The A-Z of love: J is for journey

The A-Z of love: J is for journey



22:23 GMT, 15 April 2012

James Kerr and Matthew Johnstone celebrate the A-Z of love. This week, J is for journey.

The journey to true love begins at a chemical cocktail party, where testosterone and oestrogen mingle and merge in a phase the scientists and the devil call lust. It doesn’t last.

Instead, we either break up or enter the second stage of our journey, the one scientists call attraction.

Go the distance: Learn how to make love last

Go the distance: Learn how to make love last

Adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin strike us incapable of rational thought — we are lovestruck. Some 18 or so months later, we suddenly and painfully begin to see flaws, foibles, the failings.

It feels like we’ve fallen out of love. If you are a Hollywood star, this is where you file for divorce. If not, this is the beginning of the most important stage of your journey together.

Patience and compassion, respect and intimacy, oxytocin and vasopressin come into play now, creating bonds that last a lifetime.

And this is where true love is really found. So here is how to make love go the distance:

STARE INTO EACH OTHER'S EYES: Psychologist Dr Arthur Aron believes generating love is as easy as sharing intimacies for 30 minutes, then staring deeply into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Chemicals do the rest.

HAVE SEX: Arousal causes the release of the ‘love drug’, oxytocin, which evokes feelings of contentment, calmness, bonding and trust. To make love last, make love.

DO NEW THINGS TOGETHER: The excitement of a new experience — like taking a journey together —releases dopamine into our system, enhancing attraction. Truly, novelty is the spice of love.