The Chemistry of Love

I did my project four of How To Say It” today and the title of my speech is The Chemistry of Love.  Here’s the script and the image is a snapshot of the outline for the evaluation speech of my evaluator, Pradeep.


I am going to play an audio clip, guess what these sounds are?

Pop pop pop pop pop…  [pause] Fireworks, you are right.  But these aren’t the fireworks we always see in the sky.


Good afternoon, the President, Toastmasters and guests.

Did you know when one sees a person one likes, the sight of that person could spark off fireworks in the secret admirer?

What about you, what’s your experience when you see the person you like?

Sweaty palms, racing heart, Butterflies in your stomach, shortness of breath… It’s as nerve-wrecking as giving a speech, like what Anthonius just mentioned and it’s an experience we all know too well.

But for some, it’s not only nervousness but also euphoria.

My friend told me how she felt when she saw the guy she carried a torch for.

“Over the moon”, “on cloud nine”, “on top of the world”…You could use these idioms to describe the state of extreme happiness I experienced, she gushed.

But it’s not only that, she could even feel fireworks exploding in her.

“Though I could not see the fireworks, I could tell that they must be as awesome and breathtaking as those we always see in national day parade, if not more spectacular”, she shared her experience with me.


When it comes to love it seems we are at the mercy of our biochemistry.

You might think love cannot be explained or described, but can only be felt. But it actually could be explained in scientific statement.

Love, like all phenomena in the universe, can be broken down and explained in the form of chemical reactions.

Have you ever wondered exactly what chemicals are involved in feeling love?

Today I’ll share three of the chemicals, they are<FLASH SLIDE> phenylethylamine, adrenaline and dopamine


Phenylethylamine [fe-nəl-ˌe-thəl-ˈa-ˌmēn]

As a scientist cynically pointed out, cupid’s arrows would never have been effective if they had not been first dipped in one unromantic chemical — phenylethylamine.

Phenylethylamine is one type of brain chemicals that communicates information throughout our brain and body. It relays signals between nerve cells to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest, for example.

This chemical is naturally present in the brain and helps focus, reduce stress, and regulate mood. It has the ability to release a stimulant hormone, that gives a boost to your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood flow.

It is also present in high levels in chocolate. Therefore, many a time, chocolate is referred to as acomfort food.  Phenylethylamine present in it gives the feeling of happiness and increases confidence levels.

You now have a legitimate excuse to indulge in chocolates.


Adrenaline [əˈdren·əl·ən]

When you catch sight of your beloved and your heart starts racing, that’s because of the adrenaline rush produced by your body.

When you are attracted to someone, the initial body response is stress. This stress releases the adrenaline leading to sweaty hands, raced heartbeat, and dry mouth. It also slows down your digestive system and you feel hungry.

It is the hormone responsible for the “fight-or-flight”response of the human nervous system to situations of stress.



It is the hormone responsible for the “high” one feels when one is in love. It helps to control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.


But there is a bigger question here. What triggers the release of these hormones?

Sweaty palms, Butterflies, raced heartbeat may be triggered due to the release of a few hormones, but the hormones at the end of the day are released due to the feeling within, which is higher than these mere chemicals.

And finally … how to fall in love

York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying why people fall in love.   He asked his subjects to carry out a three-step experiment:


Find a complete stranger.

Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.

Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.


He found that many of his couples felt deeply attracted after the 34-minute experiment. Two of his subjects later got married.

With an irresistible cocktail of chemicals, our brain entices us to fall in love. We believe we’re choosing a partner.

But we may merely be the happy victims of nature’s lovely plan.




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