Bought the latest issue of National Geographic yesterday. The cover story, Love -- The Chemical Reaction, has plenty of food for thought. The online edition of the magazine gives only a gist of the story, so love specialists might have to buy a copy. But I shall quote the blurbs, which should suffice for the lay lover:
Love and obsessive-compulsive disorder have a similar chemical profile. Translation: Love and mental illness may be difficult to tell apart. Translation: Don't be a fool. Stay away.
Studies around the world confirm that passion usually ends. No wonder some cultures think selecting a lifelong mate based of something so fleeting is folly.
Novelty triggers dopamine in the brain, which stimulates feelings of attraction. So riding a roller coaster on a first date is more likely to lead to second and third dates.
If dopamine induces romance, according to the article, a hormone called oxytocin leads to long-term attachment. So if you are looking for a lasting relationship/happiness, you need plenty of oxytocin. And if you run out of it, there are ways to produce it. Here's how, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher: "Massage. Make love. These things trigger oxytocin and thus make you feel much closer to your partner."
My conclusion: if you seek a permanent place in your partner's heart, the route to take is through the genital. Give him/her good sex and the two of you will live happily for ever after.