1. The term “love” is from the Sanskrit lubhyati, meaning “desire.”
2. Engagement rings are often worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancient Greeks maintained that that finger contains the vena amoris, or the “vein of love,” that runs straight to the heart. The first recorded wedding rings appear in ancient Egypt, with the circle representing eternity as well as powerful sun and moon deities.
3. Seminal fluid can potentially contribute to romantic love. Reports suggest that the liquid that surrounds the sperm contains dopamine (“the pleasure chemical”) and norepinephrine as well as tyrosine, an amino acid the brain needs to manufacture dopamine.
4. When a person falls in love, the ventral tegmental area in the brain floods the caudate nucleus with dopamine. The caudate then signals for more dopamine; the more dopamine, the higher a person feels. The same system becomes activated when someone takes cocaine.
5. When someone looks at a new love, the neural circuits that are usually associated with social judgment are suppressed.
6. Some psychologists argue that we fall in love with someone who is similar to the parent with whom we have unresolved childhood issues, unaware we are seeking to resolve this childhood relationship in adulthood.
7. Studies show that if a man meets a woman in a dangerous situation (and vice versa), such as on a trembling bridge, he is more likely to fall in love with her than if he met her in a more mundane setting, such as in an office.
8. Women around the world are more likely to fall in love with partners with ambition, education, wealth, respect, status, a sense of humor, and who are taller than they are. Women also prefer distinctive cheekbones and a strong jawbone, which are linked to testosterone levels. During ovulation, women become even more interested in men with signs of testosterone.
9. Brains in love and brains in lust are not identical. Erotic photos activate the hypothalamus (which controls hunger and thirst) and the amygada (arousal) areas of the brain. Love activates areas of the brain with a high concentration of receptors for dopamine (associated with euphoria, craving, and addiction) and its relative, norepinephrine.
10. Women often feel loved when talking face to face with their partner; men, on the other hand, often feel emotionally close when they work, play, or talk side by side.
11. To remain in love for a lifetime, therapists advise couples to listen actively to your partner, ask questions, give answers, appreciate, stay attractive, grow intellectually, include your partner, give him/her privacy, be honest and trustworthy, tell your mate what you need, accept his/her shortcomings, give respect, never threaten to leave, say “no” to adultery, don’t assume the relationship will last forever, and cultivate variety.
12. Being in love creates high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. The despair associated with unrequited love is associated with plummeting levels of dopamine. To increase dopamine, rejected lovers should exercise. Sunlight is another mood lifter, and smiling also activates nerve pathways that can give feelings of pleasure.