Love is the subject of countless research studies, songs, movies, and books—many of us find it both fascinating and complex. While there is still a lot we don’t know about love, how it works, and how it affects us, there are many interesting facts and theories about love that can help us deepen our understanding of it, including the 16 below.
Interesting Facts About Love
From different types of love to its effects on health to monogamy in animals, here are 16 interesting facts about love.
1. The Ancient Greeks Recognized Seven Types Of Love
The ancient Greeks had unique words for seven different types of love. These included:
Platonic love (Philia)
Familial love (Storge)
Universal love (Agape)
Practical, enduring love (Pragma)
Passionate love (Eros)
Playful love (Ludus)
“Love” can mean different things in different contexts to different people—these terms capture some of this variation.
2. Wearing Wedding Rings On The Fourth Finger Traces Back to Ancient Times
The tradition of wearing wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand traces back to the ancient Greeks, ancient Romans, and ancient Egyptians, who thought that a vein or nerve in that finger traveled straight to the heart.
3. Love Potions Were Once Popular Methods Of Attracting New Love
In past centuries, falling in love was sometimes encouraged by love potions, which were believed to make someone fall in love or lust. For instance, the ancient Greeks often used plants such as satyrion in their love potions to attempt to increase sexual desire in the receiver.
4. People May Have Different Love Languages
According to the “five love languages,” popularized in the book by Gary Chapman, there may be five different ways that people feel loved and show love. These include:
Acts of service
Words of affirmation
Each person is said to have a different love language. Finding out your love language may help you express your needs to a partner. For some people, having deeper conversations helps them know they are loved. For others, a long embrace may be ideal. Learning your partner's love language may help you understand what makes them feel most cared for in your relationship.
5. Love Can Improve Your Mental And Physical Health
Research shows that love can be beneficial for physical and mental health, including improving mood, reducing stress, mitigating anxiety, and increasing longevity. Research has also shown that men with companions are less likely to die from a heart attack than those who live in prolonged isolation.
6. Animals Often Form Monogamous Relationships
7. Eye Contact May Cause Couples’ Heartbeats To Sync
When you stare into your partner’s eyes, it may cause your heartbeat to sync with theirs. A series of studies found that couples sitting across from each other could get their heart rate in sync, but when the two individuals sitting across from each other were not from the same couple, “their hearts did not show synchrony.”
8. Committed Relationships Can Help Alleviate Chronic Pain
Studies show that your brain's reward pathway is stimulated in a healthy relationship, which can relieve pain.
Although love may not cure chronic pain or physical illness, it may offer some relief.
9. Broken Heart Syndrome Is A Real Medical Condition
Also called stress cardiomyopathy, broken heart syndrome can occur when a person experiences a sudden, highly stressful event, with symptoms that mimic those of a heart attack. The condition is usually temporary and reversible, though death has happened in about 1% of cases.
10. Marriage May Improve Behavior
Studies have found that those who tie the knot may eat better, maintain healthier lifestyles, and even take fewer risks than single people on average. These improved behaviors might offer some explanation for the possible link between marriage and better health.
11. Online Dating May Be A Suitable Way To Meet Your Future Partner
If you are wondering if online dating is an effective way to meet your future partner, the answer seems to be yes for many people. A study of U.S. adults by the Pew Research Center found that 12% of the respondents said they had married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through an online dating site or app.
12. Love May Have Evolved Over Time
According to some researchers, love is not a recent thing, but rather a “complex suite of adaptions” that have evolved over time to address the challenges of survival and reproduction.
13. Scent Can Impact Attraction
Research shows that scent may affect how we perceive others, including their attractiveness. Certain scents may be perceived as more attractive than others.
14. Humans May Be Attracted To Similarities
While the idea that “opposites attract” is thrown around a lot in the context of relationships, some research has shown that many people are more attracted to those who are similar to themselves.
15. There May Be Three Components Of Love
According to the triangular theory of love, there are three different components of love that can interact with each other in a relationship, and when taken in combination, they can create different kinds of love. These three components are intimacy, commitment, and passion.
16. The Longest Marriage Lasted More Than 80 Years
According to Guinness World Records, the longest marriage ever belongs to Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, who were married for 86 years and 290 days.
Navigating Love With Online Therapy
In such cases, talking to an individual or couples therapist could help. Studies show that couples therapy “positively impacts 70% of couples receiving treatment,” and online therapy has been shown to be similarly effective as in-person therapy.
Talking about love and relationships can feel very personal and vulnerable, so some people may prefer to dive into such discussions from the comfort of their own home. With online therapy sites like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples, you can connect with a counselor from wherever you feel most at ease—including from home.
Read below to see reviews from clients who have found help in the past.
"Michal helped me gain new perspectives on the anxiety that I was feeling about my life direction and relationships. I left every session feeling like I had been offered new tools and strategies for being my best self. She is a calm and active listener, and always offers good insight and understanding about the issues I'm struggling with. Thanks Michal!" Get To Know Michal Collier
"The impact I have felt while unfolding pieces of my trauma in therapy has been powerful. My work life, my relationship with my significant other, my relationships with my family, new personal boundaries, learning emotional literacy, are all pieces we have touched on. My processing between sessions and the reading materials I have gotten now make me feel more equipped to move forward in my life's journey to grow as a person. I come away with a new revelation about myself each session." Get To Know Dr. Lindsay Stone
Love can be both fascinating and complex. If you’re navigating the complexities of love in your own life and looking for support—whether to learn more about healthy relationship skills, manage challenges in your relationship, heal from a breakup, or any other such concerns—online therapy may be able to help.