Of all the emotions in the human experience, love has got to be the weirdest. This roller coaster of wonderful highs and lows has been called "one of the most studied and least understood areas of psychology."
Below are six reasons you should avoid love at all costs. Forever. Period. (Or not, if feeling happy is your thing).
1. You spend a lot of time together.
Once upon a time, you dreamed of a vacation with only a good book and never talking to anyone. Now you can barely spend a day by yourself without texting your significant other throughout.
Never mind that a study from Harvard Medical School found strong relationships and caring behaviors can trigger the release of stress-reducing hormones. Forget that research also shows your bond can improve your longevity. After all, you don't need to feel de-stressed and live longer anyway.
2. You're flooded with all sorts of new sensations.
Just the sight of that special someone sends your heart racing. Your in-love brain also floods with dopamine, "which gives you focus, energy and optimism, and those things can all be good to counter stress," Helen Fisher, a physical anthropologist and love researcher, previously told HuffPost.
Is staring deeply into your lover's perfect eyes really worth those feel-good hormones? Come on.
3. You're showered with compliments -- and you actually start believing them.
Is there anything worse than hearing you have a great smile? Isn't it repulsive to have someone tell you they're proud of you?
When you're in a relationship, you begin to internalize the praise your partner offers you, according to Alice Boyes, a clinical psychologist and author of The Anxiety Toolkit.
"This principle also applies to inner qualities and skills, like your perceptions of your own likability, or your cooking," Boyes wrote in a piece on Psychology Today. "It applies to any domain in which your partner/spouse sees you more positively than you see yourself."
So even on the days when you burned the chicken, messed up at work and haven't showered, the adoration from your partner can help lift you up. Sheesh.
4. You have so. much. sex.
As mentioned above, being in love leads to surges in your dopamine levels. And surges in dopamine lead to testosterone production, which is linked to an increased sex drive.
5. You value someone else's happiness as equally as your own.
Sleeping in used to be your absolute favorite thing. Now you're finding yourself awake before 9 a.m. on a Sunday while your significant other is still snoozing because you actually want to make them breakfast.
You're sacrificing your own gratuitous shut-eye and feel good about it. What gives? It's because studies show that people who care for others experience a boost in their own self esteem. Love makes you do stupid things -- like making someone an omelette for no good reason other than to see them smile. Gross.
6. Life's biggest plot twist is blown.
How anticlimactic is this? After observing more than 250 men for 75 years, researchers at Harvard University found that love and relationships, more than anything else, ultimately lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.
Thanks for the spoiler alert, love.
In reality, love -- in any form -- is so much more than the benefits you reap. Despite the good, the bad and the ugly, being "in love" is actually a beautiful thing.
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