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What scientists say about love…

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Scientists suggest that most people will fall in love approximately seven times before marriage.

. Some individuals who claim never to have felt romantic love suffer from hypopituitarism, a rare disease that doesn’t allow a person to feel the rapture of love.

. Getting dumped often leads to “frustration attraction,” which causes an individual to love the one who dumped him or her even more.

. Being in love creates high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. The despair associated with unrequited love is associated with plummeting levels of dopamine.

To increase dopamine, rejected lovers should exercise. Sunlight is another mood lifter, and smiling also activates nerve pathways that can give feelings of pleasure.

. When someone looks at a new love, the neural circuits that are usually associated with social judgment are suppressed…still wondering why it’s said that love is blind?

. A study of college students who had just been rejected by their sweethearts showed they had strong activity in the brain associated with the insular cortex, the part of the brain that experiences physical pain.

. Antidepressants may compromise romantic love because they enhance serotonin levels. Higher serotonin levels blunt emotions and inhibit obsessive thoughts about the lover, both crucial components of love.

. Some psychologists argue that we fall in love with someone who is similar to the parent with whom we have unresolved childhood issues, unaware we are seeking to resolve this childhood relationship in adulthood.

. Studies show that if a man meets a woman in a dangerous situation (and vice versa), such as on a trembling bridge, he is more likely to fall in love with her than if he met her in a more mundane setting, such as in an office.

. Mystery or “the chase” is often a critical element in romantic love. Sometimes called the “Romeo and Juliet effect,” a situation with challenges or obstructions is likely to intensify one’s passion for a loved one.

. Timing significantly influences love. Individuals are more likely to fall in love if they are looking for adventure, craving to leave home, lonely, displaced in a foreign country, passing into a new stage of life, or financially and psychologically ready to share themselves or start a family.

. Women around the world are more likely to fall in love with partners with ambition, education, wealth, respect, status, a sense of humour, and who are taller than they are. Women also prefer distinctive cheekbones and a strong jawbone, which are linked to testosterone levels. During ovulation, women become even more interested in men.

. Men in love show more activity in the visual part of the brain, while women in love show more activity in the part of the brain that governs memory. Scientists speculate that men have to size up a woman visually to see if she can bear babies, while women have to remember aspects of man’s behaviour to determine if he would be an adequate provider.

. Scientists suggest that merely staring into another person’s eyes is a strong precursor to love. In an experiment, strangers of the opposite sex were put in a room together for 90 minutes where they talked about intimate details and then stared into each other’s eyes without talking. Many felt a deep attraction for each other, and two married each other six months later.

. The longer and more deliberate a courtship, the better the prospects for a long marriage. People who have intense, Hollywood-type romances at the beginning are more likely to divorce.

. New research suggests that passionate love does not always decline over time. In addition to exhibiting intense activity in the ventral tegmental area of the brain similar to those in the early stages of love, brain scans also show activity in the ventral pallidum, a region associated with feelings of long-term attachment, and in the raphe nucleus, which is responsible for higher serotonin levels, which lead to calmness and less obsession.

. Love is not necessarily a guarantee that a marriage will last. Other factors include a couple’s age (a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife or who marries before the age of 24 is more likely to divorce), those who are in their second or third marriage, those who had a child before marriage, and finances. Factors not pertinent to success of marriage are the number of children or their ages, the wife’s employment status, and the number of years a wife has been employed.

. Romantic love lasts just over a year, perhaps because the brain cannot eternally maintain a revved-up state of romantic bliss. As romantic love wanes, attachment love, a more stable love, sets in. To keep the passion alive, experts suggest doing satisfying and exciting activities as a couple.


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