Romantic love, a physical, mental, and emotional condition, is temporarily heightened by the amphetamine-like chemical phenylethlamine, which is released in the presence of a new partner. Phenylethlamine functions as an aphrodisiac, explaining the superhuman feelings that overcome a lover at the start of a new relationship. A person may experience a sustained high for weeks, months, or even longer. Anthropologists tell us that women are especially affected, and may remain in this state for up to four years.
It eventually dissipates, and once it’s gone, couples are faced with the difficult challenge of maintaining a relationship with their own brain chemistry. This can create quite a struggle for many couples.