Love ain’t nothing but just some chemical reactions in the brain. So maybe you could simulate that feeling with the right combo of chemicals? Scientists say it’s a little more complicated than that, because love is made up of several interactions that produce different feelings, so it’s hard to synthesize the whole big four-letter word, but you can simulate each part of it separately, as discussed in a recent article in Vice.

Here’s how those eggheads lay it out: Love is defined in three categories, tingly excitement, really liking someone and the need to cuddle. So here’s the chemical equivalents.

Tingly Excitement

Butterflies in the stomach come from phenylethylamine. You can buy 200g of phenylethylamine for just over $15 but it doesn’t work in a pill form. Adderall however can be found much easier. It gives you that good kind of nervous energy you get when you first meet someone you’re into.

Need to Cuddle

Endorphins are responsible for this feeling, but you can’t just pop a Vicadin and get that same feeling. If you want to simulate the need to cuddle someone, you would need to take oxytocin, AKA the cuddle hormone. This is also widely available, but the danger of it is that it has complicated side effects. It makes you feel comforted, but also makes you hostile. So you become an angry cuddler.

Really Liking Someone

MDMA is certainly the one if you want to really like someone. When you take MDMA, you feel an overwhelming urge to text and call everyone you care about. It stimulates affection by producing the hormone prolactin, the same hormone that parents experience when they form bonds with their children. Except parents can still get out of bed without wanting to die the next morning.

Natalie