Huffpost Science

Nine Ways Falling In Love Makes Us Do Strange Things

Posted: Updated:
HEART BEAT
The feeling of love affects us psychologically and biologically, studies show. | Shutterstock / Peshkova
Print

Have you ever been crazy in love? Blind in love? Or just downright lovesick? Scientists will tell you that those idioms actually have a basis in fact.

Intense, passionate feelings of love really can mess with your mind and body--from affecting the way you talk to the way you walk. Keep reading for some surprising love facts that may snap you back to reality...

1. Love makes you dumb and dumber. D'oh! Studies have shown that people who are passionately in love are less able to focus and to perform tasks that require attention.

“When you have just become involved in a romantic relationship you’ll probably find it harder to focus on other things because you spend a large part of your cognitive resources on thinking of your beloved," Dr. Henk van Steenbergen, assistant professor at Leiden University in The Netherlands, said in a written statement released by the university.

2. Love makes you high. And scientists have the MRI scans to prove it. When you fall in love, the same neural system in your brain linked to cocaine addiction becomes active, giving you that feeling of euphoria.

"You can feel intense elation when you're in love. You can feel intense elation when you're high on cocaine," Dr. Lucy Brown, a professor of neurology and neuroscience at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, told CNN.

3. Love can make you less vulnerable to pain. Forget the Vicodin, maybe all you need is romance.

"It turns out that some of the areas of the brain activated by feelings of intense love are the same areas that drugs use to reduce pain," Dr. Arthur Aron, a psychology professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, said in a written statement released by Stanford University.

In fact, just holding hands with the person you love may alleviate pain.

4. Love makes you walk slower. For the guys, that is. Researchers have found that men adjust their walking speed to match their romantic partner's pace — an odd phenomenon not seen when guys walk with someone they consider just a friend.

5. It changes your heartbeat to match that special someone's. Studies suggest that when you're in love, your heart beats as fast as your partner's so they're at the same rate. How romantic.

6. It makes you go up an octave. Women tend to speak in a higher-pitched voice to men they find attractive. Research also suggests that people in love may sometimes try to mimic or match the pitch of their romantic partner's voice as a way to communicate affection and a sense of being on the same page.

7. It makes you blind. Some studies show that people in a committed relationship who have been actively thinking about their partner actually avert their eyes from attractive members of the opposite sex unknowingly -- it's called an act of unconscious attentional bias.

8. It turns you into a daredevil. We've all heard tales of the knight in shining armor risking it all for his beloved. Studies of risk-taking behavior in men and women show that men are more willing to take unnecessary risks for a romantic partner.

9. It makes your pupils grow. Guess this means eyes really are windows to the soul? Studies suggest that pupil dilation correlates with intense emotional states -- like being in love.

Also on HuffPost:

Close
27 Funniest, Geekiest Science Jokes
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second, research reveals

New Research On Why We Love - ABC News

The Love Research Network - University of St Andrews

Lasting love? research on making and breaking romantic relationships

Men Slow Down for Love | LiveScience

Research proves love actually makes people dumber!

 
http://at.atwola.com/adserv/3.0/5113.1/2048998/1/16/AdId=6283391;BnId=1 http://at.atwola.com/adserv/3.0/5113.1/2048985/1/16/AdId=6283524;BnId=1