Is it true love…or just a hormone-fueled crush? How to spot the difference

My Hormonology

Is it true love…or just a hormone-fueled crush? How to spot the difference

A friend recently wrote to update me on the sudden over-the-top super-in-love feelings she had for a guy she met just last week.

She was introduced to him during Week 2 of her cycle (the week that leads up to and includes ovulation). This is when her estrogen and testosterone were peaking–and, as any good follower of Hormonology knows, when these two hormones peak so does your desire for making a romantic and physical connection with someone else. So it was little surprise that my friend was sure he was “the one”.

Now that my pal is deep into Week 3 of her cycle (when estrogen dips and progesterone rises, which lowers your desire to make a romantic connection and triggers a drop in libido), it turns out her interest in her new crush has waned. Considerably. Now she thinks he’s too macho. Too loud. And he puts too much effort into his clothes. And she’s pretty sure she’s not going to go out with him again.

This isn’t the first friend to write to me with this same scenario. Over the years, I’ve had pals and colleagues tell me they thought for sure they’d found someone special–and they chalked up the fact that this sudden super-intense attraction just happened to occur during their Week 2 as mere coincidence….until their desire for their new love all-but-disappeared once their Week 3 rolled around.

Since this experience seems to be a fairly common one, it naturally leads to one all-important question:

With rising estrogen in the first half of your monthly cycle triggering romantic attractions that then fade as this hormone drops in the second half of your cycle, how can you know when you’re truly in love and someone is worth pursuing?

Here’s my answer:

When you feel the same passion for the person throughout all four weeks of your cycle.

If you’re still deeply longing for someone–especially when the person is not physically present–in your Week 3 despite rising progesterone dampening your desire for physical intimacy and romance, and if you’re still focusing only on the strengths of this person rather than his or her flaws in your premenstrual Week 4 despite plunging estrogen making you more critical, then your attraction is likely a deeper, more meaningful one.

[Photo: Leland Francisco]

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