Oh, to be in love! It’s a heavenly feeling. From young couples in the middle of courtship to older couples celebrating their golden anniversary, there is no doubt that to love and to be loved is simply blissful. Of course, not every love is exclusive to couples. There are different kinds of love such as familial love between parents and offspring, and philia love for friends, to name a few. Is love an emotion from the brain? Do wedding rings symbolize ownership? Will keeping pets keep the love alive? Read these 70 love facts, its history, and more, to find out!
The brain is responsible for making a person fall in love.
They say when you fall in love, you follow your… hypothalamus? Located near the brain’s pituitary gland, the hypothalamus is responsible for releasing hormones, controlling the appetite, and maintaining daily physiological cycles. Some of the hormones the hypothalamus releases are cortisol and oxytocin, which gives you that lovey-dovey, I’m-high-up-in-the-heavens feeling when you’re in love.
High cortisol levels make a person “lovesick.”
You know you’re in love when thinking about the person already makes you feel light on your feet. The brain releases hormones to make a person feel this way. Short bursts of cortisol feel amazing. But too much? You’re already lovesick. Literally! This hormone helps regulate blood pressure and boost the body’s energy. When too much cortisol is released, the body gets stressed, which may lead to headaches, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.
Oxytocin can also trigger bad memories.
That warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest when you see the person you love feels addicting. But it’s not always a good thing. The love hormone oxytocin plays a role in human and animal emotional attachment. A study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found that oxytocin has the “ability to increase anxiety and fear” and will intensify bad memories. So, in a way, love does hurt.
Falling in love means a stronger immune system for women.
Choosing a partner is a natural human instinct, but choosing the right one may be quite a challenge. Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering assistant professor Damian Murray, in collaboration with UCLA professors, conducted research about falling in love and its association with the immune system. Their research found that women had increased activity of genes involved in antiviral defenses when they are in love. Their immune system became stronger, the body’s way of preparing for pregnancy.
The body’s fight-or-flight response is heightened in the first year of love.
It’s a good thing to be in love. You’re always happy, always excited, and looking forward to what the future will bring. But the human body is much more prepared in that area. The body’s fight-or-flight response is on high alert as soon as a person falls in love. Thankfully, this level of physiological reaction only lasts for a year.
Dilated pupils reveal whether a person is attracted to someone.
They say people in love have hearts in their eyes. The surge in hormones leads to pupil dilation when the irises increase in size. When two people are mutually attracted to each other, their pupils naturally dilate. It’s the body’s biological call to reproduce.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Although a long-distance relationship is not the most ideal, relationship experts agree that this type of arrangement can make a couple stronger. Experts recommend communicating with your partner, being present, supporting each other’s interests, hanging out even when apart, addressing issues, discussing a plan on merging your worlds, and giving constant reminders that you love them.
Love is as addicting as cocaine.
High and in love? There’s a reason for that. Researchers revealed that 12 areas of the brain work simultaneously when a person is in love. Vassopresion, adrenaline, oxytocin, and dopamine create the same sense of euphoria similar to cocaine.
People in love are less likely to be productive.
Ever found yourself sighing, dreaming away, and smiling to yourself instead of beginning your work pile? It’s normal, that’s what love does to you. Science proves that obsessive love makes humans less productive. To combat this, set up boundaries and lessen the distractions, you’ll get into your jive in no time.
This socially acceptable public display of affection is both sweet and intimate. But it does more to the body than to the heart. The act of hand-holding isn’t exclusive to couples, since parents have been holding their children’s hands from the moment they were born. Experimental psychologist says holding hands will instantly reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and calm the heart rate.