23 Real Facts About Love and Its Psychological Impact

Love is powerful. It's natural to associate love with emotions, but love can also have a significant impact on a person's mind. Discover some true facts about love, including its potential for psychological impact.

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Psychological Facts About Romantic Love

Romantic love can feel really good, but it can also be really good for you.

  • In order to experience love, you have to allow yourself to be open to giving and receiving love. This is easy for some people and difficult for others.
  • Love requires allowing yourself to be vulnerable, which is one reason that the idea of loving someone can be frightening.
  • People often refuse to take a chance on love because they don't want to risk a broken heart.
  • Psychological research indicates that staring into the eyes of your romantic partner can cause your heart rates to sync such that they beat in unison.
  • Identifying whether you're in love with someone can be challenging. Do you feel like the person is special? Do you feel strong affection for the individual and have a sense that you belong together? You just might be in love!
  • A person's first real romance tends to really stand out as unique and impactful. This is because a person's first love is usually their first exposure to the whirlwind of emotions associated with love and romance.

Facts About How People React to Love

Some of the psychological facts about love are related to hormones and other physiological reactions triggered by various types of love.

  • Feelings of attraction to another person trigger hormones associated with stress and reward (dopamine, norepinephrine). This is why it's common to feel giddy and exhilarated when love is new.
  • Love and lust are not the same things. Both involve attraction, but lust is more about physical desire and a basic drive to procreate. There is a place for lust in romantic relationships, but not all feelings of lust develop into an emotional connection.
  • The attachment component of love is common to family relationships and friendships, as well as long-term romantic relationships. Feelings of attachment trigger oxytocin and vasopressin, which are associated with bonding.
  • It's true that cuddling with someone you love really can make you feel better. It can release oxytocin, a hormone that offers painkilling properties. Some even refer to oxytocin as the cuddle hormone.
  • Some people are actually addicted to falling in love rather than being in love. They are addicted to the hormonal highs of attraction and lust, but grow bored when attachment becomes part of the equation.
  • Fluctuating hormonal responses to love and lust can create an emotional rollercoaster, especially when love is new. The highs feel higher when you're in love, but the lows can also feel lower.

Facts About Unhealthy Love

Not all of the potential psychological impacts associated with love are positive.

  • Just like attraction releases dopamine, so does taking cocaine. This can lead to an obsession with a person just like it can lead to dependency on a drug.
  • Codependent partners have an extreme need to be needed by the other partner, to the point of losing all sense of self or identity separate from the relationship.
  • Narcissistic partners tend to be very controlling. They typically belittle or tear down their partners to create vulnerability and dependence.
  • Toxic partners seek out lovers with caregiving tendencies, then take advantage of their kindness and willingness to accommodate. Staying in a toxic relationship can have a negative impact on a person's physical, emotional and mental health.
  • Unrequited love occurs when a person loves someone who doesn't love them back. This can result in grief, loss or feelings of rejection. It's important to move on from unrequited love.
  • Partners who look outside of their relationship for the emotional support and intimacy they need are engaging in emotional cheating, which can destroy a relationship.
  • Following a breakup, a person can experience very real emotional or psychological distress that manifests as physical pain or even insomnia.
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Facts About Platonic Love

Not all love is romantic in nature. That's why the Greek language has several words to describe love. Each Greek word for love focuses on a different type.

  • There are many different types of families, and love is present in all of them. People don't have to be related to each other by blood or marriage to feel love for one another.
  • The love a parent has for his or her child is like no other. This unconditional love forms an immediate and unbreakable bond.
  • The deep love a person feels for a truly close friend can be as strong, or even stronger than love for family members or romantic partners. It's a different type of love, but that doesn't make it any less real or any less strong.
  • If someone you care for in a platonic way expresses romantic feelings for you, you'll need to know how to tell them you just want to be friends. Being truthful is much kinder than allowing them to think another kind of relationship is possible.

Discover More Ways to Express Love

Now that you've reviewed some psychology facts about love, it should be easy to see that love impacts your brain just as much as it affects your heart. Now that you're full of interesting love facts, maybe it's time to discover some new ways to express feelings of love. Start by reviewing several ways to express love in words. From there, consider some examples of idioms about love. Finally, if you're looking for even more options, expand your love vocabulary with terms from this list of romantic words.