Did you know that love actually is blind? And that men are more likely to say “I love you” before their female partner does? Neither did we, until we started researching the wonderful and mysterious world of falling in love and having feelings for another human being. Love hold so much space not only in our lives, but in our psychology, in our biology, and in our history. Here, we’ve outlined 50 facts about love that will help you to understand it, and maybe even find it in your own life.
1. Eye contact is key.
Some extraordinary research has found that couples who are in love and bond in a romantic relationship synchronize their heart rates after gazing into each others’ eyes for three minutes.
2. Love works fast.
It only takes up to 4 minutes to decide whether you like someone or not.
3. Love can be addictive.
Falling in love is much like taking a dose of cocaine, as both experiences affect the brain similarly and trigger a similar sensation of euphoria. Research found that falling in love produces several euphoria-inducing chemicals that stimulate 12 areas of the brain at the same time.
4. There’s a reason why cuddling feels so good.
Oxytocin, the so-called love or cuddle hormone, is produced during an embrace or cuddle.
5. Your heart can actually break.
Research has provided evidence that intense, traumatizing events, such as a break-up, divorce, loss of a loved one, physical separation from a loved one, or betrayal can cause real physical pains in the area of one’s heart. This condition is called the Broken Heart Syndrome.
6. Biologically, your love changes with time.
It is estimated that romantic love, which is linked with euphoria, dependence, sweaty palms, butterflies and alike, only lasts about a year. After that first year begins the so-called “committed love” stage. The transition is linked with elevated neurotrophin protein levels in newly formed couples.
7. Love goes hand in hand with stress.
Studies show that people at an early stage of love have lower levels of serotonin, which is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being, and higher levels of cortisol, associated with stress.
8. Priorities change when looking for a long term companion.
There’s evidence that when looking for a fling, the body wins over the face on a physical attraction basis. The opposite is true, however, for those who are looking for a long-term relationship partner.
9. Feelings make life that much sweeter.
Researchers looked at a group of people, and found that those who were thinking about love said a specific kind of food was sweeter than those thinking about jealousy or something neutral.
10. Some people can’t feel love.
Some individuals who claim never to have felt romantic love suffer from hypopituitarism, a rare disease that doesn’t allow a person to feel the rapture of love.
11. Your body has a “vein of love.”
Engagement rings are often worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancient Greeks maintained that that finger contains the vena amoris, or the “vein of love,” that runs straight to the heart.
12. Sometimes, your emotions play tricks on your heart.
Getting dumped often leads to “frustration attraction,” which causes an individual to love the one who dumped him or her even more.
13. Love is chaos.
The enduring symbol of love, Cupid (or Eros) is said to have come from Chaos (“The Yawning Void”) and represents the primitive forces of love and desire.
14. ‘Love’ is a word derived from Sanskrit.
The term “love” is from the Sanskrit lubhyati, meaning “desire.”
15. The parent trap.
Some psychologists argue that we fall in love with someone who is similar to the parent with whom we have unresolved childhood issues, unaware we are seeking to resolve this childhood relationship in adulthood.
16. Add a little adventure to your life.
Studies show that if a man meets a woman in a dangerous situation (and vice versa), such as on a trembling bridge, he is more likely to fall in love with her than if he met her in a more mundane setting, such as in an office.
17. Sometimes, timing really is everything.
Timing significantly influences love. Individuals are more likely to fall in love if they are looking for adventure, craving to leave home, lonely, displaced in a foreign country, passing into a new stage of life, or financially and psychologically ready to share themselves or start a family.
18. Women like testosterone.
Women around the world are more likely to fall in love with partners with ambition, education, wealth, respect, status, a sense of humor, and who are taller than they are. Women also prefer distinctive cheekbones and a strong jawbone, which are linked to testosterone levels.
19. Eye contact is key.
Scientists suggest that merely staring into another person’s eyes is a strong precursor to love. In an experiment, strangers of the opposite sex were put in a room together for 90 minutes where they talked about intimate details and then stared into each other’s eyes without talking. Many felt a deep attraction for each other, and two married each other six months later.
20. Attraction is evolutionary.
Men in love show more activity in the visual part of the brain, while women in love show more activity in the part of the brain that governs memory. Scientists speculate that men have to size up a woman visually to see if she can bear babies, while women have to remember aspects of man’s behavior to determine if he would be an adequate provider.
21. Slow and steady wins the race.
The longer and more deliberate a courtship, the better the prospects for a long marriage. People who have intense, Hollywood-type romances at the beginning are more likely to divorce.
22. Men and women feel love differently.
Women often feel loved when talking face to face with their partner; men, on the other hand, often feel emotionally close when they work, play, or talk side by side.
23. Love is a journey.
Scientists suggest that most people will fall in love approximately seven times before marriage.
24. Love literally makes you grow.
The act of falling in love is known to have a calming effect on a person’s body and mind. This, in turn, will raise levels of nerve growth for about a year.
25. Opposites don’t attract.
Individuals who appear similar and at the same level of attractiveness are more likely to end up together than people who look significantly different. Many social researchers indicate that there is a pattern in how people chose their mates or romantic relationships. This is demonstrated through a Matching Hypothesis, which indicates that people are more attracted to others who share a similar attraction level with them.
26. Butterflies are a real, stress related, thing.
The expression of having butterflies in your stomach is a real feeling that is caused by an adrenaline rush. When and if you fall for someone, it will probably be hard to avoid the feeling of butterflies dancing and fluttering around in your stomach. This happens as a body’s response to a fight-or-flight situation.
27. Lady in red.
For reasons that are not yet clear, studies consistently show that when the same woman wears red versus a different color, men are more inclined to engage her in deeper conversations. This is true even when the clothing styles are otherwise identical.
28. Love & sex influence us differently.
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.
29. The “I love you” moment.
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.
30. Kissing extends your lifespan.
Men who kiss their wives in the morning are thought to live up to 5 years longer.
31. Love potions are made from human 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.
32. Symmetry is everything.
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.
33. Food > romance.
According to a study, brain scans reveal that women are more responsive to romantic stimuli after eating a meal than before.
34. You have to be supportive.
Studies have found that one of the most crucial factors in a relationship is how you celebrate your partner’s good news.
35. A Rabbi created speed dating.
Speed dating was invented by a rabbi in 1999, based on a Jewish tradition of chaperoned gatherings of young Jewish singles.
36. Love is blind.
When someone looks at a new love, the neural circuits that are usually associated with social judgement are suppressed. So in a way, love really is blind.
37. The heart hasn’t always represented love.
The heart symbol was first used to denote love in the 1250. Prior to that, it represented foliage.
38. Don’t fall in love if you have things to do.
It’s scientifically proven: being in love makes you a less productive person.
39. Love & OCD.
Romantic love is biochemically indistinguishable from having a severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.
40. Some people are afraid of love.
Philophobia is the fear of falling in love.
41. Time to get online.
23% of the couples who meet through online dating end up marrying.
42. A lot of people are looking for love.
There are about 3 million first dates every day worldwide.
43. Do anything for love.
In India, there is a vigilante group called the “Love Commandos” that offers protection from harassment to couples from different castes who fall in love.
44. Reliability helps you thrive.
People with relatively prudent and reliable partners tend to perform better at work, earning more promotions, making more money, and feeling more satisfied with their jobs, according to research.
45. Kicking a bad habit, or falling out of love?
Recovering from a break-up is like a kicking an addiction to a drug, researchers found from looking at the brain scans of the broken-hearted.
46. Do soulmates exist?
A survey revealed that 52% of women say their husband is not their soulmate.
47. Love is a huge part of your life.
The average human will spend 6.8% of their lives socializing with someone they love, or the equivalent of around 1,769 days.
48. A vote for your birthday suit.
Those who wear nothing in bed are more content in their relationships than those who cover up, according to a poll.
49. Love is healing.
Research shows that long-term couples with deep, strong connections can successfully soothe each other in stressful situations or when one of them experiences pain simply by holding hands.
50. Love is everything.
A marvellous 75-year long study, which was conducted by a group of Harvard researchers, has shown that love is really all that matters. The participants’ lifelong experiences revealed that happiness and life fulfillment revolved around love or simply searching for love.