- Engagement rings are often worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancient Greeks maintained that that finger contains the vena amoris, or the “vein of love,” that runs straight to the heart. The first recorded wedding rings appear in ancient Egypt, with the circle representing eternity as well as powerful sun and moon deities.
- Roses are a traditional symbol of love and, depending on their color, can suggest different nuances of love. For example, red roses indicate passion and true love. Light pink suggests desire, passion, and energy; dark pink suggests gratitude. Yellow roses can mean friendship or jealousy. A lavender or thornless rose can mean love at first sight. White roses mean virtue or devotion. Some roses even combine colors to created more complicated meanings.
- When a person falls in love, the ventral tegmental area in the brain floods the caudate nucleus with dopamine. The caudate then signals for more dopamine; the more dopamine, the higher a person feels. The same system becomes activated when someone takes cocaine.
- The heart is a common symbol of love. Ancient alchemists used the symbol of the heart for incantations of love. The heart can represent an inverted triangle in which love is poured or carried. In Buddhism, the triangle is an invocation of love energy associated with the divine. The heart can also represent the wings of a dove, which was sacrificed in ancient Israel as a gesture of love and which also served as a symbol of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plato asserts in his Symposium that initially all humans were whole, hermaphroditic beings with four hands, four legs, two identical faces on one head/neck, four ears, and both sets of genitals. When these beautiful, strong beings tried to overthrow the gods, Zeus split them into two—man and woman— and created the innate desire of human beings for one another to feel whole again.
- 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.
- Women around the world are more likely to fall in love with partners with ambition, education, wealth, respect, status, a sense of humor, 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 with signs of testosterone.
- 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 behavior to determine if he would be an adequate provider.
- Men and women with highly symmetrical faces tend to have more lovers to choose from. Additionally, men with symmetrical faces begin to have sex four years earlier, have more sex, and have more affairs than their lopsided peers. Women also tend to have more orgasms with symmetrical men.
- 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.
- Brains in love and brains in lust are not identical. Erotic photos activate the hypothalamus (which controls hunger and thirst) and the amygdala (arousal) areas of the brain. Love activates areas of the brain with a high concentration of receptors for dopamine (associated with euphoria, craving, and addiction) and its relative, norepinephrine.
- 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.
- To remain in love for a lifetime, therapists advise couples to listen actively to your partner, ask questions, give answers, appreciate, stay attractive, grow intellectually, include your partner, give him/her privacy, be honest and trustworthy, tell your mate what you need, accept his/her shortcomings, give respect, never threaten to leave, say “no” to adultery, don’t assume the relationship will last forever, and cultivate variety.
“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead”
Tell us the most interesting/outrageous decision you’ve made or the craziest thing you’ve done for love?
Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton / Foter /CC BY-NC-ND
Kewl / Foter / CC-BY
Dance of love – Kjunstorm /Foter/ CC -BY
Bev Goodwin /Foter /CC- BY -SA