Hormonal release when with crush and in love

Fluttering butterflies in your tummy and Adrenaline rush in your body makes you tremble when you see your crush. Your body undergoes a fascinating number of changes. It’s an intense experience. The feelings and emotions just won’t quit. The main reasons for this feeling are the hormone and neurotransmitters- Serotonin, Cortisol, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Oxytocin. The neurotransmitters which keep you stable drop to a considerable level, and the ones that excite you, increase. These hormones, in combination with others, are responsible for the emotions you feel when in love. 

Serotonin: It is a mood stabilizer. The levels of Serotonin decrease at the moment, causing the increase of other neurotransmitters responsible for the emotional feeling in one. 

Cortisol: It is a stress hormone. It gives you the Adrenaline rush when you see your crush. The heartbeat tends to increase so much that it starts pounding out of your chest.

Dopamine: The reward center of the brain gives a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. The feeling is an addiction; you don’t seem to quit on a crush. The body starts craving for Dopamine and is responsible for addiction. Even after officially changing your relationship status, you still have a considerable level of a crush on your partner. 

Norepinephrine: It seems to increase when you see your crush. It makes you excitable at the moment. It gives a feeling of wanting to talk to your crush and gives you the courage to initiate a conversation, as well. 

Oxytocin: The love hormone also plays a vital role in how the brain reacts when you see your crush.

With the hormone alterations, you begin to observe changes in you.


From the moment you enter into the same room, and you see him from across the room, your crush has your undivided and focused attention all the time. You may sometimes get caught staring at him, which makes you feel like a creep. That’s just the neurotransmitter Dopamine and norepinephrine doing the work for you. Though you have many other tasks that need your focus, your brain denies working on them. You start observing all their actions and interests. That’s when you start changing your priorities.

Change in priority

You may not like doing a particular thing or playing a specific game, but the moment you know that your crush likes it, the next morning, you start seeing yourself playing the game or doing the particular task. You observe to see your priorities and opinions change over time. 

Intrusive thinking

You sometimes start becoming so obsessive that you day-dream. You go a step further, imagining your life with him/her. The excitable hormones also make you wait for his/her message all day & night. You can’t stop doodling about them in front of your friends. This gives you a feeling of euphoria. Just the thought of your crush makes you happy. The reality is better than your dreams, and you start staying up late because you can’t fall asleep.

Intense energy 

When you have a great conversation with your crush the whole night, the energetic neurotransmitters work with you, letting you stay up all night. Though you didn’t have enough sleep, you start your day all too energetic with a feeling of “it-was-so-worth-it!” The dopamine-the the reward center of the brain- is responsible for happiness, pleasure, and satisfaction. It makes you want more of it, making you stay up all other nights, waiting for a text/call from your crush.

Although a crush lasts for a short period, and you will see yourself moving on to some other person starting the process all over again. 

How does the brain react when we fall in love?

When people tend to fall in love, certain neurotransmitters increase, and specific others drop. Such as Cortisol rises when they are nervous; Oxytocin increases when they are amorous, women’s Testosterone increases, causing her to be aggressive and a man’s drop causing him to be passive.

Although we know what changes, what we don’t know is when and how. The answer to this question was not easy to find out by human studies as there are not many volunteers who could volunteer the researchers by letting them study their brain when in love. The next best thing to study love was by animal studies. The prairie vole is a kind of mammal that falls in love and exclusively with the same species(similar to humans).

The study

The first observed was that the Dopamine level raised when they were in love. But the researchers couldn’t conclude that only Dopamine is responsible for humans as it is released during many activities. Further research resulted in the presence of Oxytocin. The result was found to be true in females but is not possible in males due to Testosterone. They looked for another and found a similar neurotransmitter to that of Oxytocin and found Vasopressin.

They finally concluded that Dopamine and Oxytocin are responsible for a woman to fall in love, and in a man, it is Dopamine, Vasopressin, and Testosterone. 

Changes in neurotransmitters: men vs. women

Dopamine increases when a man/woman wins the grand prize of love. It is present in high amounts when they are happy and dating. In females, Oxytocin, the love hormone, increases during cuddling, trust, and sex. In males, Vasopressin rises when they are sexually stimulated or dating a woman they are sexually interested in. But Vasopressin tends to drop when they are having sex, unlike Oxytocin.

When a study was conducted in 3 groups of men – married, committed, and single; they found out that single men have high Testosterone while the married and committed men have low. It means his Testosterone dropped before his marriage when he was committed. Testosterone is inhibitory to Oxytocin.

In a study, when men went hunting and killed an animal, their Testosterone raises, but while returning home after 8-9 hours, their Oxytocin starts increasing. It also means that when men are away from their families for long, they need Oxytocin to reconnect with their families.

This study means women take a more significant risk and fall in love when she has sex, and men fall in love when he commits.

Note: It’s not just the neurotransmitters that are important; it needs receptors. We get the receptors with the presence of neurotransmitters, which in turn tell our body to build the receptors. Essentially, the neurotransmitters should be high enough to create the receptors and then get them filled.

Related: The world of depression is, in fact, GREY

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