The Fascinating Science of Love: Physical Changes Triangular Theory & Surprising Facts


The Psychology of Love and Attraction: Understanding the Physical and Emotional Changes

Have you ever wondered why you feel a surge of excitement whenever you see the person you’re attracted to? Or why your heart races and you feel butterflies in your stomach when you’re in love?

These physical and emotional changes are the result of complex neurochemical and hormonal processes that occur in our bodies when we experience love and attraction. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind falling in love and how the Triangular Theory of Love can help us understand the different types of love.

Physical and Emotional Changes of Falling in Love

There are several physical and emotional changes that occur when we fall in love. According to research, the physical changes include an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline, while emotional changes may manifest as increased feelings of happiness, euphoria, and a sense of closeness and connection to the person we love.

One of the reasons why we experience these changes is the release of neurochemicals, such as dopamine, oxytocin, and norepinephrine. When we think about the person we are attracted to or in love with, dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, is released in our brain.

This causes us to feel happy and motivated to pursue the person we’re attracted to. Oxytocin, also known as the cuddle hormone, is another neurochemical that is released during intimate physical contact, such as hugging or holding hands.

This hormone strengthens the bond between two people and increases feelings of trust and intimacy. Norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that increases heart rate and adrenaline levels, causes the “fight or flight” response, which is responsible for the excitement and rush that we feel when we’re in love.

The Triangular Theory of Love

The Triangular Theory of Love, developed by psychologist Robert Sternberg, suggests that love can be broken down into three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Each of these components comes in varying degrees, resulting in seven different types of love.

Intimacy refers to the emotional closeness between two people and the feeling of sharing one’s deepest thoughts and feelings. Passion is the intense desire and physical attraction that we feel towards someone.

Finally, commitment refers to the decision to remain in a long-term relationship with someone. The seven different types of love are as follows:

  1. Consummate Love – This type of love involves high levels of intimacy, passion, and commitment, making it the “perfect” love.
  2. Infatuation – This is a love based solely on passion and involves strong physical attraction.
  3. Romantic Love – This type of love is a combination of intimacy and passion and is often found in the early stages of a relationship.
  4. Fatuous Love – Fatuous love is a love that is based on passion and commitment rather than intimacy.
  5. Companionate Love – This type of love is characterized by a strong bond and deep friendship between two people. There may be a lack of passion but a high level of intimacy and commitment.
  6. Empty Love – This is a love that is based solely on commitment and lacks both intimacy and passion.
  7. Liking/Friendship – This type of love is based on a strong platonic friendship and includes a high level of intimacy but no passion or commitment.

Understanding these different types of love can help us identify our own relationships and identify areas of growth or improvement.


In conclusion, the physical and emotional changes that occur when we fall in love are neurological and hormonal, and understanding these changes can help us better understand ourselves in relationships.

The Triangular Theory of Love provides a framework to understand the complexity of love and its different types.

By exploring these topics, we can develop a deeper appreciation and insight into the beauty of love and the different ways it manifests in our lives.

The Psychology Behind Who We Find Attractive: Understanding Factors that Influence Attraction and the Influence of Familiarity

Have you ever wondered why you are attracted to certain people and not others?

Is it a person’s physical appearance, their personality, or something else entirely? Or, could it be that familiarity plays a crucial role in attraction?

In this article, we will explore the psychology behind who we find attractive, the factors that affect attraction and the influence of familiarity on attraction.

Factors that Affect Attraction

Attraction is influenced by many factors, some of which are life experiences, mental health, and family background. Our past experiences shape the way we view relationships and our preferences, leading to a subconscious understanding of the type of partner that’s suitable for us.

Additionally, mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, can impact attraction. Individuals who are anxious or depressed may have negative self-images, which can influence their ability to form healthy relationships.

Furthermore, our childhood or family background serves as a foundation for our beliefs and expectations about relationships, and these beliefs inform our preferences for partners. Similarities between individuals also play a role in attraction.

Research has shown that couples who share similar interests, beliefs, and worldviews are more likely to be attracted to each other and form long-lasting relationships. Therefore, similarities play a pivotal role in attraction and relationship success.

The Influence of Familiarity on Attraction

Research has shown that familiarity plays a significant role in determining attraction in romantic and platonic relationships. People are more likely to form relationships with individuals who share similar socioeconomic status, race, or education level.

This preference for familiarity is called the mere-exposure effect and suggests that the greater the exposure to a person or group, the more likely we are to develop positive feelings towards them. Socioeconomic status plays a significant role in determining our exposure to different social groups.

People tend to befriend people who are in the same socioeconomic status as they are, leading to less exposure to people from different backgrounds. Individuals from the same race or ethnicity also tend to form close relationships, often due to cultural similarities and shared experiences.

Education level is another factor that affects attraction. Individuals who share similar levels of education are more likely to form close relationships due to shared values, beliefs, and interests.

Consequently, education level can be a significant predictor of successful relationships.

Interesting Facts About the Psychology of Love

  • Couples tend to look more alike after being together for over 25 years. According to Zajonc’s study, individuals who have been together for a long time share similar facial expressions, leading to a physical resemblance.
  • Kissing can help us select romantic partners. Research has found that kissing is a crucial factor in determining attraction and partner suitability.
  • Kissing allows us to assess our partners’ pheromones, which play a vital role in determining our attraction to them.
  • Small acts of kindness can go a long way in relationships.
  • A study found that participants who included acts of kindness in their relationship reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction than those who did not. Gestures of kindness, such as helping with household chores or thanking a partner for something simple, can help strengthen bonds and improve relationship satisfaction.
  • Love involves three feelings at once. According to Helen Fisher’s theory, love involves three different feelings: attraction, lust, and attachment.
  • Attraction is the initial stage of love, where a person is purely physically attracted to another person. Lust is the second stage, where a person develops a sexual desire for the other person, and attachment is the final stage, where a person forms a deep emotional bond with their partner.
  • Falling in love can reduce your appetite. Research has shown that falling in love releases dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria and decreased appetite.
  • Love makes us blind. Research has found that when we are in love, our emotional pathways have higher activation in neural deactivation, reducing our ability to be objective and make rational decisions.
  • Love can relieve feelings of pain. Standford’s study found that passionate love can relieve feelings of pain by triggering the release of opioids in the brain, resulting in pain relief.
  • Being heartbroken can physically hurt. People who experience heartbreak often report physical symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • These physical symptoms are caused by takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which causes a temporary weakening of the heart muscles due to emotional distress.

In conclusion, love and attraction are complex phenomena that are influenced by many factors.

We now know that life experiences, mental health, family background, similarities, and familiarity all play a crucial role in determining attraction. Additionally, interesting facts such as falling in love reducing appetite, love making us blind, or kissing helping us select romantic partners continue to amaze us.

Understanding the psychology behind love and attraction can help us form healthier relationships and maintain long-lasting bonds with our partners. In conclusion, this article has provided an in-depth exploration of the psychology behind love and attraction, covering various factors that impact who we find attractive, the influence of familiarity, and interesting facts about the behaviors associated with love.

Understanding these factors can help us form healthy and long-lasting relationships with our partners. By being aware of what drives our attraction to individuals and the processes behind romantic love, we can gain greater insights into our relationships’ dynamics.

Ultimately, learning to develop an appreciation and understanding of the complexity and beauty of love can enable us to make informed decisions about our relationships and our approach to love as a whole.

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