Why people fall out of love
(The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2018 - 12:00am

Can you remember how you felt when you had your first crush? Do you remember your heart fluttering, your head feeling light, and your feet as if floating on air? Congratulations, you were in love.

However, years later, after you got married and had kids, you started to lose this wonderful feeling. Your wife doesn’t look as appealing as she once was. Sex isn’t as exciting anymore. What is happening to you? Scientists have found an explanation through these “love chemicals.”

The chemicals of love

1. Dopamine - When you’re in love, the levels of dopamine in your body rise tremendously, resulting in this “kilig” feeling. That’s why dopamine is so addicting. The more you have it, the more you want it. It also helps release another feel-good chemical called serotonin. When a person is lovesick or homesick, their serotonin levels drop by 40 percent.

Aside from being in love, there are other ways to increase one’s dopamine levels, like smoking (that’s why it’s so addicting and we don’t recommend it), thrill-seeking behavior and having a new partner (we don’t advise it). Sleeping and eating sweets can also increase dopamine levels.

2. Oxytocin – Aside from dopamine, another feel-good chemical is oxytocin, which promotes a feeling of closeness and motherly love. This chemical rises when we cuddle our children, hold hands with a loved one, or communicate with a dear friend.

Oxytocin, also called the “cuddling chemical,” helps fight stress and makes you happier. One study shows that talking to a good friend is as effective as a pain reliever in treating headaches. Therefore, men and women need to communicate better in order to build a better relationship and ensure a steady release of oxytocin.

The decline of love

Just as we’d like to believe that true love lasts forever, we still have to put in some work to make this dream come true. This is because our “dopamine high” doesn’t last forever and our bodies develop a tolerance to it. In fact, studies show that starting from nine months to three years, our dopamine levels decline, which coincides with the time you feel bored and start “falling out of love.” How sad.

Some scientists believe the timing of the decline may be a natural process. Mothers start teaching their kids to be independent. Fathers may be prone to leave, too. So, if you’ve been going steady with your boyfriend for the past three years or you’re on your fourth year of marriage, there’s a real danger he or she might get bored with you, because the chemical bonds are not there anymore.

Finding true love

To increase your dopamine levels again, you need to put excitement back into your relationship. Get a new look, change your hair, wear attractive clothes and put more excitement into your marriage. Go on your second honeymoon and plan a surprise date at a new location.

Another remedy is through the help of another feel-good chemical called endorphins, which could be the closest thing to finding true love. Endorphins promote a feeling of calmness, warmth, intimacy and dependability.  As we get older, we need to progress to the next stage and start loving our partner for who he or she is. To increase your endorphins, think loving thoughts about your partner. Touch and smile at him.

The benefits of sex

What about sex? Did you know that studies show that men who have sex two or more times a week can decrease their risk for a heart attack or stroke? Women who enjoy sex also tend to live longer than those who don’t. Studies also show that increasing your sexual activity from once a month to once a week also increases your general happiness.

Sex makes one feel good and happy. It’s also good exercise for the heart. A five-minute sexual act consumes just 30 calories, but 30 minutes of sex can use as much as 250 calories.            What bodily changes happen during sex? First, your heart rate increases, pupils dilate, nostrils flare and sweat glands open. Female breasts enlarge by 25 percent. There is also increased blood flow to the lips, nose and sexual organs. Oxytocin levels also rise. All these changes build up to an orgasm.

How does a person know if he or she is strong enough for sex? One simple test is to climb two flights of stairs. If you can do this without being short of breath, then you are cleared to have sex. (By the way, this is the test doctors may use to check if you are qualified to have an operation or not.)

Tips to improve your love life

1. Do little things for your partner. Give a love note, a text message, or a rose. Make a surprise date and be unpredictable.

2. Develop a shared goal. See if you can match your goals and thus be more synchronized in your plans.

3. Remember the good times. Recall what attracted you to your partner in the first place, like your first date and your memories of love.

4. Massage her feet. Did you know that the brain parts that control the feet are in close proximity to the ones that control the sexual organs? A foot rub is an erotic kind of foreplay. Other erogenous (sexual) zones are the back of the neck, the fingers and toes, and the nipples.

5. Exercise and lose weight. The less belly fat you have, the better your sex life will be. Eating healthy will improve the blood flow to your body.

6. Create a conducive environment. The brain is actually the most sexual organ of the body. Try soft music, chocolate, coffee, baby powder, the scent of lemon or what works for you. Some reports show these might be effective.

7. Stay in love. There are really biological explanations for the ins and outs of love. Keep your love going strong and increase those chemicals of love. Good luck.

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