When you stop to think about love, you most probably picture couples cuddling, holding hands, or simply walking off into the sunset together. In fact, you may picture yourself falling in love with that special someone of your dreams. You may even have a list of things you want in your perfect partner. What’s interesting is that there are a lot of biological factors that occur during “falling in love.” In today’s era, love is overly romanticized. Hence, you most probably aren’t aware of these scientific/true facts about love.
Falling in love can be exciting. The sky is bluer. Colors look brighter. Obstacles vanish. The whole world seems to be a more beautiful place because of the new-found love. Although all of this is true, it is also true that some of those feelings are occurring because of chemicals released in the brain. Although the science of falling in love isn’t very romantic, it is actually quite fascinating. Let’s take a look at these lesser-known facts about love that prove that love is no lesser than a super.
33 Love Facts That Will Amaze You
1. Love Facilitates A Longer Life
Along with love and marriage comes a longer life. According to a study that was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, married individuals were 58% less likely to die over an 8-year period, compared to the ones who never got married (1).
2. Love And Lust Affect Different Areas Of The Brain
One-night stands do not automatically result in a fairy tale romance. Studies show that being in love activates those regions in the brain that are connected to empathy (2). However, lust is connected to different areas of the brain – mainly those associated with motivation and reward.
3. Red Roses Are The Official Flowers Of Love
Have you ever thought why roses are the chosen flowers for lovers? That’s because roses are considered the absolute favorite of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
4. Love Really Makes You Do Crazy Things
Like making scenes, escaping from jail to see the person you love, or just acting plain silly. Do you know what happened to Joseph Andrew Dekenipp, who was a prisoner in Arizona? He broke out of jail just so he could meet his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day.
5. The World’s Longest Marriage Was For 86 Years
If you often complain that true love doesn’t exist, just look up Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher. This couple holds the record for the longest marriage in history, having been married for a staggering 86 years, 290 days.
6. Love Makes You More Empathetic And In Tune With Your Emotions
When you find the one who makes you strive to be the best version of yourself, your brain also responds accordingly. According to a study published in Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, a science journal, the social connection that comes with being in a happy relationship activates those parts of the brain that are responsible for emotional processing and selflessness (3).
7. Love Develops In Phases
Anyone who’s ever experienced love knows that it develops in phases. It increases in intensity gradually. It begins with an obsession that gradually mellows out into a more mature and understanding love.
8. Love Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Those who have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, know of its association with everything from stroke to heart disease. Fortunately, according to a study published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, being happily married can lead to lowered blood pressure (4). Go and kiss your partner for keeping you healthy!
9. Love Helps You Heal Faster
Having your hubby by your side when you are injured or sick doesn’t just get you emotional support. When partners share a close bond, injuries heal way faster when compared to those who are in an openly aggressive relationship with each other.
10. Men Fall In Love Faster Than Women
A study published in The Journal of Social Psychology states that men take the first step when they fall in love (5). They are mostly the ones who say “I love you” first in a relationship. This may be because females are more scared of being heartbroken.
11. Being In Love Reduces Headache Frequency By Half
If you have chronic headaches and have never found something to ease the pain, love might be what you have been looking for.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that 50% of participants having a headache reported their pain to be cut in half after around four hours when they were administered a nasal spray with a dose of oxytocin, the love hormone (6). An additional 27% stated that there was no pain at all after the same duration.
12. Love And Laughter Go Together
If you want to be closer to your partner, watch a new comedy series together. In a study published in Personal Relationships, researchers stated that couples who laughed together were more satisfied in their relationship and more supportive of each other when compared to those who were sharing a serious relationship (7).
13. Long Distance Can Strengthen A Relationship
People often say that long distance relationships can’t and don’t work, but research says otherwise. According to a study published in the Journal of Communication, long-distance relationships are not only as successful as regular relationships, but they are also better at building trust between partners (8).
14. Being In A Relationship Can Shape Your Personality In A Positive Way
Pessimistic people are known to change for the better when they find a little bit of love in their life. A study published in the Journal of Personality observed 245 young couples for around nine months (9). The scientists found that neurotic partners in a relationship became more self-confident and optimistic, thanks to all the positive experiences and emotions that come with being in a relationship.
15. Love Can Ease Chronic Pain
Love isn’t going to replace modern medicine any time soon. However, it can come in handy if you ever experience serious pain. In a study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers found that the warm and fuzzy feeling that love creates has the same response in the brain as strong painkillers do (10).
16. Cuddling Is Actually Good For You
There’s a good reason that couples love those snuggle sessions so much. Cuddling triggers the release of oxytocin, the happiness hormone, that betters your mood and increases your feeling of well-being. This phenomenon is so well-known that oxytocin is actually referred to as the “love hormone” or the “cuddling hormone.”
17. Love Is Chemically Addictive
Romantic love is a very powerful addiction. This is because the hormones that your brain releases when you fall in love or are in love are euphoric. In fact, you may get so high that it can make you feel addicted to love as well as to the person you are in love with.
18. Love Is The Number One Reason Why People Get Married
More than 60% of the world’s population cited love as the reason they got married. The rest stated that financial stability was also an important factor.
19. The Heartbeats Of Couples Synchronize
When you and your partner gaze into each other’s eyes, what’s really happening is that your heart rates are syncing up. This has been stated by scientists at the University of California (11). The researchers have found that the couple’s heart rates were almost identical. This may be because of the strong link between couples on both physical and emotional levels.
20. Animals Commit To Monogamous Relationships As Well
Humans are not the only species in the animal kingdom that have monogamous relationships. Wolves, seahorses, beavers, otters, and barn owls are just a few of the other species that mate for life.
21. Hugging Your Partner Can Be An Instant Stress Reliever
Feeling extremely stressed? Hug it out with your lover. According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, psychiatrists found that when couples hugged, they had increased levels of oxytocin in their bodies (12). As mentioned before, oxytocin lowers stress levels and boosts mood. If you are having a rough day, doctors prescribe a long, tight hug!
22. Falling In Love Feels Like Being On Drugs
According to a study, that feeling of joy and euphoria you experience when you fall in love is essentially the same feeling that drug users experience (13). Both incidents trigger the release of hormones like adrenaline, dopamine, and oxytocin, giving you a real high.
23. It Can Only Take Up To 4 Minutes To Feel Attracted To Someone
If you wish to make a good impression on a person, you only have about 4 minutes to do so. It is believed that it has more to do with the tone and speed of your voice and your body language than what you actually say.
24. Both Guys And Girls Must Have Required Testosterone Levels For Sexual Attraction
Yes, even girls have small amounts of testosterone in their bodies. Testosterone is responsible for creating desire as well as aggressive behavior – which actually pushes the person to pursue the object of this desire.
25. Being In Love Has Neurological Effects Same As That Of Cocaine
Being in love is almost like taking a dose of cocaine. Both experiences affect the brain in a similar way and trigger a similar sensation. Researchers have found that being in love can result in the production of several euphoria-inducing chemicals, which stimulate 12 areas of the human brain at the same time (14).
26. Couples Who Are Very Similar To Each Other Are Not Likely To Last
As everyone knows, opposites attract. Research also proves that this is at least partially true. Partners who are too similar or too different don’t last very long. There must be similarities, but there also have to be differences so that the two of you can learn from one another.
27. Heartbreak Is Real
There is evidence that severe traumatizing events, such as a divorce, death of a loved one, break-up, physical separation, cheating, or betrayal, can cause real physical pain in the area of the heart. This condition is known as Broken Heart Syndrome (15).
Intense emotional distress triggers the brain to release certain chemicals that weaken one’s heart, leading to shortness of breath and chest aches. The condition is so intense that it is often misdiagnosed as a heart attack. It affects women more often than men.
28. People Who Are In Love Have Chemical Reactions Similar To People With OCD
People in the early stages of love have lower levels of the hormone serotonin, which is directly associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. They also have higher levels of cortisol, which is associated with stress. This is very similar to those people who have OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
This explains why we don’t behave like ourselves when we fall for someone. It works the other way as well – people who have lower levels of serotonin tend to fall in love and get involved in sexual relationships quicker than others.
29. Butterflies In The Stomach Are Real – They Are Caused By Adrenaline
When you fall in love with someone, you can feel the butterflies dancing, flying, and fooling around in your tummy every time you see your special someone. They are caused due to adrenaline, which is released in your body as a flight or fight response.
30. Dilated Pupils Show That You Are Attracted To Someone
Darwin has stated that pupils expand during heightened focus and attention. This is true indeed, as this mostly occurs when people gaze at a beloved one or an object of desire, even if it is only a video or a picture. Moreover, people who have dilated pupils look more attractive to others as well.
31. People Are Attracted To Those With A Different Immune System
If this isn’t weird, we don’t know what is. This was observed during a study run by Claude Wedekind of the University of Switzerland. He had female test subjects smell worn T-shirts of men (16). They consistently preferred the smell of those men’s shirts whose immune systems were different than their own.
32. Some People Can’t Feel Love
Some people who claim never to have fallen in love or felt romantic love are affected by a condition called hypopituitarism, which is a rare disease that doesn’t allow people to feel the high of love.
33. Your Body Has A “Vein Of Love”
Why are engagement rings worn on the fourth finger of the left hand? That is because the ancient Greeks believed that that finger has the vena amoris, or the “vein of love,” that connects straight to the heart. So romantic!
Love and attraction are complex things and, at times, frankly weird. It can be difficult to navigate through the early feelings, so why not jump in totally and experience the high? When looking objectively at your love life, note the things you dislike, make plans to change them, and move forward. You have only got a single chance to live life on your own terms. You already have everything you need to achieve complete happiness and love in your life, so don’t be afraid of it. You just need to reach out and grab it. All the best!
- Cohabitation and U.S. Adult Mortality: An Examination by Gender and Race, Journal of Marriage and Family, Semantic Scholar.
- The neurobiological link between compassion and love, Medical Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The neural correlates of social connection. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Is There Something Unique about Marriage? The Relative Impact of Marital Status, Relationship Quality, and Network Social Support on Ambulatory Blood Pressure and Mental Health, Annals of Behavior Medicine, ResearchGate.
- Women and Men in Love: Who Really Feels It and Says It First? The Journal of Social Psychology, Taylor and Francis Online.
- Oxytocin and Migraine Headache, Headache, The Journal of Head and Face Pain, Wiley Online Library.
- Putting Laughter in Context: Shared Laughter as Behavioral Indicator of Relationship Well-Being, Personal Relationships, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Absence Makes the Communication Grow Fonder: Geographic Separation, Interpersonal Media, and Intimacy in Dating Relationships, Journal of Communication, Wiley Online Library.
- Recent Decreases in Specific Interpretation Biases Predict Decreases in Neuroticism: Evidence From a Longitudinal Study With Young Adult Couples, Journal of Personality, Wiley Online Library.
- Viewing Pictures of a Romantic Partner Reduces Experimental Pain: Involvement of Neural Reward Systems, PLOS One.
- Assessing cross-partner associations in physiological responses via coupled oscillator models, Emotion, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Oxytocin and Social Bonds: The Role of Oxytocin in Perceptions of Romantic Partners’ Bonding Behavior, Psychological Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Addicted to love: What is love addiction and when should it be treated?, Philosophy, psychiatry, & psychology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Neuroimaging of Love: fMRI Meta‐Analysis Evidence toward New Perspectives in Sexual Medicine, The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Wiley Online Library.
- ‘Broken-heart syndrome’… Be aware.., Indian Journal of Anesthesia, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- MHC-dependent mate preferences in humans, The Royal Society.
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