Love is a driving force for humans, often leading to both happiness and sadness. There are many types of love, but most people are trying to find that ‘perfect’ romantic relationship with the person of their dreams. For some, the ones you love are the most meaningful element of life.
Some people believe the ability to have what is considered a healthy, loving relationship, is not something we are born with . Research suggests that the ability to form this type of relationship begins in infancy, in a child’s earliest experiences with a caregiver who reliably meets the infant’s needs for food, care, protection, stimulation, and social contact. Those relationships are not destiny, but they appear to establish patterns of relating to others.
Failed relationships happen for many reasons, and the failure of a relationship is often a source of great psychological anguish. Most of us have to work consciously to master the skills necessary to make them flourish.
Love isn’t exclusive to humans, but we do have some of the most unique ways of experiencing and expressing the mighty emotion.
Here are 42 lovestruck facts about love.
Though we’d like to think we’re unique from the rest of the animal kingdom, we’re not the only animal to mate monogamously. Wolves, gibbons, albatrosses and even termites have been known to mate for life. No word on the statistics of animal divorce rates.
First impressions are super important, especially knowing that it only takes 4 minutes to decide whether or not you like someone. It’s not just what you say either, your body language, tone and speed of voice are all factored in when making the decision.
When two lovers stare into each other’s eyes, their heartbeats will synchronize after about 3 minutes. That said, that’s a long time to be staring into someone’s eyes…
Falling in love is almost like doing the drug Cocaine, as similar parts of the brain are triggered and affected by the chemical reaction (love). We don’t condone Cocaine, but we certainly condone falling in love.
38. Cuddle Cure
Oxytocin, the love drug, is released by the body when two people are cuddling. Research has found that a dose of Oxytocin decreases the pain of a headache significantly. Next time you get into a fight with your lover and you’ve got a headache, cuddle it out.
People will often fall in love with and form relationships with those that are of a similar level of attractiveness. Even if one person in a relationship is more physically attractive than the other, the other most likely compensates with other socially and culturally desirable traits.
36. Too Close
Couples that are too similar tend to not last very long. The old adage opposites attract rings true, as researchers found that similarities will help form a foundation, but if both parties cannot learn from each other, they tend to part ways sooner rather than later.
35. Heart Break
Heartbreak is very real. When experiencing the loss of a loved one, divorce, or betrayal, the brain releases chemicals that weaken the heart, and result in chest pain and shortness of breath. The condition (broken heart syndrome) affects women more often, and can be misdiagnosed as a heart attack.
34. Limited Time Only
Researchers suspect that romantic love lasts for about a year (tops). Romantic love is what makes you experience sweaty palms, butterflies, and euphoria. After the romantic love fades, it’s followed by what’s called committed love.
It doesn’t even last close to that long… if you hit an iceberg halfway across the Atlantic.
People in the early stages of love have lower levels of serotonin, which is associated with happiness levels, and higher levels of cortisol, which is associated with stress levels. These levels share a striking similarity with those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which explains why people behave so differently when they’re just falling.
Research has shown that thinking of love influences creativity and abstract thoughts, as well as long-term planning. Thinking of sex however influences immediate decision making and attention to momentary details.
There are four types of love: romantic, companionate, fatuous, and consummate. Each type of love is made up with 2 of the 3 factors needed for love: passion, intimacy, and commitment. Romantic love is a combination of passion and intimacy, companionate is intimacy and commitment, and fatuous is passion and commitment. Consummate love, the strongest of the four, is the only one to be comprised of all three (passion, commitment, and intimacy).
30. Face Time
Research has shown that those looking for short-term flings care more about their partners body than their face. However, those looking for long-term relationships will take a nice face over a nice body. There’s plenty of fish in the shallow sea.
29. Hand Holding
Next time you’re feeling stressed, try holding a loved one’s hand. Research has shown that doing so can decrease stress levels, and even relieve physical pain. Looks like love and pain-relief go hand-in-hand.
Expressing gratitude toward those you love will result in an immediate spike in happiness levels. Now that’s something to be grateful for.
The butterflies in the stomach sensation you get when you’re just falling in love is a result of your body releasing adrenaline. It’s closely related to our fight-or-flight response, letting us know something good or bad is about to happen. Sometimes it’s both!
26. Look At Me
When looking at a loved one, even if it’s just a picture, the pupils of the looker will dilate. Coincidentally, people with dilated pupils are perceived to be more attractive. No wonder people notice you the moment you’re in a relationship.
25. Love Matters
A 75-year-long study by Harvard found that patients happiness and life fulfilment almost exclusively revolved around love, or the search for love. So even if you never find it, simply looking for it will lead to a happier life.
24. Our Secret
Consciously trying to keep a romantic relationship a secret will heighten the romantic feelings both parties feel. So go ahead, hold off on making that Facebook relationship status for a few more days.
23. Lucky Number Seven
On average, people will fall in love a total of 7 times before finally getting married. That includes love that you never get to act on.
22. Eyes Up Here
Over his lifetime, the average male will spend an entire year looking at women. Don’t quote us next time you get caught staring, though.
21. Self Care
People with higher self-esteem tend to have longer, more successful relationships than those without. If you can’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
20. Slow Down
Statistically, men are more likely to say “I love you” in a relationship than women. Men are also more likely to be more emotionally affected by break-ups than women are. Who said men weren’t in touch with their emotions?
19. Long Life
Men who kiss their wives in the morning are thought to live up to 5 years longer. That’s 5 more years to kiss their wives in the morning!
18. Sweet Sweat
Historically, human sweat has been used to make love-attracting perfumes, and even love-potions. Though sweat contains pheromones that are key ingredients in attraction, the efficacy of sweat in perfumes and potions is questionable at best.
Some people are incapable of experiencing love. The condition is known as hypopituitarism. The disease doesn’t just limit your ability to love though, so if you’re feeling incapable of love, maybe throw that into Google and make sure you’re not feeling other symptoms. The condition can also be managed with hormone replacement, putting love back on the menu.
16. In The Dumps
Getting dumped from a relationship will often lead to “frustration attraction,” which causes the person getting dumped to fall deeper in love with the person doing the dumping. Talk about a scumbag brain!
15. Love At First…
Seminal fluid, the liquid surrounding semen contains the chemical dopamine, a chemical associated with love. It’s possible that having seminal fluid absorbed into your bloodstream will speed up the falling in love process.
The word Lesbian is derived from the Greek island of Lesbos, where poetess Sappho composed her famous poems for her famous female lovers. #OneLove
Some people believe that symmetry is how our brains judge beauty. A symmetrical faced man will begin having sex four years earlier, have more sex, affairs, and lovers than those with asymmetry in their faces. Women will also experience more orgasms with symmetrically faced men.
12. Luck Of The Irish
The four leaf clover is a symbol of luck, but for the Irish it’s also involved in a love ritual. In certain parts of Ireland, if a woman eats a four leaf clover while thinking of a man, the man will fall in love with her.
11. Don’t Judge
When looking at a new love, the human brain suppresses the parts of the brain associated with social judgement. No one wants to think they could fall in love with an awful person.
10. The Chase
Romantic situations involving obstacles and hurdles are crucial elements to falling in love, and determine how intensely you fall in love. The longer the chase, the more intense the feelings of love and longing become.
9. Food Porn
Scientists suspect that the advent of cooked food led to a healthier food, which led to bigger brains and the ability to woo potential lovers with new forms of linguistics and artistic flair. Thanks food!
Now that we’ve evolved big brains, we can’t start adapting to be Casa Nova’s of Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
8. Picture This
It’s not just cuddling that releases Oxytocin into your body. Research has shown that simply looking at a picture of a loved one will have similar pain-killing effects to cuddling. When exposed to distracting word games or pictures of loved ones, patients’ pain diminished with the pictures, but not with the word games.
7. The Dark Side
It is estimated that 40–70% of female homicides are committed by their lovers and spouses.
Nearly 60% of married men said they were unfaithful to their spouses at one point or another. Compare that to only 40% of married women. This information was compiled through a survey, so dishonesty should not be ruled out for either group.
5. Four Year Itch
Most marriages around the world tend to end around the 4 year mark. The next big milestone to overcome after year 4 is year 8. Get through those two and it’s smooth sailing (probably not).
4. Forever Young
On average, men will marry someone 3 years younger than them. If those men get married a second time, they tend to marry someone 5 years younger than them. If those same men get married a third time, they’ll usually marry someone 8 years or more younger than them.
Some believe the urge to fall in love, like sex and hunger, is a biological drive that we are (for the most part) born with. We’re lovers, not fighters!
2. Danger Lover
You’re more likely to fall in love with someone if the first time you meet is during a dangerous situation. Explains the whole “women love bad boys” theory.
1. What Women Want
Women around the world tend to fall in love with tall, funny, and successful men, as well as men with defined cheekbones and strong jawbones. All of these are indicators of high levels of testosterone, the confidence hormone.
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