The Physical Things That Happen To You When You Start Falling For Someone

by Alison Segel

Every time I'm falling in love with a guy, I lose weight, and he gains some.

I don't know what it's about, but it always seems to happen without fail.

This guy who originally seemed healthy and fit all of a sudden starts munching down on donuts and ice cream bars, while I suddenly lose my appetite completely.

And I, a person who typically has a kind of low libido, needs to be having sex constantly with my new boyfriend. Like, I've had guys go, "This is too much sex for me to handle."

Weird thing to hear from a man.

It seems like when we start falling for someone, we go through actual biological and physical changes, in addition to the "waiting by the phone for them to call" stuff.

I asked Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify and creator of Love + Co, about the physical things that happen when you start falling in love with someone, broken down into stages from when you first start dating all the way to being in love.

1. Attraction

Get grossed out when your guy's hands are all sweaty on a date?

Don't be. According to Bunn, it's actually a compliment.

She says,

Want to know if your date is interested? Check for two things: presence and attention. If your [date] digs you, they will be present and attentive, as their brain reacts to making new connections required to form memories. Also, look for immediate biological responses to attraction, like dilated pupils, sweaty hands, and slurred or interrupted speech, and physical signs, such as eye contact.

2. Dating

Bunn says you may feel that you're stressed out and feel like jumping into the sack more than usual when you enter the dating stage.

"During the beginning stages of dating, our amygdala (what controls fear) is in high-gear, making quick judgments to keep us safe. This is one of many reasons daters quickly jump into sex. It lowers our stress!" she explains.

Another good way to deal with that stress is meditation: "A safer way to reduce our triggers? I encourage clients to meditate through apps like Headspace, which literally shrink our stress," Bunn says.

3. Falling In Love

Physically, it turns out that men and women fall in love differently. And I was right about the gaining weight thing!!!

Bunn explains this phenomenon:

When a man starts to fall in love, his testosterone levels drop. They may feel fatigued, moody, and you may witness a reduced sex drive, weight gain, or muscle loss. You may witness him in sheer euphoria, then quickly pivot to a state of anxiety or despair. For men, falling in love can feel quite deflating, which is why many men 'ghost' or leave when things are getting deeper. But here's your biology lesson for the day, ladies: Once he commits, he commits!

I knew all those guys who ghosted me were actually in love with me! I knew it!!

Bunn continues, "As for women, we also experience similar manic emotions while falling in love, but the most common effects are loss of appetite, insomnia, and an abnormally high use of Emojis."

4. Being In Love

Being in love feels like being on drugs. Don't do drugs. Do love.

Would you buy that T-shirt from me? Let me know before I open up my Etsy shop.

Bunn explains,

Now, when we are truly in love, we're all on 'drugs.' Not only are our dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin levels at all-time highs, but our amygdala — our fear — is 'gone.' We lose our judgment, put on our rose-colored glasses, and ride the crazy, little ride called Love for nearly two years. The feelings we have during this period are as addictive as cocaine. It's what I like to call 'temporary insanity.'

Love is addictive as cocaine!  That is insane. Love is insane!

Are you in love? Can you identify what stage you are in? And should I make those "don't do drugs, do love" T-shirts? Just throwing it out there.