Though parents may want to postpone the dating years indefinitely, a teen will likely fall in love with one of his peers some day. Parents may find themselves wondering if a teen's new romance is love or a fleeting crush. While you may not approve of your teen's other half, understanding the science of love may help you appreciate your teen's feelings.
There are several factors that may cause us to become attracted to someone, and then to eventually fall in love. Teens may find one another not only physically attractive, but your teen may be attracted to someone's voice or what they have to say, according to At-Bristol, a science center in England. It is possible that teens are, at least on a subconscious level, also deciding if they would like their future children to have a potential mate's genes, according to the BBC. Researchers are also investigating the possibility that pheromones, odorless chemicals humans produce, may also play a role in human attraction.
During the initial stages of love, a teen's body is flooded with testosterone and estrogen, according to the Orlando Science Center. During the second stage of love, your teen may experience an increase in hormones like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. During the last stage of love, your teen's oxytocin and vasopressin levels increase.
The first stage of love, when testosterone and estrogen levels rise, prompt your teen to start looking for a potential mate, according to At-Bristol. As your teen enters the second stage of love, she may show classic signs of obsession, like spending all of her time with her new boyfriend or pining for him when they are separated, according to the BBC. Sleeplessness may increase and appetite may decrease during this stage. During the final stage of love, attachment and bonding increase, according to KidsHealth.org. Vasopressin and oxytocin work to keep humans bonded and in love over the long term.
During the later teen years, love can be a serious commitment like that seen in adults, according to KidsHealth.org. During the earlier teen years, love may be more about having fun and getting to know someone else, or it could be a status symbol to show off to peers.
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