The love, intimacy, connectedness and passion that new couples typically experience are four of the greatest feelings available to mankind. Sadly, as most relationships progress, one or all of these feelings deteriorate, and the result is either relationship dissatisfaction or termination. The good news is that all these feelings are fueled by chemicals in your body and stimulating these natural love chemicals can restore the sizzle in your relationship. Read-on to discover the most important chemicals for lifelong romantic love, and how to boost them.
PEA (phenylethylamine) is the best-known, naturally occurring love chemical and it is released in largest amounts when you first fall in love. It promotes feelings of infatuation, focused attention, giddiness, uncertainty, euphoria and insatiable desire for your new partner. PEA also intensifies the action of the following 4 important love chemicals:
- Dopamine – This is the pleasure and reward seeking neurotransmitter. It increases your senses, energy and levels of arousal; and plays a key role in orgasms. It also increases testosterone, the benefits of which we will explore later.
- Serotonin – This neurotransmitter enhances mood and impulse control and promotes feelings of wellbeing.
- Norepinephrine – This is a stimulant similar to adrenaline and can cause a loss of appetite, excitement, racing heart, sweaty palms, and an inability to sleep.[i] It also enhances alertness and the ability to recall even the most minute details about your significant other.
- Acetylcholine – This neurotransmitter plays a key role in arousal, passion, focus, and memory.
How to Boost PEA
Unfortunately, PEA wears off after a period of time with a new partner, which can range from 3 weeks to 3 years, and lust and passion often fade with it. PEA can be addictive for some, causing them to bounce from relationship-to-relationship in seek of a PEA high. And the common adage “I love him/her, but I am no longer in love with him/her” is usually a result of a PEA decline. The most important thing you can do here is to recognize that PEA levels will inevitably decline in any relationship, and it is not a reflection of your partner or relationship quality. It is also essential that you formulate an emotional bond during the initial stages of a romance, because that bond is what will keep you together once the PEA-induced butterflies and euphoria fade. You can also get a mild PEA boosting effect by consuming phenylalanine rich foods such as cocoa, cacao nibs, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands and it plays a key role in sexual desire, arousal, and function. One of the reasons why DHEA is so important for a sexually healthy relationship is because it is a precursor to all of the sex hormones, including testosterone (which plays a leading role in libido sexual functioning).[ii] Testosterone can give you the drive and confidence to pursue your partner in the early stages of love, and it helps keeps the passion alive in long-term love. DHEA also converts into androstenedione, which is an extremely potent pheromone found naturally in sweat.[iii] Pheromones are powerful catalysts of sexual chemistry and they play a key role in who you are attracted to, and who you attract.
How to Boost DHEA
A decline in DHEA is one of the reasons why sex often becomes less of a priority in aging adults and restoring youthful levels can dramatically enhance your sex life. Because DHEA is produced in the adrenal glands, supporting adrenal health with stress reduction, high quality sleep, and the elimination of refined carbs and sugar can help to increase DHEA. An adrenal boosting supplement such as Adrenal DMG can also help increase DHEA and it’s especially useful if you experience ongoing fatigue. Healthy fats such as coconuts, avocadoes, olives, nuts and seeds also help increase the production of DHEA. For a more pronounced and immediate effect, you can use Testro Genesis Cream which contains DHEA and a blend of other essential nutrients for sexual health.
Oxytocin is an essential chemical for monogamy and lasting love. It allows you to bond and connect with your partner and creates a strong sense of emotional and physical intimacy. It has natural antidepressant properties and is often referred to as the ‘cuddle hormone’ because it is released through touch. It is responsible for the wonderful, relaxed feeling and sense of wellbeing you experience after a massage, a long hug, or a snuggle session with your significant other. Oxytocin is also released in large amounts during orgasm and is required for women to have multiple orgasms. Women naturally release much higher levels of oxytocin, which is why many women find it difficult to not get emotionally involved with someone they are sexually intimate with.
How to Boost Oxytocin
Sexual frequency often declines as a relationship progresses and many couples lose touch with the need for physical affection, touching, and intimacy. A reduction of orgasms and lack of touch dramatically reduces oxytocin levels and can make you feel disconnected from your partner. The disconnectedness often leads to a further decline in sexual activity and touch, which creates a negative cycle that can sabotage a relationship and/or cause a person to seek love from an outside source. Fortunately, the solution is simple — all you have to do is make hand holding, eye contact, hugging, kissing, and cuddling a priority, and commit to having more sex. Even if you don’t feel like it initially, having sex is scientifically proven to increase the desire to have sex, so just go for it!
Vasopressin is another chemical that plays a vital role in attachment, bonding, commitment and monogamy, especially in men. Elevating vasopressin can turn even the most promiscuous alpha male into a possessive, one-woman-man. It takes approximately 30 consecutive days of sexual intimacy for vasopressin to kick-in for a man, and once it does the urge to bond with the woman who releases it becomes irresistible. Vasopressin causes a man to let his guard down, quashes the urge to wander and be with other females, and makes him crave the women he is with.[iv] It also causes him to unconsciously view his woman territorially and to associate her with ‘home’.[v] Not surprisingly, studies show if a man or woman has fewer receptor sites for oxytocin and vasopressin, it can interfere with their ability and desire to form a monogamous relationship.
How to Boost Vasopressin
Vasopressin is one the less well-known love chemicals and aside from having sex for an extended length of time, there has not been much research on how to increase it or stimulate its release. However, preliminary evidence suggests sauna, the consumption of salt (be careful with this one since most Americans already consume too much), and exercise may help raise vasopressin levels.[vi] Supplements that contain Rhodiola, Gingko, and/or Berberine, may also help increase vasopressin.[vii][viii][ix]