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Surprising Scientific Facts about Love

On Valentine's Day some of us relish the opportunity to show our loved ones how much we appreciate them while for others the only thing to love about this day is pointing out how commercial and unnecessary it is.

No matter which camp you fall into, there is no denying these 10 facts about love as proven by science.

1. When two lovers gaze into each others eyes their heart rates synchronize. 

2. Falling in love has similar effects on the body as taking cocaine. 

3. Looking at a picture of your loved one can relieve pain. So you might want to place a picture of your other half on top of that cabinet that you always stub your toe on.

4. Heartbreak is real! Research has shown that intense emotional stress from break-ups, divorce or losing a loved one releases chemicals that weaken your heart. This is known as Broken Heart Syndrome and when it manifests as chests pains and shortness of breath it is often misdiagnosed as a heart attack. 

5. Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach while falling for someone? This is caused by adrenaline and is the same feeling you might get when you are nervous for other reasons, such as before taking a test.

6. Eye contact is all well and good but be careful, gazing into the eyes of a stranger can make you fall in love with them. Now we know why people speak of 'making eyes' at each other, it turns out 'love at first sight' isn't just a cliché.

7. We find people with a different type of immune system to ours more attractive. Romance isn't dead. 

8. Danger can play a role in making people fall for each other. Research has shown that if a man meets a woman while in a dangerous situation or vice versa, they are more likey to fall in love than if they meet in a mundane setting. So a Valentine's card from my driving instructor seems likely.

9. It’s all about chemistry. People choose partners whose chemical makeup compliments their own. So someone with high levels of estrogen is likely to fall for someone with high levels of testosterone.

10. Love long and prosper -  according to doctors, spending time with people who love you reduces the risk of an early death by 50%. 

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