Love is one of the most talked-about things in the world and it has many faces.
Sometimes, it’s the most beautiful thing there is and other times, it’s simply horrifying. That’s exactly why there are so many fun facts about love.
In some way or another, everybody strives for love. Everybody needs it to feel complete and live a happier life.
There are so many books, movies, poems, and different pieces of art made because of and in the name of love.
However, science demystifies a lot of whys and hows when it comes to love.
It turns out that a lot of lovey-dovey feelings come from our bodies and chemical reactions that happen inside of it.
Psychological facts about love, as well as physicality that has a big influence on it, are not always so magical.
As soon as we think there’s no more place for romance in a world explained by science, we fall in love, or simply look into the eyes of our beloved, and all of that knowledge is pushed to the back of our minds.
In the end, the feeling itself is what matters most. Let’s learn some love facts!
Lovers for a lifetime
Human beings are not the only species to commit to a lifelong relationship.
Monogamous relationships are present in the animal kingdom too.
There are a few animal species who are committed to one mate. Some of them are wolves, beavers, and swans.
If you have ever wondered why swans are used as a Valentine’s day motif, now you know. They are a symbol of commitment and love.
Oh, and they make that cute heart shape with their necks.
Scientifically speaking, monogamy is defined as an exclusive social pair bond where male and female partners mate, but the emphasis is on social bonding.
This means that the pair take care of each other, take care of their offspring, share a territory, and help protect their mate and offspring from predators.
However, they can occasionally mate outside the relationship, but that doesn’t change the fact they’re committed to each other.
In the words of scientists Insel and Young, monogamy is about “how you live and not how you mate”.
Love is sort of a drug
…or should I say the early stages of love are like a drug? Especially the first year.
It’s not so hard to imagine why there are a lot of songs that compare experiences of love to that of being under the influence of narcotics.
Everyone who’s been in love can confirm that after the first feelings of infatuation wash off they realize how irrational they were acting all along.
It’s no surprise because research has shown that falling in love really has an effect similar to that of a dose of cocaine.
Both states, being in love and being under the influence of cocaine, trigger similar feelings of bliss, delight, and joy.
Falling in love produces chemicals that induce bliss and stimulate 12 areas of the brain simultaneously.
It takes only 4 minutes
First impressions are important and you have only 4 minutes to do your best.
Yes, we decide whether we like someone or not in the first 4 minutes we meet them.
We consciously or subconsciously decide based mostly on the way they speak and their body language.
So, what can we do to make this impression better? A lot of it is out of our control, but there are some universal tricks that always seem to work.
For example, it’s important to be on time and smile, as well as be open and confident.
It’s important to make eye contact and shake hands firmly, avoid slouching, and stand confidently.
Too many similarities are not good
We have always been told that opposites attract and we have seen many examples of this portrayed in mainstream movies.
It seems that there’s some magnetic and passionate attraction between people who are very different.
While this isn’t entirely true, it’s true that couples with many similarities don’t usually make a long-lasting couple.
It’s best to have the best of both worlds. Have enough similarities and enough things you can learn from your partner to make a good relationship.
When two hearts beat as one
One of the fun facts about love is that when partners look at each other’s eyes, their heart rates synchronize.
It’s already known and proven that one person in a relationship can experience what the other person they’re close with feels, but there’s more.
In one experiment, couples were asked to sit across from one another in the same room and were given instructions to mimic each other and look at each other’s eyes without speaking.
The results showed that partners who are in a relationship got their heartbeats and pattern of breathing synced.
They completed the same experiment with two people who were not in a relationship and the results were not the same.
Moreover, it has been shown that women are usually the ones who adjusted to their partners which probably has to do with a higher level of empathy.
Adventure is a time for falling in love
You’re more likely to fall in love with someone if you both happen to be in a dangerous situation together.
For example, if you witness or survive something risky, it’s easier to fall in love with a person in such a setting than mundane, everyday settings such as a job.
Cuddling is a natural painkiller
Cuddling with your loved ones helps with pain. It can even heal your headache. Why does this happen?
When we cuddle, our body produces oxytocin.
This hormone appears in our brain as well as our reproductive organs and is therefore thought to be connected to the bonding process between two people.
Next time you feel ill, try embracing your significant other before reaching for pills.
…and looking at a picture of your loved one helps with pain too
The presence of a loved one during a difficult life situation is very important for the health and well-being of an individual.
What’s interesting is that even looking at the picture of a person we love can help significantly.
In another experiment, participants received some type of pain stimuli while looking at the pictures of their loved one, a stranger and a random object.
Their pain was significantly reduced when they were looking at photos of their loved ones. Isn’t that just amazing?
Heartbreak is real
So you thought that heartbreaks are just a metaphor? Well, you were wrong.
Every highly emotional trauma can cause actual physical pain in the chest area.
These emotionally traumatic experiences include losing a loved one, break-ups, separation, betrayal, jealousy, and so on.
This condition even has an official name and is called Broken Heart Syndrome. Sometimes it’s so strong that a person can mistake it for a heart attack.
Infatuation vs committed love
After one year of dating, the crazy love that couples have at the beginning starts to fade and is replaced by the period of committed love.
This is the period when all the euphoria and excitement wanes but bonding still goes on, just in a different way.
Romantic love that happens at the very beginning is what we always see in movies and hear about in songs.
On the other hand, committed love is rarely found as an inspiration for movies and such.
It’s probably because it’s considered boring. In reality, committed love is true love.
It includes the unromantic aspects of life such as paying bills, cleaning the house, and every other mundane task.
Committed love is about being supportive, kind, and loyal to your partner even when nothing exciting happens.
Gazing into stranger’s eyes can make you fall in love with them
The longer you stare into another’s eyes the more intimate you become.
It’s no surprise that eyes and looks are motifs in many art forms. They play an important role when it comes to attraction.
Intense eye contact is definitely not accidental and it can lead to falling in love with another person, even if it’s just a stranger.
To test this theory try gazing into a stranger’s eyes and answering these questions.
The difference between body and face attraction
When it comes to looking for a short term partner, research has shown that men pay more attention to the body.
However, when it comes to long term relationships, the face is more important.
On the other hand, women didn’t show such variations.
Here’s an explanation: A face and body represent different things.
The face is connected to cues about a woman’s reproductive lifespan (something long term) while the body signifies fertility in the present moment.
That’s why the face is considered for a long term relationship.
Other than that, the face shows the character of a person, as well as emotion, and men who look for a long term relationship are interested in more than just reproducing.
They are interested in emotional closeness too.
The same level of attractiveness is important
There’s a pattern that shows that people are attracted to other people who are as equally socially desirable as they are.
Basically, we’re more likely to end up with someone who’s as pretty as we are. It probably has to do with our self-esteem, but who knows?
If this is not the case and one partner is less attractive than the other, it’s usually because the less attractive partner can compensate for this fact with some other socially attractive and desirable skills.
Sweat as an aphrodisiac
Sweat is one of those naturally occurring things people want to hide and avoid as much as possible. Nobody likes to be sweaty and especially not smelly.
What’s interesting is that sweat played a role in making love-attraction spells back in the day when people cared about those things.
So, why is sweat so powerful that it was used in love potions?
Sweat is made of pheromones and these are key to sexual attraction in the animal kingdom. Does that mean our partners are attracted to our smell?
Well, it’s proven that women react positively to male underarm sweat.
They have an immediate spike in their mood and their hormone secretion, which is connected to the ovulation process, is encouraged.
Moreover, one study showed that women preferred the smell of men whose immune system was different from theirs.
However, not everyone is convinced with this theory because humans are very complex species that don’t always express expected behavior, unlike animals.
The attraction is based on obsession
When we feel attracted to someone, our brain releases certain hormones that are involved in the areas of the brain that are in control of so-called reward behavior.
In a study where individuals were shown a picture of a person they were attracted to, the participants of the research displayed activity in the reward behavior part of the brain.
This explains why obsessive traits are so common in early romantic relationships and why we’re able to look the other way when we notice something weird about our new love.
Men fall in love faster than women
Usually, society views men as less emotional and more avoidant when it comes to commitment.
That’s not surprising considering the fact that men are expected to be strong and firm.
Despite that, research shows that men are more likely to say I love you first.
This stems from women’s risk avoidant behavior because practically speaking women have more to lose than men if they end up with the wrong partners.
Women have only a finite number of eggs, while men produce a large quantity of sperm daily.
Men are likely to start a relationship and express their feelings first but they are also likely to fall out of love and have wondering eyes first.
Butterflies in the stomach
Butterflies in the stomach is actually a sensation caused by adrenaline and is a fight-or-flight response.
It usually comes with sweaty palms and shortness of breath.
Your brain and your gut are very connected. The butterflies in the stomach feeling can feel great at times, especially when you get to know the person you are falling in love with.
It’s a big sign of an attraction developing between two people.
Nevertheless, if this feeling persists more than is normal, then it may indicate some other condition such as anxiety or something similar.
The attraction has to do with evolution
Apparently, men in love are more visually oriented and aroused, while women show brain activity that’s connected to memory.
This is explained by the speculation that a man needs to see if a woman can bear a child, while women need to make sure a man can provide for her which she determines based on his behavior.
Dilated pupils are a good sign when it comes to love
Dilated pupils occur when you’re attracted to someone and what’s even better is that it’s a way to be more attractive to another person.
This phenomenon happens when we focus and place our attention on something, for example, our loved ones.
It’s also proven that dilated pupils are considered more attractive, so it’s a win-win situation.
Being in love has similarities to having OCD
Studies say it’s common for people to have higher levels of cortisol and lower levels of serotonin at the beginning of a relationship.
That’s interesting because cortisol is connected to stress and serotonin is a hormone of happiness.
The same pattern is present in people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Online dating works
Online dating often gets a bad rap just because people are skeptical but despite that, it’s trending.
The fact is that online dating works and produces healthy and stable relationships as well as fun flings.
In fact, one in four couples get to know each other on the internet before meeting in person.
This also means that people can create a genuine connection before meeting face to face.
Frustration attraction is a thing
Frustration attraction is what happens when the person we’re in love with leaves us and instead of moving on we want to pursue that person harder.
These are situations in which people do crazy things like stalk their exes and such. All of this has a biological explanation which only means our brain really likes to play tricks on us.
Couples develop similar facial features
There is a study that shows that after 25 years together there are visible similarities between partners. The larger the similarities, the happier the marriage.
This phenomenon is yet to be explained scientifically, but it’s speculated that it has to do with the theory of emotional reference which implies that emotional processing is connected to vascular changes and regulated by muscles.
This theory assumes that emotional processes produce vascular changes that are regulated by facial musculature.
There’s a connection between long-term relationships and memory
Committed couples remember their relationship history better than problematic couples. They remember the stages of their relationship and have more vivid memories.
Couples who are more distant on the other hand have trouble remembering things or alter events to avoid uncomfortable moments.
Love is the most important thing in life
A 75-year long study has shown the massive importance of love in people’s lives.
It turns out that participants’ sense of fulfillment was always based on love, search for love, and all things related to love.
However, there is a rare condition called hypopituitarism which limits a person’s ability to love.
These fun facts about love prove that humans are complex beings who are always on their quest to find love in some way or another.
A lot of things can be scientifically explained but some of them are still a mystery.
Fun facts about love show us that hormones and instincts play a large role in our lives, but we still have a choice about what we want.
Love has many faces and is a different experience for everyone but one thing is certain: We all need it.