When two people are attracted to each other, a virtual explosion of adrenaline-like nuerochemicals gush forth. Fireworks explode and we see stars. PEA or phenylethylamine is a chemical that speeds up the flow of information between nerve cells.
Also, involved in chemistry are dopamine and norepinephrine, chemical cousins of amphetamines. Dopamine makes us feel good and norepinephrine stimulates the production of adrenaline. It makes our heart race!
These three chemicals combine to give us infatuation or "chemistry." It is why new lovers feel euphoric and energized, and float on air. It is also why new lovers can make love for hours and talk all night for weeks on end.
This is the chemistry or the love sparks we all seek.
Actually when we have chemistry with someone, it's not exactly flattering. In fact, some might call it insulting.
Why? According to Harville Hendrix our brain dumps PEA when we identify someone who can:
- 1. Finish our childhood business.
- 2. Give us back what we lost to the socialization process of growing up.
Singles search for love armed with a list of qualities desired in a mate/lover, such as honesty, fidelity, loyalty, sense of humor, intelligence, warmth, etc. Yet when that person appears they say, He/she is a really nice person, but nothing clicked, just no "chemistry."
Unfortunately, we hear that click when we recognize our original parent/child situation. That's when our brain really gets those phenylethylamines and other chemicals moving.
Some people become veritable love junkies. They need chemistry or this chemical excitement to feel happy about and intoxicated by life. Once this initial rush of chemicals wanes (inevitable after six months to three years, depending on the individual and the circumstances), their relationship crumbles. They're soon off again, detectives seeking a quick fix to their forlorn feelings: another chemical high from infatuation.
These love junkies also have one other problem. The body builds up a tolerance to these chemicals. Then it takes more and more chemistry to bring that special feeling of love. They crave the intoxication of chemistry and infatuation.
Many adults go through life in a series of six-month to three-year relationships. If these love junkies stay married, they are likely to seek affairs to fuel their chemical highs.