Love is a force that can take over your life. When someone is in love, it can be difficult for a person to think of much else beyond the object of their affection. We don’t normally choose to fall in love, it more-or-less just “happens.” When this feelings and attraction are not reciprocated, it can lead to sadness, emotional distress, and in extreme cases, even suicide. What we don’t know about love probably outweighs what we do know by a significant margin, but we have learned a lot, including the following.
1. BOTH MALES AND FEMALES MUST HAVE ADEQUATE TESTOSTERONE FOR SEXUAL ATTRACTION
Yes, even women have small amounts of testosterone. Testosterone creates desire as well as aggressive behavior, which may push you to pursue the person who is creating this desire.
2. FREE TO CHOOSE
Up until the 1700’s most marriages were arranged. Only then did it start to become acceptable for marriages to be based on love and the freedom of couples to choose.
3. HUGGING YOUR PARTNER IS AN INSTANT STRESS RELIEVER
Feeling stressed? Hug it out with the person you love. One study conducted by psychiatrists at the University of North Carolina found that when couples embraced, they had increased levels of oxytocin—the hormone responsible for lower stress levels and mood boosts.
4. FACE THE FACTS
While there are many ways we can be attracted to one another, research has revealed that the attractiveness of a person’s face is likely the most important criteria when choosing a partner. Tastes differ, of course, so what’s attractive to one person may not be attractive to another.
5. LOVE CAN LITERALLY MAKE YOU CRAZY
Something you may or may not know about love is that it can lead to serious infatuation. The same levels of serotonin that bring about the infatuation are found in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is an anxiety disorder. This is probably why you cannot seem to think of anyone else when you have fallen.
6. ONE TRACK MIND
Research has concluded that a person in love is usually a less productive person. It’s likely that this is more of a problem for people who are in a new relationship when feelings are very intense and tend to distract from other aspects of life, like working.
7. YOUR NERVE CELLS WORK BETTER DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF LOVE.
A protein in our bodies called Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) that is important for the functions of certain sympathetic and sensory nerve cells seems to thrive during the first year of being in love. Basically our senses are heightened and our fight or flight response system is more active during young love.
8. FAIR TRADE?
People who fall in love often do so at the expense of their friends. It is not uncommon for couples to rely less on contact with friends and acquaintances when their attention is so focused on their partner.
9. RUNNING SCARED
It’s probably safe to say that a number of people have encountered potential mates that never seemed capable of making a commitment. The fear of falling in love is called philophobia.
10. ADDICTED TO LOVE?
Analysis of the biochemical reactions of people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and people who are in love yield virtually the same results.
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