No one will doubt that love is a complex feeling that encompasses multiple aspects of human behavior and emotions and is therefore determined by a good number of variables (biological, social, cultural, psychological, religious…).
This circumstance has made it an object of study in many areas of human knowledge. Psychology has probably been one of the most prolific in terms of the number of investigations aimed at understanding it, thereby forming a body of knowledge that we could call “Psychology of love.”
As a consequence of this good number of studies, relevant conclusions have been obtained that should help us understand this complex feeling from scientific evidence, and therefore beyond belief or superstition. Here are some of them:
Love at first sight
It seems that at first, we look just under the eyes at some central point of the face. It is a look of just over 200 milliseconds that goes completely unnoticed and could be the beginning of something important.
Neuroimaging studies suggest that 12 different areas of the brain are involved in this act, in such a way that when we look or think of someone who attracts us, these areas release a cocktail of neurotransmitters (oxytocin, dopamine, vasopressin, and adrenaline) in the brain that provides us with a world of sensations.
Romantic love is overrated
We commented that the main characteristic of love as a feeling is its complexity. Consequently, a serious study of it must take into account its various dimensions.
It seems clear that passionate and romantic loves are not the only or the most important types of love for determining people’s happiness and well-being.
Love and desire, closer than far
The first meta-analysis, carried out to examine the differences between love and sexual desire at the brain level, has found more coincidences than might initially be expected.
The differences are more focused on the realization of the object of desire, in such a way that sexual desire could be understood as a feeling with a very specific objective. At the same time, love could be considered a state with a more abstract and less dependent objective than another person’s physical presence.
Kissing not only helps to choose
Two new studies on kissing have found that apart from their sensuality, kisses also help us choose our partners and keep them.
In one of these studies, women, particularly, rated the act of kissing as especially important, viewing kissing as an effective way to test a new partner.
But kissing is important at the beginning of the relationship, but it also seems to have great relevance in the maintenance of couples.
The researchers found a clear correlation between how often a couple kisses in the long term and the quality of their relationship. Interestingly, this same correlation was not observed with the frequency of sexual intercourse.
Long-distance relationships work
Contrary to popular belief, long-distance relationships can work, at least some recent research seems to reach that conclusion, which even speaks of closer ties in these types of relationships.
It seems that two factors help keep long-distance relationships alive:
- More intimate information is shared with the other person.
- There is a more idealized view of the couple.
This is not the only study that concludes that subjects who have long-distance relationships have similar and even higher satisfaction levels than geographically close lovers.
New relationships demand self-actualization
A few years ago, we demanded a stable relationship that would provide us with security and solidity. Now it seems that we direct our expectations more towards self-realization and personal growth.
Unfortunately, in the face of these new demands, couples do not invest the time and effort necessary to ensure that this growth is valued as sufficient.
The value of the little things
Considering that we live in a highly commercialized world, which can lead us to think that love can be bought and sold, it is worth remembering that it is often the little things that make the difference.
Bringing your partner a cup of coffee to bed, taking out the garbage, making dinner, or making him feel attractive can do a lot more for your relationship than a box of chocolates or a bouquet (but they don’t hurt either! ).