1. Historically, sweat has been an active ingredient in perfume and love potions.
2. Some individuals who claim never to have felt romantic love suffer from hypopituitarism, a rare disease that doesn’t allow a person to feel the rapture of love.
3. “Love”, in the sense of “no score” in tennis, dates back to 1792 and means “playing for love” or, in other words, playing for nothing. Other scholars claim that "love" as a tennis score is a corruption of the French word for egg, "L'oeuf," because of the egg's resemblance to a zero.
4. In Bali, men believed a woman would fall in love if her suitor fed her a certain kind of leaf incised with the image of a god who sported a very large penis.
5. 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.
6. Getting dumped often leads to “frustration attraction,” which causes an individual to love the one who dumped him or her even more.
7. 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.
8. The enduring symbol of love, Cupid (or Eros) is said to have come from Chaos (“The Yawning Void”) and represents the primitive forces of love and desire.
9. The term “love” is from the Sanskrit lubhyati, meaning “desire.”
10. The word “lesbian” is derived from the Greek island Lesbos, where the poetess Sappho composed her famous poems to her famous female lovers.
11. Roses are a traditional symbol of love and, depending on their color, can suggest different nuances of love. For example, red roses indicate passion and true love. Light pink suggests desire, passion, and energy; dark pink suggests gratitude. Yellow roses can mean friendship or jealousy. A lavender or thornless rose can mean love at first sight. White roses mean virtue or devotion. Some roses even combine colors to created more complicated meanings.
12. European males subconsciously seek out women whose waist circumference is about 70% of their hips. Beauty icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Venus de Milo, and even Twiggy had a waist ratio of exactly 70%.
13. Men and women with highly symmetrical faces tend to have more lovers to choose from. Additionally, men with symmetrical faces begin to have sex four years earlier, have more sex, and have more affairs than their lopsided peers. Women also tend to have more orgasms with symmetrical men. A symmetrical face is associated with fertility, agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness.
14. 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.
15. Since ancient Greece, the apple has been a symbol of love. The Celts believed that the apple represented love because it lasted so long after being picked.
16. Breaking up with someone you love triggers activity in the same part of the brain responsible for physical pain.
17. Antidepressants may compromise romantic love because they enhance serotonin levels. Higher serotonin levels blunt emotions and inhibit obsessive thoughts about the lover, both crucial components of love.
18. A four-leaf clover is often considered good luck, but it is also part of an Irish love ritual. In some parts of Ireland, if a woman eats a four-leaf clover while thinking about a man, supposedly he will fall in love with her.
19. 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.
20. When someone looks at a new love, the neural circuits that are usually associated with social judgment are suppressed.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
21. 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.
22. Mystery or “the chase” is often a critical element in romantic love. Sometimes called the “Romeo and Juliet effect,” a situation with challenges or obstructions is likely to intensify one’s passion for a loved one.
23. Scientists suggest that the advent of cooking led to healthier food which, in turn, led to bigger brains and an increased capacity to woo potential lovers with new forms of linguistic and artistic seductive flairs.
24. Timing significantly influences love. Individuals are more likely to fall in love if they are looking for adventure, craving to leave home, lonely, displaced in a foreign country, passing into a new stage of life, or financially and psychologically ready to share themselves or start a family.
25. Women around the world are more likely to fall in love with partners with ambition, education, wealth, respect, status, a sense of humour, 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.
26. The Mexican chief Montezuma considered chocolate a “love drug” and drank 50 cups of chocolate a day before visiting his harem of 600 women.
27. Plato asserts in his Symposium that initially all humans were whole, hermaphroditic beings with four hands, four legs, two identical faces on one head/neck, four ears, and both sets of genitals. When these beautiful, strong beings tried to overthrow the gods, Zeus split them into two—men and woman— and created the innate desire of human beings for one another to feel whole again.
28. Love is not necessarily a guarantee that a marriage will last. Other factors include a couple’s age (a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife or who marries before the age of 24 is more likely to divorce), those who are in their second or third marriage, those who had a child before marriage, and finances. Factors not pertinent to success of marriage are the number of children or their ages, the wife’s employment status, and the number of years a wife has been employed.
29. In one of many polls on the subject, 60% of married American men say they’ve been unfaithful, compared to 40% of American women.
30. Brains in love and brains in lust are not identical. Erotic photos activate the hypothalamus (which controls hunger and thirst) and the amygdala (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.
31. The maple leaf is a symbol of love in China and Japan—and in North America, it was often engraved on beds of early settlers to promote peaceful sleep and pleasure.
32. Scientists suggest that merely staring into another person’s eyes is a strong precursor to love. In an experiment, strangers of the opposite sex were put in a room together for 90 minutes where they talked about intimate details and then stared into each other’s eyes without talking. Many felt a deep attraction for each other, and two married each other six months later.
33. Men in love show more activity in the visual part of the brain, while women in love show more activity in the part of the brain that governs memory. Scientists speculate that men have to size up a woman visually to see if she can bear babies, while women have to remember aspects of man’s behavior to determine if he would be an adequate provider.
34. Men who kiss their wives in the morning are more likely to live almost 5 years longer than those who don’t.
35. Many cultures use knots as symbols of an eternal love that has neither a beginning nor an end. Young Muslim women would send love messages to their lovers using intricate knots.
36. The longer and more deliberate a courtship, the better the prospects for a long marriage. People who have intense, Hollywood-type romances at the beginning are more likely to divorce.
37. Romantic love lasts just over a year, perhaps because the brain cannot eternally maintain a revved-up state of romantic bliss. As romantic love wanes, attachment love, a more stable love, sets in. To keep the passion alive, experts suggest doing satisfying and exciting activities as a couple.
38. High levels of testosterone may suppress oxytocin and vasopressin (chemicals associated with attachment love), which may explain why men with higher testosterone levels tend to marry less often, be more abusive in their marriage, and divorce more. When a man holds a baby, his testosterone goes down, perhaps as a result of increased oxytocin and vasopressin.
39. 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.
40. The urge to fall in love is, like sex and hunger, a primitive, biological drive.
41. 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.
42. Men are more likely than women to be more flexible in their romantic choices when they are looking for short-term relationship—though when they want a long-term mate, they become pickier about basic virtues.
43. Couples around the world who divorce tend to divorce around their fourth year of marriage. After four years, marriages generally stabilize until around eight years.
44. Being in love increases levels of dopamine while a broken heart decreases levels of dopamine. To increase dopamine, rejected lovers should increase their dopamin levels by excercising and enjoy the sun. Smiling also activates nerve pathways that can create feelings of pleasure.
45. One of the greatest predictors of love is proximity. Physical closeness leads to increased emotion, and it is not unusual to hear stories of bosses falling in love with their secretaries. On the other hand, scientists now think that at a critical time in childhood (sometime between ages 4–6), boys and girls who live in close proximity lose their ability to fall in love with each other, perhaps preventing the destructive act of mixing one’s DNA with close kin.
46. Kama Sutra (love + thread, rule) is an ancient text on love in Sanskrit literature written by Mallanaga Vatsyayana around the second century A.D. Kama is the Hindu god of love and also means desire. Sutra is a manual or a guide.
47. The heart is a common symbol of love and can represent the wings of a dove, which was sacrificed in ancient Israel as a gesture of love and which also served as a symbol of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.
48. Scientists suggest that most people will fall in love approximately seven times before marriage.
49. On average, men around the world marry women who are three years younger than themselves. In the United States, men who remarry usually choose a wife five years younger; if they wed a third time, they often marry someone eight years younger than themselves.
50. Studies show that the risk of a “secret love” being revealed heightens romantic feelings for the partners, thanks to increased levels of phenylethylamine (PEA).
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11 Love." TennisHistoryOnline. Accessed: November 19, 2009.
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14 Tresidder, Jack. The Complete Book of Symbols. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2005.