Love is a vitally important emotion, one that can change the path of someone's life. Love is ingrained in us by our ancestors; we are naturally destined to make connections with others. Loneliness and rejection is seen as a threat to our very survival, which might be why those things hurt so much. Most humans require a loving relationship with someone else in order to feel fulfilled and happy; however, love is not as easy as most people like to think it is. These psychological facts about love prove that it requires hard work, dedication, selflessness, and the ability to be vulnerable to someone else – all things that can be tough to do!
Psychological Facts About Love
Four minutes is all it takes.
Speed dating might actually work when you think about this fact which says that it takes only four minutes to make up your mind about whether you like someone. It isn't about their personality, but rather their physical and emotional cues, such as their body language, tone and cadence of their voice. If you like those things, you will probably like the person behind them.
Love and cocaine have a lot in common.
When you fall in love, the euphoria you feel is like nothing else, except perhaps cocaine. Researchers have found that when you fall in love with someone, the chemicals that are naturally released by the body light up the same areas that might glow with pleasure when a person takes cocaine.
A hug really does help.
Does cuddling on the couch with the one you love really dull pain and make you feel better? In fact, it really does – science has proven that oxytocin, also known as the "cuddle hormone", is released when you snuggle with the person you love. The result is a sharp drop in pain, especially headaches. Why not try a cuddle instead of reaching for the Tylenol?
You are attracted to those who look like you.
It's one of the psychological facts about love that those who have a certain level of attractiveness tend to gravitate toward those who are on that same level. There's a reason why supermodels never end up with the "regular guys". Even if one person in the couple is quite visually attractive while the other is not, the other makes up for it with intense social qualities that make them the life of the party.
Love is like OCD.
Ever feel out of character as you are falling in love? That's because in the beginning stages, your levels of serotonin are down and your levels of cortisol are up – in other words, you are acting like someone who has obsessive compulsive disorder. In fact, those who have lower levels of serotonin actually fall in love easier and start sexual relationships sooner than those who have higher levels.
Love, passion and lust are different things.
Physical attraction leads to one-night stands, and lust lights up the reward centers of the brain. But love triggers the emotional parts of the brain, which are tied to caring and empathy. So physical attraction might get you laid, but falling in love can actually make you a better person.
It is more than a feeling.
Love is not just a fleeting feeling of euphoria, or even a slow and steady feeling of happiness. It is actually a state of mind. Being in love with someone leads to significant caring about that person's well-being, a desire to alleviate their fears and hurts, and even a connection so deep that you mirror the things your partner does.
Love is work.
Those who have lasting relationships – those that are good for many decades after they meet – are made up of a few very clear things. They think of each other fondly, even when apart. They support each other through chasing their dreams, both together and as individuals. And they share experiences with the goal of learning, changing and growing together.
Love gets bigger.
The more we love, the more capacity we have to love. Love makes us more empathetic, more likely to reach out to others, and more aware of our actions. This mindfulness can bring us closer to our lover, which then brings us closer to others – a sweet circle of love.
It's more than psychology.
Marriage improves long-term health, especially for men, but it matters for anyone at any age. Love actually makes us physically healthier, and social isolation makes us more likely to die at an early age.
Love can be enhanced.
It's one of the psychological facts about love that when we deliberately make the decision to love someone even more than we did before, we can make that happen. It works by expressing gratitude in words or actions, which make our partner happier, which makes us happier, and all of that makes us more in love.
We can expand it.
Love doesn't run out. As any parent of more than one child knows, your heart grows in its capacity to love, until you can love many children at once with equal intensity. The same is true of your lover – the more you love them, the more you can love others. Love opens our hearts in every way.
But it can be destroyed.
In order to fall in love and stay there, your brain has to tell your body to shut down the "fight or flight" response and allow that person to love and care for you. If you have been hurt somehow, your body might not shut that down at all, and in the end, you can't fully love them because you can't trust them enough.
Love leads to love.
The more you see someone else being caring or compassionate, the more you want to do the same. The more you see love shining in someone's eyes, the more you want to be a part of it. The more love around you, the happier you will be.
Love must change as life does.
As we grow older and have more experiences, we become different people. The person you are now is not the same as the person you will be in ten years. Love must change as well, and adapt to the differences that naturally occur over time. Long-term, intense love requires that each person be willing to love even with those changes.