It’s the most romantic time of the year yet again; Valentine’s Day is here and that means it’s time to snuggle up to the one you love and rediscover all the reasons you appreciate him or her.
But have you ever stopped to consider why you feel the way you do? Sure, your partner is incredible, talented, sweet, smart and funny (not to mention good-looking), but why do we physically fall in love?
Love can be complicated, simple, sweet and terrible, but all that makes it a truly fascinating subject. Here are a few intriguing facts about love we bet you didn’t know before — and a few of them star our favorite subject — your eyes!
9 Facts about Your Eyes and Love
- Gazing into the eyes causes your heart rates to synchronize: Feel like you and your partner aren’t quite “in synch” these days? Maybe it’s time to just gaze into each other’s eyes. While it might sound a little cheesy, there are some physiological reasons to have a good stare-down: research shows that couples who are in love and gaze into each other’s eyes for three minutes naturally experience synchronized heartbeats. The only way to prove it’s true is to try it!
- It’s a natural “high:” If you’ve ever felt like you’re “high” when you’re around the one you love, that’s not just your imagination. Falling in love actually affects the brain in the same way a dose of cocaine does, even triggering a similar feeling of euphoria. In fact, the act of falling in love stimulates 12 areas of the brain at the same time.
- Cuddling kills pain: Need a little natural painkilling? Go in for a cuddle this Valentine’s Day. Cuddling has been shown to cause the body to release oxytocin, a hormone that decreases headaches and even reduces other bodily pains for as much as four hours. Before you reach for the Tylenol, reach for your Valentine!
- Opposites attract: If you’re looking for a partner who’s just like you, it might be time to take a look elsewhere. As it turns out, opposites don’t just attract, they stick together longer. Research shows that couples who are too similar or too different tend to not last long. While foundational similarities are important, smaller differences are healthy for a relationship; just make sure you both share a commitment to good eye health (we had to say it).
- Heartbreak is real. If you’ve ever felt like your heart was literally in pain due to a break up or other romantic loss, you might not have imagined it. In fact, separation from a loved one and betrayal can cause real physical pain — in the heart area. This is referred to as Broken Heart Syndrome and is caused by emotional distress.
- Handholding relieves stress: Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out? Reach for your loved one’s hand! Research shows that holding the hand of someone with whom you share a deep emotional connection can help relieve your stress.
- Dilated pupils = love: No, it’s not a concussion; dilated pupils can actually be caused by feelings of romantic love. Darwin was the first to propose that pupils naturally expand during times of heightened attention or focus — like when you’re finding yourself fascinated by a new love interest. Additionally, those dilated pupils can also make you appear more attractive. Ooh la la!
- Looking someone in the eyes makes you fall in love: Need a date this Valentine’s Day? Find someone attractive on the street and stare into his or her eyes! Skeptical? Think about this; research actually shows that staring into another person’s eyes stipulates a chemical called phenylethylamine, which can make you feel like you’ve been shot by Cupid’s arrow.
- Love is all you need: The Beatles were right when they penned those famous lines. According to a 75-year long Harvard study, lifelong experiences showed that happiness and contentment revolved around one subject: LOVE!
From our practice to you and yours, Happy Valentine’s Day!