Oh, to be in love! It’s a heavenly feeling. From young couples in the middle of courtship to older couples celebrating their golden anniversary, there is no doubt that to love and to be loved is simply blissful. Of course, not every love is exclusive to couples. There are different kinds of love such as familial love between parents and offspring, and philia love for friends, to name a few. Is love an emotion from the brain? Do wedding rings symbolize ownership? Will keeping pets keep the love alive? Read these 70 love facts, its history, and more, to find out!
- Love stimulates 12 areas of the brain.
- Vena amoris (vein of love) is located at the fourth finger of the left hand.
- People fall in love seven times before getting married.
- Men fall in love on an average of 88 days.
- The heart symbol was first used in 1250.
- Eros is the Greek god of love.
- Oxytocin produces the love hormone.
- Husbands who kiss their wives in the morning tend to live five years longer.
- It only takes a person four seconds to decide whether they like someone or not.
- Women are more responsive to romance after a meal.
- Honest couples are more likely to last longer.
- People in love heal from injuries twice as fast.
- Someone’s scent can determine another person’s attraction to them.
- People who experience whirlwind romance are more likely to divorce.
- The fear of falling in love is called philophobia.
- A Rabbi invented speed dating in 1999.
- Most people fall in love with someone similar to their parents.
- The “butterflies in your stomach” feeling is related to stress.
- One in 50 travelers found their soulmate onboard a plane.
- A couple’s heartbeat may synchronize over time.
The brain is responsible for making a person fall in love.
They say when you fall in love, you follow your… hypothalamus? Located near the brain’s pituitary gland, the hypothalamus is responsible for releasing hormones, controlling the appetite, and maintaining daily physiological cycles. Some of the hormones the hypothalamus releases are cortisol and oxytocin, which gives you that lovey-dovey, I’m-high-up-in-the-heavens feeling when you’re in love.
High cortisol levels make a person “lovesick.”
You know you’re in love when thinking about the person already makes you feel light on your feet. The brain releases hormones to make a person feel this way. Short bursts of cortisol feel amazing. But too much? You’re already lovesick. Literally! This hormone helps regulate blood pressure and boost the body’s energy. When too much cortisol is released, the body gets stressed, which may lead to headaches, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.
Oxytocin can also trigger bad memories.
That warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest when you see the person you love feels addicting. But it’s not always a good thing. The love hormone oxytocin plays a role in human and animal emotional attachment. A study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found that oxytocin has the “ability to increase anxiety and fear” and will intensify bad memories. So, in a way, love does hurt.
Falling in love means a stronger immune system for women.
Choosing a partner is a natural human instinct, but choosing the right one may be quite a challenge. Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering assistant professor Damian Murray, in collaboration with UCLA professors, conducted research about falling in love and its association with the immune system. Their research found that women had increased activity of genes involved in antiviral defenses when they are in love. Their immune system became stronger, the body’s way of preparing for pregnancy.
The body’s fight-or-flight response is heightened in the first year of love.
It’s a good thing to be in love. You’re always happy, always excited, and looking forward to what the future will bring. But the human body is much more prepared in that area. The body’s fight-or-flight response is on high alert as soon as a person falls in love. Thankfully, this level of physiological reaction only lasts for a year.
Dilated pupils reveal whether a person is attracted to someone.
They say people in love have hearts in their eyes. The surge in hormones leads to pupil dilation when the irises increase in size. When two people are mutually attracted to each other, their pupils naturally dilate. It’s the body’s biological call to reproduce.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Although a long-distance relationship is not the most ideal, relationship experts agree that this type of arrangement can make a couple stronger. Experts recommend communicating with your partner, being present, supporting each other’s interests, hanging out even when apart, addressing issues, discussing a plan on merging your worlds, and giving constant reminders that you love them.
Love is as addicting as cocaine.
High and in love? There’s a reason for that. Researchers revealed that 12 areas of the brain work simultaneously when a person is in love. Vassopresion, adrenaline, oxytocin, and dopamine create the same sense of euphoria similar to cocaine.
People in love are less likely to be productive.
Ever found yourself sighing, dreaming away, and smiling to yourself instead of beginning your work pile? It’s normal, that’s what love does to you. Science proves that obsessive love makes humans less productive. To combat this, set up boundaries and lessen the distractions, you’ll get into your jive in no time.
Holding hands is a perfect stress-reliever.
This socially acceptable public display of affection is both sweet and intimate. But it does more to the body than to the heart. The act of hand-holding isn’t exclusive to couples, since parents have been holding their children’s hands from the moment they were born. Experimental psychologist says holding hands will instantly reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and calm the heart rate.
Love is good for the heart. No, really!
Long and lasting love is also credited for the good health of married couples. Studies show that married couples are at a lesser risk of contracting heart problems than single people. Couples with strong and happy marriages tend to live longer. The blood pressure also lowers in the presence of a loved one.
A good sense of humor is important in a relationship.
Aside from good looks and impressive street smarts, your partner has to be really funny too! Couples with a compatible sense of humor tend to be more relaxed and laidback. A partner who is fun to be around can lighten things up and make the relationship work.
Love and lust are two completely different things.
These two distinct feelings are always mistaken for one another. It’s not always guaranteed that one may lead to the other. Lust is physical and sexual attraction, while love is much more intimate and emotional. You can experience lust with anyone, but romantic love can only be mutually exclusive. Though sometimes, people fall in love with the person they lust after, these two feelings always don’t go hand-in-hand.
There are five stages to a successful relationship.
As the saying goes, “love is a journey, not a destination.” A successful relationship doesn’t end in love, it’s where everything begins. The five stages of a relationship are: first, you fall in love, then become a couple, then reality begins, then the commitment, and then spending your life stronger together. Some couples break up in the third stage, while some thrive until the last stage.
Plato began the concept of soulmates.
One of the greatest Greek philosophers, Plato, used to tell the story of how the gods created the first humans. Back then, humans had two heads, four arms, four legs, and one heart. Zeus found the creature revolting and terrifying, so Zeus had to separate them. This made humans start looking for the other half of their hearts, hence the concept of soulmates.
Red roses are the official flowers of Aphrodite.
In the flower language, a red rose symbolizes love and romance. It also means “I love you” in its truest and simplest form. The Greek goddess of love Aphrodite fell in love with the beautiful mortal Adonis. She warned him about hunting the wild boar but he didn’t heed the goddess’ advice. A wild boar did attack the youth, its tusk buried deep in his groin and killed him. The combination of the goddess’ tears and her lover’s blood grew a bush with a single red rose. Since then, the flower became her official symbol, a sign of her love and devotion for her dead lover.
The Greeks identified eight concepts of love.
There are different kinds of love, and the ancient Greeks are aware of it too. They differentiated each feeling into eight conceptual forms. These are agápe (the universal brotherly love), éros (the passionate and sexual love), ludus (playful love, usually for couples at the courting stage) philía (the love for a friend), philautia (self-love), storgē (the love between parents and children), mania (obsessive love), and xenia (generous love).
Eating chocolates gives off the same feeling as falling in love.
The triad of the common love gifts is a bouquet of red roses, a teddy bear, and a box of chocolates. Some can do without the roses and the bears, but not the chocolates. Eating a piece of sweet, decadent chocolate can help release dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical of the brain. This makes eating this rich dessert taste like you’re falling in love all over again.
“Love at first sight” is a real phenomenon.
Imagine the usual meet-cute trope: handsome guy bumps into a pretty girl, their eyes meet, they both apologize, they couldn’t forget the feeling they had in that brief 10 seconds, and fatefully enough, meets again in another unlikely place where they start falling in love. It’s romantically dubbed “love at first sight,” and there have been studies that support this phenomenon.
In a 2017 study, researchers found that people are likely to feel love at first sight with beautiful people. Of course, the stronger emotions of intimacy, contentment, and passion cannot be felt with the eyes alone, which is why experts hardly call it “love at first sight.”
Acts of Service is one of the five love languages.
A love language is the easiest yet most misunderstood human language there is. Some couples even misunderstand the love their partner gives as the bare minimum when it’s the complete opposite. The five love languages are Physical Touch, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Receiving (or giving) Gifts, and Acts of Service. Most women find Acts of Service as the most romantic love language. This is better understood as their partner voluntarily helping with chores without telling them to.
A crush only lasts for four months.
To have a crush on someone is an amazing feeling. You’re suddenly excited, inspired to do better, you want to see them all the time, and you definitely can’t get them out of your head. But on average, a crush should only last for four months. If it exceeds, then you’ll have a hard time getting over them. You may as well be in love.
Mirroring each other’s actions is a sign of attraction.
Movements are subtle but it’s there. Body language is the easiest to tell a person’s behavior or attitude. Sometimes, when you’ve been hanging out with someone for quite a while, you tend to copy the other person’s movements. In fact, women who mimicked men’s actions were found to be increasingly sexually attractive.
“Love” came from a Sanskrit word meaning “to desire.”
It’s a universal feeling, sure, but where did the word come from? Rooted in the Indo-European word leubh, the word love meant “to care” or “to desire.” In 1904, Webster’s New American Dictionary defined it as “a feeling of intimate personal sympathy and affection towards an individual of the opposite sex.”
Kissing soothes headaches and relieves anxiety.
There are three best ways to let a person know how you truly feel: holding hands, a tight hug, and a sincere kiss. Smooching a loved one can feel rewarding, but getting a deep kiss from your spouse can relieve anxiety. Kissing can help reduce blood pressure, release oxytocin, lower stress levels, soothe headaches, and relieve anxiety. Now plump those lips and kissy-kissy!
Couples with similar facial features usually end up together.
“Are you siblings? You look the same!” is a common opinion most couples hear from people they meet for the first time. The longer a couple stays together, the more they will start copying each other’s facial expressions, eat the same food, and mimic each other’s behavior. These factors affect facial features, hence they will begin looking more like the other.
The wedding ring finger contains the “vein of love.”
The Japanese believe in the “red string of fate,” an unbreakable red ribbon tied to the pinky, which connects a person to their soulmate. There is a similar concept in Western culture. The belief of placing the engagement ring and the wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand is rooted in the vena amoris. This tradition began in 332 BC when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. Rings back then were made of hemp, leather, bone, ivory, or metal.
Unfortunately, opposites do not attract.
Rivals to lovers is an appealing romantic trope but nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to popular belief, opposites do not attract. It’s common for humans to seek someone like them, whether face-wise or personality-wise.
People who have never felt romantic love suffer from hypopituitarism.
Not everyone falls in love. Sometimes, people are too busy focusing on advancing their careers or simply too passionate about their creative endeavors. But there are people who have never felt what it’s like to be in love. Low levels of oxytocin, sometimes brought by underlying medical conditions, is a disorder called hypopituitarism. Symptoms include stomach pain, excessive thirst and urination, fatigue, anemia, headache, and sensitivity to cold among others.
There are people who actually die with a broken heart.
Ending a relationship is one of the worst things to ever happen. Crying daily, refusing to eat, and thinking that the world is over. Most people get over a broken heart after a few weeks, months, or a year. But some don’t. Broken Heart Syndrome is a rare but serious condition that may lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure. It can be treated but not everyone manages to go through the period.
February 14 is St. Valentine’s feast day.
Single people everywhere dread this day since it makes them feel alone and unloved even more. But to lovers and believers, St. Valentine’s feast day should be celebrated. Though he was a saint highly associated with courtly love, he is also the patron saint of epilepsy and beekeepers. Not much is known about the saint except that he was arrested twice for spreading Christianity and buried at Via Flaminia on February 14.
12% of Americans found their partners online.
Online dating is around since the rise of the internet. Research found that 30% of adults in America used an online dating app. Not surprisingly, less than half of them found their spouses through the apps. From Tinder to OkCupid to Bumble, meeting a potential partner has never been easier.
Some people fall in love with their captors.
There are cases of people falling in love with their saviors, but there are some who became attached to their captors. Developing a psychological bond caused by extreme stress is called Stockholm Syndrome, coined by Swedish criminologist Nils Bejerot, after the incident where captives raised money to save the bank robbers who held them for six days.
One of the most famous cases is Patty Hearst, a woman held captive for 19 months. It was revealed that she willingly slept with her captors and joined their terror group, despite being kept against her will.
Interracial marriage was legalized in 1967.
It’s true that love sees no color or race. The Loving versus Virginia case took the world by storm. Interracial marriages were illegal, especially in a country where the whites integrating with people of color was a fairly new concept. Richard Loving, a white man, grew up in a predominantly black community and married Mildred Jeter, a woman of African-American descent. The couple won the case in 1967 when the Supreme Court ruled in their favor.
The US legalized same-sex marriage in June 2015.
The LGBTIQ community fought for their basic rights for the longest time. The right to marry someone of the same sex was only legal in a few states, but it all changed in 2015. The landmark case of Obergefell versus Hodges secured the fundamental right to marry between homosexual couples. The topic #LoveWins became the trending topic on Twitter and Facebook at the time.
It is still illegal to marry someone from a different caste in India.
India has the caste system in place for thousands of years. It separates citizens by classes based on their social positions and employment. Couples and their family are killed if they are caught marrying someone below or above their station. There are even cases of couples being killed by their own in-laws because of this. Thanks to the non-profit organization, Love Commandos, these couples are protected from harassment and honor killing.
Boys’ Love romance is gaining worldwide popularity.
Homosexuality is still taboo in some parts of Asia. There are still children who are keeping themselves in the closet and there are still parents ready to whip it out of them. On the other side of the world, girls are falling in love with Thailand’s sensational Boys Love (or BL) dramas since the COVID-19 lockdown began. These love stories are inspired by Japan’s yaoi (men on men) manga and are mostly catered to women. The most popular from the genre is 2gether: The Series starring Vachirawit Chiva-aree and Metawin Opas-iamkajorn.
The longest-married couple was together for 86 years.
Getting past the five-year mark in marriage is already a huge feat, but spending more than eight decades married requires great love and dedication. Such is the case of Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, who was awarded The Guinness World Record for the longest-married couple. They have been married for 86 years and 290 days until the 105-year-old husband died in 2011.
Animals can be in a monogamous relationship too!
Human decency laws created the concept of staying with one partner for life called monogamy. People with different beliefs do not agree with this because, in a sense, even animals have several partners. Though rare, some animal species practice monogamy, most typically in birds like snowy owls, vultures, bald eagles, and albatrosses.
William Shakespeare coined “Love is blind”.
English playwright William Shakespeare is known for his plays and sonnets. He liked sprinkling creative insults in his works and coining new words to better express the character’s thoughts. The phrase “love is blind” can be found in several of Shakespeare’s works, most notably in the plays Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V, and Merchant of Venice.
It was common to get married for economic purposes.
Love and romance were out of the question in the early Middle Ages. Back then, two families who wanted to combine assets or climb up the social ladder, arranged marriage unions. Royals used to wed relatives to keep the blood pure and the wealth within the family. Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra, did so by marrying her brothers and uncle to keep the throne.
Keeping a pet together is beneficial for the relationship.
Couples who are terrified of raising a child usually start with pets first. Whether it be a dog, a cat, or a goldfish, it’s been proven that keeping an animal companion helps lower stress levels and makes a person happier overall. Keeping a pet together as a couple opens up avenues for parenting, handling stress, stepping up to responsibilities, and becoming better at communicating. It acts as a test to see if the couple is ready for the next stage of their relationship together.
Couples begin sharing personalities the longer they stay together.
There’s always that pivotal moment in the relationship when a couple is suddenly acting like each other. A team of psychologists from Hong Kong proved in an experiment, confirming that personality does have an effect on how similar a couple looks. If the couple is of similar age, the same level of attractiveness, and with the same interests, it’s only a matter of time before they switch or adapt to each other’s personalities.
The tradition of engagement rings began in 1477.
Cattle owners used chains to easily identify their stock, and engagement rings followed the same concept. Ancient Roman women wore rings of ivory, flint, bone, copper, and iron as a form of business ownership made by the man. It wasn’t until 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond engagement ring. British company De Beers popularized diamond engagement rings in 1947 with a slogan, “A diamond is forever” signifying that love is the same.
Henry VIII founded his own religion to divorce his first wife.
Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived. Second Tudor king Henry VIII notoriously married six times, the most for any European monarch. The former Catholic king used to live by God’s words and devotedly followed the scriptures. He was extremely disappointed with Catherine of Aragorn’s failure to produce a male heir for the throne. Historians believed the king truly loved her, but the pressure to have a son took him over.
Henry VIII wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, asking him to dissolve the marriage with his queen. It was unheard of for a king to divorce a queen. This ultimately led to the king breaking away from the Catholic church to find Protestantism, the religion which allowed him to divorce his wife of 24 years.
Some commoners became royals thanks to true love.
Cinderella’s rags-to-riches and Snow White’s true love’s kiss are indeed fairy tales. It led some people to believe that true love is a myth created by stories. Not to these royals. A commoner is defined as a person “without rank or title.” People like celebrities, politicians, or public figures can be considered commoners, no matter how famous they are.
The most popular commoner-to-royal story is when the late American actress Grace Kelly married Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. Former news anchor Letizia Ortiz also married royalty when she wed the then-Prince Felipe VI of Spain in 2004.
Viking husbands present cats to their brides before the wedding.
Some brides believe that this is a wedding tradition that shouldn’t die. Brides were given kittens as a wedding gift in honor of Freyja, the Norse goddess of cats and marriage. One story mentions that the god of thunder Thor gave the goddess kittens that later drove her chariot.
Gladiator sweat used to be sold as an aphrodisiac.
Though they were enslaved by the Ancient Romans, gladiators were popular celebrities of their day. Their exotic facial features and strong physique made them as much as prostitutes as they were warriors. But if women couldn’t afford to buy the man, she’d buy the merchandise instead.
Items were usually sold before the match, and gladiator sweat (and blood!) is a popular choice amongst buyers. Some use sweat as perfume, some use it as medicine, while the most extreme use it as an aphrodisiac.
The phrase “tying the knot” originated from an ancient wedding tradition.
Language evolves like humans do, and even a simple tradition can become a part of the modern vernacular. “Tying the knot” began in a Renaissance ceremony called Handfasting, a contract of marriage similar to a handshake. A cord is tied around the groom’s right hand joined with the bride’s left hand, hence “tying the knot.”
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian guidebook on love.
There’s a common misconception that the Ancient Indian book only presents sex positions when it is actually a guidebook on love. Kama Sutra, published between 400 BCE and 300 CE, is a Sanskrit literature that tackles love, finding a partner, and other pleasurable human acts, including sexual positions.
Matchmaking couples is a billion-dollar business in China.
Some Chinese parents look for their children’s potential spouses in a literal marriage market at Revolution Park where other parents put up advertisements. Matchmaking companies are common in China and Japan, where the pressure of marriage and children is at an all-time high. It’s a custom in Asia where parents didn’t like “leftover women” because they placed their careers and personal accomplishments first.
The Bible describes love beautifully.
The phrase “Love is patient, love is kind.” comes from the bible verse found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, which describes the ideal version of love in all its glory yet simplicity. Love encompasses more than just romantic attraction and feelings of ardor towards people you have a bond with.
Cupid isn’t really supposed to look like a cherubic baby.
The son of the goddess, Venus, Cupid represents love and beauty. He is depicted as a winged infant holding a bow and arrow. However, before the rise of the Roman Empire, Greeks described Cupid as a slender young man with wings. In some tales, he was even in love with a girl named Psyche, whose beauty his mother was enormously jealous of. Against all odds, the two of them did end up together in a grand wedding attended by all gods and goddesses.
The saying “communication is key” is cliché for a reason.
Communication not only allows you to express yourself to your significant other, but it also helps fulfill their needs by being able to understand their perspective on things. It’s more than just asking how their day was or what they had for lunch. Listening when they have something to say and responding accordingly can really make them feel heard, safe, and want to share their thoughts with you more.
Toxic relationships can be healed.
Toxicity in relationships can stem from a lot of factors such as jealousy, dishonesty, and controlling behavior, to name a few. It may seem like breaking up is the only solution at that point, but there are still ways in order to heal that rift. By putting an effort to view your partner with compassion, taking accountability for negative actions, and going to therapy, there’s still hope in achieving that loving, healthy relationship you’ve always dreamed of.
Attachment styles determine how you are in a relationship.
Our attachment styles stem from childhood where the relationship with our primary caregiver determines how we relate to people when we become adults. There are three attachment styles: secure, anxious, and avoidant.
An individual has a secure attachment style when he or she has a healthy view of relationships, is self-reliant yet affectionate, and knows how to draw boundaries. On the other hand, anxious and avoidant styles usually struggle to express themselves. People with an anxious attachment style find it difficult to regulate their emotions and oftentimes show erratic behaviors, while avoidants immediately shut down and withdraw, preferring to cope alone.
Red Ginseng is probably the most powerful aphrodisiac.
Ginseng is a popular aphrodisiac, particularly, the Red Ginseng. Studies show that this herb is quite effective in improving erectile dysfunction, low libido, sexual arousal during menopause, and increased sperm count. Some benefits also include the body’s general well-being.
Padlocks of Love have become dangerous over the years.
This act of writing names in a padlock and attaching it to a bridge’s railing dates back to 100 years ago in Europe. In order to signify unbreakable love, the key is often thrown away after lovers inscribe their initials or the date. Although romantic as it may seem, love locking is branded as an act of vandalism and pose a great danger to bridges nowadays. Authorities at the Pont des Arts in Paris have even removed them since the bridge was already threatening to collapse because of the weight.
The most romantic place in the world isn’t what you think.
When one thinks about the most ideal place to get engaged it’s usually in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Surprisingly, however, the top spot goes to none other than the happiest place in the world, Disneyland! Apparently, out of the twelve Disney Parks in the world, people still prefer the Paris park more, perhaps because it’s located in the City of Love, which has the perfect blend of joy and romance. Disney even offers proposal packages ranging from $7,500-$10,000.
Do love potions really work?
Since ancient times, it is believed that love potions can make someone considerably infatuated. However, its effectiveness up to this day is still quite elusive. People used to develop different kinds of concoctions made from herbs, plants, and even animal fat to come up with the best one. However, there is no known scientific evidence that proves such potions work. In modern times, some people rely on aphrodisiacs and sometimes, chemically induced hormones called pheromones found in perfumes and oils, in order to seduce the opposite sex.
The greatest love story ever told came from none other than Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare’s most renowned play ever written about star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, is by far, the greatest love story ever told. The main characters in the story were blinded by deep infatuation as an escape from their respective circumstances.
Focusing on the romantic bits, all its themes from love at first sight to forbidden love, resonate universally for a lot of people. The unforgettably tragic ending also takes the last slice, making it so popular throughout the ages.