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Mi Amour: Top 10 Scientific Facts About Love

Top 10 Scientific Facts About Love

“Love is the one thing that we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.”

Interstellar (2014)

Love — a beautiful word that generates the feeling of warmth and happiness inside us. Stories of love often transcend times and cultures — we have grown up hearing the tales of Romeo and Juliet, Laila and Majnu, and many more.

They stay with us no matter what the century is. Love drives people to do extraordinary and selfless things. Love is often the only thing that sustains the human race!

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Matters of the heart are, however, the last thing we will associate with the cold world of science. Science is based on facts, while love is as abstract a feeling as it gets. So we will show you scientific facts about love — yes, you read that right!

Today, we will present you with the top ten scientific facts about love.

1. Love and Lust Affects Different Parts of the Brain

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This is one of those scientific facts about love that will make you question your choices!

Many of us find it difficult to distinguish between love and lust. So, after we make one too many mistakes confusing the two up, we start thinking that they are the same. However, scientific study has shown that these two are distinct feelings, and affect different areas of the brain.

According to researcher Jim Pfaus, love and lust activate different parts of the striatum. Lust affects both the hypothalamus and ventral striatum — which is the reward center of the brain. However, all the researchers conclude that love and lust overlap, and one can often lead to the other!

2. Beauty Does Matter

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This is one of those scientific facts about love that we would love to disbelieve!

No matter how much we claim; otherwise, physical beauty does matter a lot. Scientific studies have shown that symmetrical faces are deemed attractive to human eyes — even to babies! Human beings are hardwired to find people attractive who are usually of comparable beauty — evolution has made us enthusiastic about protecting our genes. Other than symmetry, local beauty standards also affect our choices to a great deal.

Beauty might, after all, lie in the eyes of the beholders, but they matter a great deal!

3. Love Can Keep You Alive

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This is indeed among the best scientific facts about love.

Love, as it turns out, not only provides you with mental peace, it can also positively affect your physical health! According to psychiatrist Sunil Mittal, spending time with loved ones “can cut the risk of early death to half, can cut the risk of early death to half.” People who are in a stable relationship have a lower death rate than single people — which implies that our longevity is somehow linked with our confidence and affection level.

Not only that, but people also tend to adopt careful habits when they are in a relationship, thus increasing their life span. They are also less likely to develop heart diseases, studies reveal.

Love does indeed keep you healthy, people!

4. Men Prefer Ladies in Red

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This is among the scientific facts about love that makes no sense!

When a woman wears a red dress, men automatically find her more attractive and are likelier to engage in flirtatious conversations; research has shown. When shown the image of a woman in identical blue and red dressings, men reacted more favorably to the red dress. They were also more flirtatious in their conversations with women who were wearing red dresses as compared to others.

While the exact reason for this is not known, researchers say that this is likely due to the red color representing an excellent mating opportunity.

Get those red dresses lined up, ladies!

5. Women Prefer Wealthy Men

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This is one of those scientific facts about love that indeed stongs, but research has shown that this is indeed true — and the reverse isn’t!

According to one particular study, women ranked men much higher when they came to know about their high salaries. However, men did not show any changes when informed about the salaries of women.

This, the study claims, is probably due to traits of the two sexes. While men value physical attractiveness, women mostly preferred financial security. This is probably due to evolution, dating back to the days when men were seen as providers for women. However, with changing times, this is expected to change as well.

6. Love Is Kinda Like Drugs

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Well, not exactly. Studies have shown that being in a relationship (especially the early stages) releases “happy” hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. These are the same hormones that are also released when using narcotics like cocaine and heroin. These hormones give us a feeling of euphoria or “high” similar to what one feels when on drugs.

There have been studies that show that there are significant similarities in the brain map of the person who is in love and a person who just smoked crack cocaine. Even the outcomes (increased sexual interests, the feeling of joy and euphoria, increased confidence, etc.) mimic those of a person in love!

Love is probably safer than these other drugs, though.

7. Love Can Make You Go Crazy

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Yes, you read it right — this is one of those scientific facts about love that you knew all along!

Researchers have conducted studies that have shown that the serotonin and cortisol levels found in people who are in love are similar to those who are diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This may lead us to act out of character when we are in a new relationship. This is one of the primary reasons why we often seem unable to think about anything else other than our significant other.

8. Different Immune Systems Attract Us

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This is certainly among the weirdest scientific facts about love!

Claus Wedekind, a zoologist at Bern University, Switzerland, conducted research that showed that women are attracted to the smell of men whose immune systems are opposite to theirs! Not only can human beings detect the immune system through scent, but we are also hardwired to be attracted to those who are entirely different from us.

This is also the case in mice. The sexiest part of a man, turns out, is his armpits!

9. Butterflies in the Stomach Are Real

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This is among those scientific facts about love that will make you go, “I knew it”! This is one of those feelings that are inevitable in a romantic setting. This fluttery feeling in one’s stomach is a mix between throwing up and euphoria.

Whenever we are with someone whom we are attracted to, we might feel these “butterflies” playing around our stomach. However, the fact is that this is caused by a hormone named adrenaline. This hormone is released by the body as a “fight or flight” reaction to stressful situations. Yes, love is a stressful situation, biologically!

10. …As Are Heartbreaks

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This is one of those scientific facts about love that you might have felt but did not know!

We all know the severe painful feeling that follows a breakup, divorce, or the likes. However, many don’t know that these situations may also lead to actual physical pain in one’s heart. This phenomenon is known as the “Broken Heart Syndrome” (scientific term: stress-induced cardiomyopathy) and can be caused by an emotionally stressful situation.

The symptoms usually include sharp pain in the chest and shortness of breath, and can often be misdiagnosed as a heart attack due to similarities in symptoms. It has also been found that women are likelier than men to suffer from this syndrome. This syndrome, however, is not just reserved for misfortunes. One may also get this for “good” shocks like winning of a lottery, scoring exceptional marks in examination, etc.

Conclusions

Science tries to understand and dissect everything under the sun, and love is no exception to this rule. However, as everyone who has fallen in love knows, matters of the heart are often erratic and whimsical. Love knows no bounds, and most importantly, follows few rules. Indeed, as much as we try to investigate and list scientific facts about love, we find more often than not that love finds a way to surprise us!

Love is a very difficult and complex emotion that cannot be described using mere words or scientific studies. Facts can explain everything, or at least try to, but some things like love are better when they are left in the abstract world. Only in the abstract world can it continue to charm and warm our hearts till the end of time. Therefore, it is best left to the heart to decide what is best for itself and enjoy the beautiful feeling that is love.

However, love is also fleeting. Human lives are temporary, and we never know how long a person is with us. So, when you are done reading this article about the scientific facts about love, call up someone whom you genuinely love and check on them. They will certainly appreciate that!

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