‘Where there is love, there is life.’ – Mahatma Gandhi
1. Some animals also partake in monogamous relationships – including emperor penguins, beavers, prairie voles … and cockroaches (yip, cockroaches are love bugs).
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2. Falling in love can have the same effect on your brain as cocaine. Neurology specialist Lucy Brown and anthropologist Helen Fisher conducted a study to find out what happens to your brain when lurve takes over. ‘Falling in love is an addiction,’ says Fisher. ‘My guess is that modern addictions such as nicotine, drugs, sex or gambling simply capture the same internal channels which were developed millions of years ago by the brain for the feeling of romantic attraction.’ You become addicted to that euphoric feeling and rush when you fall in love.
3. Holding your lover’s hand can reduce stress and anxiety – you feel connected and safe.
Related: 12 signs you’re falling in love
4. ‘Broken heart syndrome’ is real. In the medical world it’s known as stress cardiomyopathy, a condition in which trauma and stress (a break-up or the loss of a loved one) causes heart muscle to weaken – this leads to shortness of breath and pain in your chest.
5. Relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder (ROCD) is a thing. Someone who’s prone to jealousy and has a low self-esteem can, in turn, start to doubt whether their partner really loves them. They start to become suspicious of their SO, which can lead to an intense obsession (checking their partner’s phone daily, stalking them, constantly asking them where they are/who they’re with). This can eventually destroy a relationship but sufferers can seek help to deal with their emotional stress.
6. Your pupils dilate when you’re attracted to someone.
7. There is a reason why you get ‘butterflies in your stomach’ when you’re falling in love. A University College London study found that when you’re falling in love, four parts of your brain are stimulated. ‘When you’re very much in love, you have this butterfly feeling in your stomach,’ says researcher Andreas Bartels. ‘That might be due to the medial insula, which is a highly connected region with links to all the sensory areas of the brain.’ When you’re in love, it stimulates feelings of euphoria, excitement and happiness.