Long-Term Pairs Flunk Chemistry

Cuddle hormones that replace initial sizzle aren't so bad, says study
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Feb 11, 2008 10:45 AM CST
A study at the University of Pisa finds that cuddle hormones take over after two years.    (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Romeo and Juliet may have been the greatest lovers of all time, but that may have had more to do with the romance's brevity than that star-crossed-lovers thing, according to an Italian study that says sex chemistry fizzles after 2 years. "Love molecules" like neutrophins are sky high in the early stages of romance, then make way for cuddle hormones when a relationship stabilizes.

"If lovers swear their feelings to be everlasting, the hormones tell a different story," said the lead scientist. Another Italian study found similar results: The chemical messenger known as nerve growth factor spikes when Cupid's arrows first hits, returning to normal as soon as 12 months later. The results could suggest "that what happens first is the best bit," one biochemist told the BBC, "but that simply isn't true."