serotonin: One of love's most important chemicals that may explain why when you’re falling in love, your new lover keeps popping into your thoughts. Studies have show that serotonin levels in new lovers are the same as those in persons with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. We think differently about our partner, idealizing their virtues and dismissing their flaws and believing that this love is stronger than all others.
Stage 3: ATTACHMENT Scientists think there might be two major hormones involved in this feeling of attachment; oxytocin and vasopressin.
Oxytocin (the cuddle hormone): Released by men and women during orgasm, it deepens the feelings of attachment and makes couples feel much closer to one another after they have had sex. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes.
Vasopressin: Also released after sex, it works with your kidneys to control thirst, but it has been shown that it also correlates with strengthening bond and devotion as well as the need to protect.
Spooning, a term given to cuddling where you and the other person are lying on your same sides, one in back of the other in an embrace, is one of my favorite things. There's nothing better than when you fit perfectly with someone else and you can lie there for hours under the covers, nice and warm, trying not to fall asleep so you don't miss out on the incredible things you are feeling. If you're on a spooning dry-spell, then try to get as many hugs as you can... either are the best feeling in the world. All it takes is a hug... you never know where it will go from there. Create your own climate change... under the covers.