Scientific Facts About Love
Love is delightful, scary, wonderful and amazing all at once. But is there any science behind this addicting phenomenon in our lives or is it all hormonal with a bit of Hollywood thrown in for kicks
More specifically, the brain itself reacts differently to lust and love. The two have a similar hormone base but the part of the brain which lights up where lust is concerned is also the part of the brain involved with pleasure and rewards. Meanwhile, the part that lights up when we’re in love is associated with basic needs rewards like drinking water when we are thirsty. This makes love one of the long-term needs rather than a sweet reward for a few minutes or a couple of weeks.
Time For A Boost
Unlike lust or a fleeting fancy for someone, love is a conscious decision we make every day. This conscious or unconscious decision can actually help boost our ability to love someone. If we pay attention and make the choice to display love or affection in the heat of the moment rather than anger or resentment, over time we will find our ability to love has grown and matured.
Love Is Healthy
This applies not only to romantic love but any form of unconditional love in our lives. Simply having someone reliable who loves us no matter what can make us healthier. Studies have shown that people in committed relationships feel fitter and live longer and healthier lives compared to those who are experiencing intense loneliness and feelings of disconnectedness with others.
Love Is Contagious
Although not necessarily romantic love. You can put the Lysol spray away. Simply by displaying feelings and performing acts of genuine sympathy, empathy, compassion and caring for others can inspire other people to respond in kind. This is the conscious-decision form of love rather than the pheromone based type. It is the reason why people attend a wedding and then seek out a stable relationship before having their own wedding.
In any relationship, eye contact is key. Children watch their parents seeking signs of comfort and security, and romantic partners seek eye contact for similar reasons. Studies have shown that when discussing important matters, eye contact helps to bond the couple closer together and if they maintain eye contact for three minutes, their heart beats synchronize. Now isn’t that romantic?
Love Is Addicting
We kind of already knew that one but the science to back it up is always nice to know. The way our brains respond to falling in love is similar to how they respond when cocaine is administered. The same feeling of euphoria and desire for more are startling similar. Falling in love can one-up cocaine though; the love chemicals can stimulate 12 areas of the brain at the same time. No wonder we like it so much.
A Natural Painkiller
Cuddling is often described at addictive and science has shown that cuddly couples can actually suffer withdrawals when they don’t cuddle enough. This is because when we cuddle, our bodies release the hormone oxytocin which stimulates our brains and makes us feel safe and loved. Additionally, it is also a natural painkiller. Cuddling after an injury or while we are sick is comforting for a reason. Oxytocin is also the hormone released after birth and is the reason why many women don’t remember the pain of giving birth.
Tastes So Sweet
In one study, scientists found that when the participates ate a certain food while thinking about love, they described the food as tasting sweet versus when they ate the food while thinking about jealousy or neutral thoughts. So there is a reason that those first dates are sweet memories of delicious ice cream or gourmet pizza. Our memory is hazy with hormones and our taste buds think everything in life is sweet.
Broken Heart Syndrome
Several studies have shown that when we experience a truly traumatizing event in our lives, our hearts can literally feel painful and the delicate connections inside can actually break. If we have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, gone through a painful divorce or break-up, or are physically missing our significant other, doctors might diagnose us with Broken Heart Syndrome.
The right testosterone levels in both men and women are required for a successful romance to begin. In women, the testosterone fuels our aggression which can be the driving force needed to pursue our crush. Furthermore, women are more attracted to men with defined cheekbones and strong jaw lines which are a product of testosterone.
Love Makes You Grow
Falling in love floods our bodies with various hormones which in turn have a calming effect on our minds and bodiesyou know, once those butterflies die and everything stabilizes a little. This calming effect stimulates growth hormones and causes our nerves to grow for about a year. Some people might even report other areas of growth such as height or musculature.
Opposites Don’t Attract
At least, on the appearance scale anyways. People who have similar levels of attractiveness and features tend to pair up more rather than couples who look completely different from each other. Some scientists believe that there is a pattern we use when choosing our mates and that we pick someone with a similar pattern to ours.
Kiss Your Wife
In the morning before heading off to work, couples often kiss goodbye. It turns out that this habit is not only sweet and romantic but also healthy for men. Men who regularly kiss their wives before going to work can live up to five years longer than those who don’t kiss their wives or are single. Sounds like a very good reason to rush home and kiss the wife, doesn’t it?
People who have a prudent and reliable partner at home have reported feeling happier in their jobs. They are more reliable, more productive, work harder and earn more promotions and bonuses. Having someone who loves us unconditionally can give us to freedom to try harder and succeed at life because we know that they will always have our back.