We have all fallen in love at least once, and there is no doubt that it is an incredible feeling, but at the same time a cause of torment. In this article we will give an explanation of what happens when we fall in love, following the line shared by most of the published studies.
Last update: May 30, 2022
You know how long falling in love lasts? This emotional state is characterized by a feeling of joy, fulfillment and satisfaction, accompanied by attraction to another person. This phase leads us to an alteration of the state of consciousness, which influences our organism to the point of inducing us to make wrong decisions.
Sexual attraction constitutes the first phase of falling in love. The desire of the other is determined, among other things, by the activation of specific areas of the brain in response to the substances emitted by the other person, the pheromones, or by biological changes in oneself. But how long does falling in love last? In this article we will try to answer this question.
How long does falling in love last? The role of sexual attraction
Faced with a stimulus that causes attraction (for a person or for the idea of having him near), our body produces different substances. A increased testosterone or estrogen, which increase cravings. In turn, the craving leads to an increase in adrenaline, glucose and phenylethylamine.
When we experience sexual attraction, these neurotransmitters activate our body by increasing heart rate, sweating and preparing the organs for sexual response and pleasure.
According to some authors, this feeling of uncontrollable desire for the other lasts about two years. It is around this time that the decrease in desire hormones is observed. However, this is superimposed on the increase in another hormone, oxytocin, also known as the love hormone.
Falling in love
Falling in love leads us to experience tremors, to turn pale or blush, to experience feelings of embarrassment, stammering and losing control over emotions. Why is all this happening?
Numerous studies argue that falling in love is, a priori, an addiction, which includes withdrawal symptoms and even tolerance.
When you feel desire for someone, the nervous system activates the endocrine system to prepare it for sex. However, the absence of the person and the inability to satisfy this desire lead to the inhibition of the same.
The prefrontal areas inhibit the impulse and with the increase of phenylethylamine, vasopressin and other hormones, large quantities of dopamine are produced up to the secretion of endorphin.
All this produces an imbalance in different systems, such as the dopaminergic one. This inability to consume desire leads to one decreased serotonin levels, causing lack of interest in activities, insomnia, a decrease in appetite, concentration, etc.
In turn, the increase in acetylcholine produces obsessive and recurring thoughts towards the desired person. This refers to compulsive behaviors, such as constantly looking at her photos or checking messages to see if she has answered.
Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the brain, specifically the hypothalamus. Although both men and women produce oxytocin, it is higher in women as well increases during orgasm, childbirth and breastfeeding.
Both in humans and in other animals, this substance is linked to the care of others. Therefore, the higher the oxytocin, the greater the tendency to protect.
In this case, in addition to attraction, the component linked to tenderness and care is added. There is a need to share time together, to provide for the other and to feel reciprocated, consequently both are comfortable with the presence of the other.
How long does falling in love last?
Taking into account all the mechanisms underlying infatuation, it is estimated that common falling in love is short-lived, ie from a few weeks to a year. The curious fact is that there seems to be a relationship between the age of the lovers and the duration of falling in love: the younger one is, the shorter this phase, but it is still more intense.
Despite this, falling in love can be prolonged. Since it is based on sexual desire, affection and care, these aspects can and should be maintained for as long as possible. Moving to a more stable phase of love does not mean that our body can no longer react and give us "all those aphrodisiac substances released at the beginning".
Falling in love is a combination of sexual attraction and imbalance of the organism which, as contacts increase, gives way to a more intimate bond. You get to know the other person and ask yourself whether to continue dating or not.
Attachment joins sexual attraction, resulting in falling in love. But it is after this phase that we begin to consider the possibility of going further. According to experts, if at this point it is believed that the other person has values and a personality compatible with his own, the love bond is born.