Being in Love – Ten Interesting Facts

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I’m in love.  Are you?  If so, or even if you are *considering* being in love, here are some factoids that you might find rather interesting.

1.           Science has shown that a beautiful face attracts more lovers than a beautiful body.

snaggletooth
The  good thing is that beauty is subjective. A person might look at the someone’s overlapping front teeth and find them hideously ugly.   Another person might not even notice.  Someone else might find them beautiful.   Some people think the other person is beautiful because he or she resembles his or her mother.  Different strokes for different folks, I suppose…but why not look toward the person’s HEART rather than the body or face…because isn’t THAT the most important thing?  Physical beauty fades with age.  A beautiful heart does not.
2.          Couples that are in love synchronize their heart beats after looking into one another’s eyes for 3 minutes. 
synchronized heart beat
When two people who love each other look into one other’s eyes, then their heart rates synchronize with each other.  Studies have shown that couples who are in love are so bonded that after three minutes of looking into each other’s eyes, their heart rates will synch up with each other.  Isn’t that wonderful?!
3.  Physical touch releases the same neurological reaction as taking pain killers.
handholding
If you hold hands with someone you love, you can help to alleviate physical pain as well as any feelings of stress and fear. Go ahead!  Feel one another up!  It’s fun and feels great! 🙂   Of course, there are varying degrees of pain and varying responses to physical touch.  This factoid is a generalization, but science does, indeed, back it up.
4.          Science supports the theory that being in love makes one less productive.
john lennon
This one is hard for me to swallow.  While science does support this theory, I do not find that it is true on a personal level.   John Lennon is a good example.  He was clearly in love with Yoko Ono, but he kept right on producing music until his last day upon this earth.  I believe that I fall into the same category in that I am an exception to this rule.    BECAUSE I am in love, I want to work more than ever, because it benefits my relationship to do so.  However, many people are distracted by being in love and, therefore, are less productive.
5.  When you fall in love, you lose two close friends.
harry sally
This is a hard pill to swallow, but it is true.  Once a couple transcends the early stages of friendship and delves into a sexually-charged, in-love relationship, that friendship changes forever.  I believe that things get even better….but they are different than when you first met and just “pal around” together.    When considering this, it is important not to mix up love with lust.  In real love situations, a friendship begins first.  Although physical attraction is an important part of love for most of us, emotional love is different than lust.  That is why one-night stands and alcohol-fueled hookups don’t automatically lead to happy long-term relationships.   Studies that scan the brain in real time show that we manifest lust or in motivation/reward areas of our brains, while love lights up the parts of our brain, connected to caring and empathy.    Becoming sexual and in love with a person that was, prior to that point, just a friend,  takes the relationship to a whole different, more exciting level if the two are genuinely friends first.   The couple becomes closer…..this, without fail,  has been my personal experience.
6.          Being in love romantically is scientifically indistinguishable from having OCD.
obsessive
This one needs no explanation.  Think about it. I am in love…and my love is what I think of the instant I open my eyes in the morning.  I am assured that the feeling is mutual.  Similar thoughts extend throughout the day.  How does this differ from OCD?   Sure feels great, though! 🙂
7.       The founder of Match.com lost his girlfriend to another man that she met on Match.com.
jilted
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”   In other words, the heart can be an independent agent that goes the way it goes regardless of how much another person may try to change this.   My advice?  Get all the love you can get, while you can get it.  Never take it for granted.
8.        The fastest way to lose love is to attempt to control it.  (Amen and Amen!)
control
The idea of controlling love in relationships is one that you often hear of but which is seldom explained. The first thing you need to be aware of is that controlling love in relationships is a bad thing that should always be avoided.  Love is not about exercising control over another person.  People that try to control their love relationships are not about the love.  They have other issues that need to be (seriously) addressed….and they’re not very bright.   Besides…..they ALWAYS get the opposite of what they believe they may be controlling.  I would never want to be in a love relationship with someone that didn’t want to be with me voluntarily.  How icky would THAT be?
9.      Building lasting love relationships takes work.    
work for love
A meta-analysis (numeric research summary) of the best studies of long-term loving relationships highlighted a couple of behavior patterns that couples with lasting love share.   Among them, partners think of each other positively when they are not together, support each other’s personal growth and development,  and undertake shared experiences in which they can learn and expand themselves.   In cases where one of the people in a couple tries to convince everyone that he or she is in a relationship because of fear or force or pressure, there is discord behind those statements.  They reveal that the party does not want to be in that relationship but is being held there because of force or fear or laziness or any number of other reasons.
10.      Love is, in fact, NOT “unconditional”. ..ok, maybe it is…but relationships aren’t.

love is

One of the preconditions for loving feelings is a sense of safety and trust.   In order to connect lovingly and empathically,  one’s prefrontal cortex has to send a signal to his or her  amygdala – the brain’s alarm center, to switch off your automatic “fight or flight” response. People with childhood trauma, neglect, abuse, or those that are being controlled by another person experience threatened secure attachment, may have a harder time switching off “fight-flight-freeze” and feeling safe enough to love. This reticence can be overcome with therapy or, sometimes, by a partner who repeatedly demonstrates trustworthiness and care rather than rage and control.  However, if repeated expressions of care are not reciprocated by any heart softening in your partner, it could be time for you to consider moving on.  I like to think of it this way.  Love actually IS unconditional.  RELATIONSHIPS are not.

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