4 Fascinating Things Scientists Have Learned About Love

4 Fascinating Things Scientists Have Learned About Love

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a lot of folks have love on the brain—so, let’s talk today about the science of love. Here are four of the most fascinating things researchers have found by studying love relationships. 

1.) We lie to ourselves about the ones we love. People have a tendency to idealize their romantic partners—to think of them as being better than they really are in some way, like thinking that your partner is the absolute best romantic partner anyone could ever have. Scientists refer to these beliefs as “positive illusions” and, believe it or not, these inaccurate beliefs are actually beneficial for our relationships in many ways.

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Two Hearts Beat As One, Literally: Our Heartbeats Synchronize With Those Of Our Loved Ones

Two Hearts Beat As One, Literally: Our Heartbeats Synchronize With Those Of Our Loved Ones

When people talk about love, they often describe it in terms of “two hearts beating as one.” Although you might be tempted to think of this as nothing other than a cute saying, research suggests that when we love someone, our hearts literally do beat to the same rhythm. 

Consider this: in a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers examined what happened to the heart rates of both observers and performers during a fire-walking ritual [1]. During rituals of this nature, people walk over a firey bed of coals one at a time while a crowd watches on, often as a test of faith or courage.

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Do Our Hearts Literally Beat In Harmony With Those Of Our Loved Ones?

Do Our Hearts Literally Beat In Harmony With Those Of Our Loved Ones?
When people talk about love, they often talk about “two hearts beating as one.” I tend to roll my eyes when I hear clichés like this because, in my training as a psychologist, I have come to understand love as being a product of the brain, with the heart having little, and quite possibly nothing to do with it. However, recent research suggests that perhaps we’ve been too quick to dismiss the role of the old ticker.
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