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The ingredients for true and lasting love, part chemistry and part mystery are a baffling and often elusive combination. Love at its most basic stage is animal attraction, that indefinable something that pulls us toward another and makes us take notice of one particular person until he or she becomes the most significant object in our universe.

 It can begin with a look, when eyes meet and lock across a crowded room. The essence of it can be found in that someone’s unique scent (pheromones) that stir and awaken our insides and linger long after the parting. It can echo in softly spoken words that continue to resonate in our love-bitten brains as we grasp for some deeper significance in the most casual conversation.

The initial giddiness in the early stages of attraction, racing heart, flushed skin and sweaty palms are said to originate from a combination of chemicals released in the brain. Dopamine, the "pleasure chemical," produces a feeling of bliss. Norepinephrine, similar to adrenaline, produces the racing heart and excitement. When certain unique conditions are met, these combine to produce elation, intense energy, sleeplessness, cravings, loss of appetite and unfocused attention. Interestingly, this “rapture cocktail” is produced much more readily in men than in women due to a man’s more visual nature.

And while the conditions that first create that wondrous awareness of another are slightly different for each of us, love in this nascent state is always a fragile and precarious thing. If unacknowledged, suppressed or unrequited, it withers; if spurned, it is stomped into the ground; but if it is acknowledged and nurtured, this can bloom into a powerful force, a deeper romantic connection, and finally to true attachment or a desire for commitment that binds us heart and soul to another.

While the euphoria of infatuation is a wonderful, rapturous thing, it is also transitory, but even as this initial infatuation inevitably fades the attachment phase of love begins with new chemicals saturating the brain; endorphins (similar to an opiate) calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and provide a sense of peace, safety and tranquility. True love at this stage is warm, comfortable, soothing, it bathes our soul with a sense of joy, peace, and care unlike any other emotion. Moreover, if continually nurtured (physically and emotionally), it can last a lifetime.     

(Same couple 28 years later!)



  1. Those photos are wonderful! It definitely takes work to make love last. That's one reason I was interested in featuring a married couple in my newest book.

  2. AMEN!
    I should leave it at that but I have to tell you how much I enjoyed your blog and the photos. And of course say, Congratulations, on making the magic last!

  3. Awww... You hear all about the chemistry of attraction and that it wears off. You seldom hear that it can morph into a sustained benefit to the parties. My parents have been married 65 years, and they would say it just keeps getting better.
    Wonderful post!

  4. @ Shana-
    I LOVE the notion of a romance with a married couple and look forward to reading Lord and Lady Spy.
    I debated making this post so personal at first, but the theme was "fallin in love" and they say to write what you know... besides, 28 years is not so common anymore!
    The chemistry does change over time and that's what I think many couples fail to underdstand. Different does not mean it can't still be exciting but it just takes more effort than when the "chemicals" did it all. LOL!

  5. What an awesome post. Ladies,as I love all your books. I must say it is nice to know that after so many years love still exists...Our world now is so full of adulterous affairs on TV and such.
    I love all your stories..I have been married for fifteen years,this is my hubby's second marriage but so far our love has been tested and survived....
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful "Recipe For Love",I so agree..

  6. You are so right! My hero & I have been married 29years ourselves, & the 'opiate' is there -- we cannot be apart for more than a couple days -- we text, we email, we talk at least once a day, because we just need to have that connection.
    What a lovely and insightful post! Thanks Emery!

  7. @ April and Pamela-
    Isn't that why we all love to read romance? It lets us feel that wonderful rush all over again.

  8. Adored your post. Lasting love...isn't that the ultimate romance? I really enjoyed this and will be sharing it in cyberspace.

  9. Great blog, Emery. It reminded me of the movie: Love Potion 9 with Sandra Bullock and Tate Donovan. :)

    Love the pics!

  10. What beautiful pics! Thanks for the post, Emery. I love that guys get rapture-cocktailed more readily... Such fun for romantic heroines.

  11. The photos are great and the post is wonderful. I smiled at the mention of weight loss as a side effect of love. Ahh, if only that could last as long as the love :-)

  12. @ Barbara-
    It definitely helps us as authors to understand how powerful visual stimulation is in men!
    @ Georgie-
    It is interesting that most couples gain weight after the honeymoon period!

  13. Lovely, lovely post, Emery. I read it in lazy fashion and enjoyed every word. I believe it all, too.

  14. Absolutely, Em!

    I think many forget that the initial stage of attraction and all the chemical reactions are transitory. Many think once that is gone so is the relationship. Sad.

    Attraction is like highly charged magnets designed to draw a couple together, once that is done, then comes the creating of the glow of the force-field surrounding them. That protective bubble grows stronger and more solid and at the center is those two magnets still attached. If corrosion sets in it weakens the force-field made by the magnets.

    I enjoy stories where other characters return but reflect the warmth of love changing and settling. Seeing that glow of comfort and strength.

    Btw, I have to tell you, my mom is absolutely ecstatic you have a new book out. She's quite the horsewoman and has been all her life. She loves your books. I'm sending her your latest. :-)

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  15. @Amelia-
    Thank you!
    Great magnet allegory and the changing romantic relationship is also very much a part of FORTUNE'S SON as we see Philip and Sukey go through these various stages over their twelve tumultuous years together (and sometimes apart!). I'm glad your Mom enjoyed THS and promise she won't be disappoined with the second book!

  16. What a wonderful post and I jut loved the pictures. Congratulations on your long-lasting romance. Falling in love is easy, staying in love--not so much. It's always nice to see me and my DH aren't the only ones who have been together since before cell phones. LOL

  17. @ Robin-
    I do think we romance writers need to practice what we preach ;D

  18. What a beautiful post, Emery! It was great seeing you at M&M over the weekend. Continued success!

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