At one point or another, most people will experience the tingling of love or something similar. They will also likely experience the thrill of developing a romantic relationship. Some will last. Others will go by fleetingly.
There will, at the very least, have one aspect in common – the feeling we call “love.” Many poets and philosophers have pondered upon how that is defined and what that means. Scientists have taken a more practical approach and may have found some answers through their observations.
That feeling of love comes with some very interesting and observable effects on our bodies and minds. Here are just a few fascinating psychological facts about relationships.
21 Psychological Facts About Relationships
Your senses may feel heightened a lot of the time when you’re in love. Your body also reveals a lot about what’s happening and what you respond to. Let’s start with some of the more interesting side-effects of being in a relationship.
1. Two Hearts Beating As One
This is going to sound like something from a Sci-Fi movie. When two people are in love, and they share those long, engaging stares, their heartbeats start to synchronize. The explanations for this aren’t quite worked out yet, but a study definitely showed that couples observed during loving moments had their hearts reset to nearly identical rates.
2. The Eyes Have It
One vaguely connected theory about the above is that it may explain why we think that staring at your soulmate makes you fall in love easier. There may be something to that old cliche: “Our eyes met across a crowded room.”
3. The Love Hormone
Specialists have given serotonin the name “the love hormone,” and it has an interesting neurological effect on physical pain. It is said that when the production of this hormone is stimulated, it may relieve physical pain.
A study offering serotonin to headache sufferers showed that when used in treatment, it relieved pain in the majority of subjects. The presence or image of a loved one is shown to relieve physical pain, as well, due to serotonin being produced. If your partner has a headache, try sending them a picture of you.
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
4. Love is More Than One Emotion
Love isn’t just one emotion or even one level of emotion. Most agree that it goes through stages (neurologically speaking, as well.) Initial obsession turns into calmer versions of the attraction as time goes along.
5. Diversity Rules
According to several studies on the matter, people are more likely to be attracted to partners with different strengths in terms of their immune systems. Some suggest this is linked to genetic impulses connected to species propagation.
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6. Laughter Is Good for Relationships
It’s important and very rewarding to laugh together. We can perhaps take that to mean that if you’re looking to build on a young relationship, try watching some comedy or doing amusing activities. Laughing together builds stronger emotions, according to psychologists.
Your Brain Is Set on Fire
Your brain has a lot to do with your mental state, and that includes any feelings you might have towards another. Consider these aspects when you’re in love or in a relationship.
7. Love Is a Drug
The Brain releases lots of chemicals for all kinds of reasons. Love is no different. Alarmingly for some, a brain in love experiences similar chemical responses as someone consuming cocaine. The hormone dopamine is stimulated, which is also found when the drugs like cocaine and nicotine are used. Love is healthier than the other, though.
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8. Hormones Play a Part
The feelings of attraction and love also stimulate the production of testosterone, adrenaline, and oxytocin, according to The Journal of Sexual Medicine. All of these are required when it comes to love and attraction, for the most part.
9. The OCD Connection
A person in love experiences high levels of serotonin. This is interesting because the levels discussed are similar to those found in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder conditions. Scientists say this explains why the object of your affections is ever-present in your mind.
10. Love Makes Us Better People
According to at least one study found in Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, love seems to create a desire to improve upon ourselves in other aspects of life. It seems to provide motivation and energy to process emotions like empathy, compassion, and even charity.
11. Men Fall in Love Easier
Contrary to traditional wisdom (including books, films, and poetry), it’s men who seem to fall into the well of love a lot quicker than women. Of course, that’s an assumption. It could also be that guys just tend to say it sooner.
Social culture has had it that men act bolder, at least traditionally. That may also have added the unexpected side effect that men in love do tend to be more emotionally commitment-ready.
12. Beware of the Quick Fix
Meeting someone at a bar and waking up with them the next day may not be love. Science shows that taking things too fast has an impact on different parts of the brain. However, that initial feeling of euphoria may feel similar, but a one-night stand is associated more with reward centers in the Brain than centers associated with longer-term infatuation.
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay
There are some strange aspects to relationships that may not be all that obvious. There are also some you may not want to think too deeply about. We’ll try to keep this on the fun side.
13. Butterflies Are Common in Relationships
When you’re in love (and other times), you sometimes get that feeling in your tummy described as “butterflies.” It’s as if the muscles in your belly are floating or perhaps firing off spontaneously. That is adrenaline going haywire, and it energizes and excites you. Some interpreted it as being nervous, too, which is why you are hyper-aware whenever that person is in the room.
14. To Love and Good Health
This is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you are likely to be generally much better mentally and emotionally when your relationship is fresh and new. Over time, this feeling seems to fade. This means that you are mentally healthiest when you are in a new relationship (assuming it’s making you happy).
15. Beware of the Downs
By contrast, when a relationship breaks up, the impact on your health is measurable. The chemicals and hormones triggered by the stress and distress can actually weaken your heart and negatively impact your general wellness.
When they say some people die of a broken heart, the sentiment is more real than you might think. In fact, Broken Heart Syndrome is a medical condition sometimes mistaken for a heart attack.
Image by Hoàng Đông Trịnh Lê from Pixabay
16. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Kissing is important in that it determines whether potential relationships have that “chemistry.” Kissing also plays an important role in long-term relationships in that it helps to keep emotional and psychological bonds strong.
17. The T-Shirt Test
In terms of chemistry, people with high levels of either estrogen or testosterone seem to attract someone with the opposite hormone in abundance. On a related note, there is also a bizarre finding from a study where subjects were asked to smell t-shirts belonging to different potential partners.
In a blind test, women chose T-shirts of men that had different immune system makeup to themselves. That is to say; they statistically chose the t-shirts of men who had different vulnerabilities in terms of illness and disease.
On the other hand, statistics show that people also tend to choose people that have similar features to either themselves or their opposite-sex parent. Some factors include the sizes of ears, color, the familiarity of eyes, and even lung capacity. How weird is that?
18. The Blood That Moves the Body
If you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), studies show that the happiness resulting from a loving relationship helps to manage the condition. A happy home helps with happy blood pressure, in other words. The opposite is also probably true, however. An unhappy relationship might well be bad for your stress and blood pressure levels.
19. Dangerous Love
The total combination of hormones and chemicals triggered by being in love makes the feeling very addictive. It’s the key to staying euphoric about the person and the state of mind you’re in.
Perhaps this offers some clue as to why it’s easier to fall in love in dangerous or high-adrenaline situations. The jury is out on whether this means good things for a long-term relationship, but the brain is certainly more open to possibilities when on the end of a bungee cord, for example.
Image by lambhappiness from Pixabay
20. Hugs, Not Bugs
Being close to your loved one is a great stress reliever. On those difficult days, take time out to hug it out. It will provide a positive kick to your mood and drop your stress levels.
21. The Perfection Paradox
Finally, one way to tell if you’re really in love is to see if you’re finding fault with the object of your affection. If they seem absolutely perfect in every way, you’re hooked. This may be a biological impulse in that it should maintain your fascination long enough to want to procreate.
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