Does Me + You Equal Love?

What really gets the birds and the bees going? Do the birds have high cheekbones or killer legs? Or is it that the bees have a sparkling personality and a great sense of humor? Read on, for I am about to reveal the golden rules of attraction, as proven by science and illustrated by billions of sweethearts.

Attractiveness has long been a source of fascination for psychologists, scientists, therapists – and singletons. A lot of time and money has gone into researching what makes us fall in love. Luckily for you, I have condensed it into three bite-sized stages:Stage 1: Desire.

The male and female sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen are responsible for one’s libido. These substances get you in the mooooood [wink, wink!]. Research has also shown that men with higher levels of testosterone are perceived to be more attractive, while women with more oestrogen are deemed more desirable.

Stage 2:  Attraction.

The slight tingle that you get when they smile, the sweaty palms when that cute guy comes near – that’s attraction. We’ve all felt it, but why? Well, neurotransmitters (chemical substances that send impulses through the body) send signals to the brain, which release specific chemicals that make one feel ‘in love’. These chemicals also help to release stress and make one feel happier. Hence the loved-up, ‘cloud nine’ fuzz that you get when you fancy someone.

Stage 3:  Devotion.

Move away, commitmentphobes!  This is where it gets serious. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released while – ahem – in the throws of love. It is thought that this promotes lifelong bonding between sexual partners, and its use is also exhibited in the other 15% of primates that practice monogamy.

Biologically speaking, there is no ‘perfect’ man or woman. Studies have claimed that body and facial symmetry is found to be most attractive with both sexes. However, most scientists believe that the best way to a man’s heart is through his nose. Literally…

Things called pheromones act like a biochemical gateway to our immune system. Believe it or not, we tend to be attracted to people with a contrasting immune system to one’s own, making your potential babies less likely to get sick! This was proven in 1995, when Claus Wedekind of the University of Bern in Switzerland asked a group of women to smell some unwashed t-shirts worn by different men. What he discovered was that women consistently preferred the smell of men whose immune systems were different from their own.

So, next time you’re out on the tiles, pay attention to the shy guy in the corner. Who knows – he could be your biochemical soulmate!

Featured image via Getty Images

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