6. Love is painful
Being broken-hearted is a real feeling and is medically known as the ‘broken heart’ syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM). It is a short-term heart condition triggered as a response to a severe physical or emotional experience causing reversible cardiac dysfunction. When you are broken-hearted, your heart’s pumping chamber alters its structure affecting its ability to effectively circulate blood. Studies show that the condition is observed widely in young men and women along with elderly postmenopausal women.
Recent research has also found that romantic and sexual activities are also linked to anxiety, depression, externalizing behaviors, eating disorders, poorer treatment outcomes, and suicidal tendencies.
7. Love makes us act silly
Do you find yourself doing things for your crush that you never would have done otherwise? Well, love makes us do dumb and cringy things. Studies have found that we tend to exhibit selective deficits when making decisions about love as such feelings are correlated with activation of the anterior insula in the brain.
Empirical evidence also indicates that high emotional arousal, like being in love, can increase impulsive decision-making and decrease rational behavior, leading to some embarrassing, regrettable, and bad decisions in a new relationship.
8. Love boosts your well-being
Love makes us happier. Studies have found that romantic relationships are closely associated with our overall happiness, well-being, and the absence of symptoms of illness. Research shows that relationship satisfaction can moderate our health and happiness.
Love also motivates us to pursue self-development goals, new interests and develop personality traits that are more suitable for our partner. One study also found that the beginning of a relationship can cause increased self-esteem; however, a breakup can decrease our self-esteem.
9. Love can last forever
Although the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship is believed to be the most exciting stage, you can still be crazy about your partner even after decades of being together. Studies have found that couples who have been married for over 2 decades have the same level of dopamine-related activity in the brain as couples in a new relationship. In fact, the longer a relationship lasts, the more the connection grows.
Studies show that the state of love is “fairly stable” as long-term relationships can have sustained reward-value and involve brain systems implicated in attachment & pair-bonding.
Love occurs more in the brain than in the heart.
Here are some more riveting psychological facts about love and attraction –
- Research shows that falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second.
- Being in love suppresses negative emotions and our ability to be critical of our partner, making us “blind in love.”
- The hormone adrenaline causes the feeling of having “butterflies in the stomach” by triggering our flight-or-fight response when we are in love.
- Couples’ heart beat rates begin to synchronize when they’re in a loving relationship.
- Romantic partners tend to perceive their relationship in a positive bias, known as positive illusion, which reduces the risk of a breakup.
- We are more likely to be attracted to people who are at the same level of physical attractiveness or are equally socially desirable as we are.
- Attraction is driven not only by physical appearance but also by body odor and the voice of a person.
- Reminders of love promote creative thinking while reminders of sex trigger concrete & analytical thinking.
- We give more value to an attractive face than an attractive body when seeking a partner for a long-term relationship.
- Being grateful about our partner can improve positive emotions towards them & improve our relationship.
Now you know about the psychology of love and attraction.
Although love originates in the brain, it is nourished in our hearts and sustained by continuous effort.
So make sure to express your love for your partner and enjoy the blessings of a healthy, loving relationship for years to come.
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