Being in love often inspires people. Scientists have studied the reasons why our behavior changes so drastically when we are in love. They connect this behavior change with the different “love hormones,” like dopamine and oxytocin, that have an influence over our emotions. But does this feeling really make you drunk just like wine and can it be a cure for pain?
Bright Side decided to check out how scientists explain popular stereotypes about crazy things that people do when they’re in love. These signals and real feelings can help you understand what’s going on in your head when you are in love.
10. People in love act like they are drunk.
After a few glasses of wine it becomes easier to communicate, even with people we hardly know, we become more gullible, and fear and anxiety disappear. Oxytocin, one of the “love” hormones, influences the body in exactly the same way as alcohol does. Have you ever noticed that drunk people want to hug everyone around them? Oxytocin is also called the “hug hormone” because it makes us want to be physically close to other people.
9. People in love gain weight or lose it.
There is a popular expression in psychology called “love pounds.” Many couples gain weight at the beginning of a relationship. Maybe, it’s because we are trying to overcompensate for the energy that our body uses, or maybe it’s because we go to cafes and restaurants twice as often.
By the way, scientists have found out that couples that gained weight together were more satisfied with their relationships. Researchers think that this is because partners feel less pressure and fear of being rejected because of their appearance.
However, not all couples gain weight. American studies of oxytocin that is produced in people who are in love showed that it reduces hunger and regulates metabolism. So, butterflies in the stomach might also indicate that you are losing weight.
8. Their voice changes.
American scientists conducted an unusual study. They asked people who had recently started a romantic relationship to make several phone calls. Other participants listened to their voices and could easily tell if they were talking to a friend or to their date.
During the conversations with their boyfriends and girlfriends, women’s voices became lower, and men’s voices became higher. Scientists think that this is because partners want to be like each other.
7. Being in love is like an obsession or an addiction.
Think about a time when you were in love. You probably kept thinking about the person you were in love with, you wanted to spend as much time with them as possible, and your friends kept saying that you were obsessed.
Anthropologist Helen E. Fisher found out that when a person is in love, the same parts of the brain are active as when a person has a cocaine addiction. This is why we want to be with the people we have fallen in love with more and more and we feel down when we are not together.
6. People in love can’t fall asleep.
Many of us are accustomed to thinking that people in love spend sleepless nights thinking about their significant other. However, Swiss studies showed that, on average, a person who is in love sleeps one hour less at night. And none of the participants felt tired, so the quality of sleep wasn’t impaired.
5. The hearts of people in love jump out of their chests.
Sweating, accelerated heart rate, red face — these are obvious signs of anxiety. But in fact, the very beginning of the development of a romantic attraction, called limerence, is accompanied by the same symptoms. So if you feel that someone makes your face blush, you are probably in love.
4. People in love want to write poems and sing love songs.
So many beautiful poems have been written by people who are in love!
Dutch studies have shown that romantic feelings suppress analytical thinking but develop creative thinking. This is why we want to get really original gifts or surprises for someone we love, even if there is no good reason to do that.
3. Being in love is a cure for diseases.
Several studies have shown a connection between romantic feelings and pain perception. The participants of the experiment who were in love showed a weaker reaction to external factors. Moderate pain was reduced by 40% when people looked at photos of someone they loved, and more intense pain was reduced by 10-15%. Scientists explain this by noting the shift of the participant’s attention from their pain to their loved one.
Other researchers found that dopamine is produced faster when a person is in love and that acts as a natural painkiller. So, when doctors recommend doing something we love when we are sick, their suggestion actually can help.
2. Love is sweet.
Dutch scientists conducted an interesting study. Participants were asked to write an essay about their real experience: one group wrote about being in love, the second — about jealousy, and the third — about something neutral. After that, they tasted candy and water. The students who wrote about love estimated that the taste of the food was sweeter.
1. A person in love is ready to do anything.
Being in love not only means being sexually aroused, but also being ready to care about your partner. Research done in 2014 came up with the term “compassionate love” that is a very important part of a romantic relationship. If you are really worried about your partner forgetting a hat or an umbrella, you are in love.