Entries in falling in love (6)


Why Do Co-Stars Fall in Love?

By Sadie Leder-Elder Ph.D. - High Point University


Have you ever dated someone you worked with?  How about someone you lived near?  If so, you are already aware of the power of proximity.  For more than fifty years relationship researchers have consistently found that one of the most powerful predictors of attraction is proximity (being physically close ).1  Sure, love is a mystical and mysterious thing, but it just so happens to occur more often between people who are closer together (in actual inches, feet, and miles)!

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Who Falls in Love the Easiest?

Millions of people take to the bars, coffee shops and internet sites of the world looking for love. Finding that love connection isn’t always easy because your new found guy may end up having too many Star Trek figurines or your new found gal may have one too many cats. While there are seemingly a million things that can go wrong, people do fall in love.

But is it possible that some people fall easier than others?

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Do Men or Women Say “I Love You” First in Relationships?

If you ask 100 people at the mall whether men or women fall in love more quickly, most would predict women. That’s the stereotype, right?  In a survey of 171 people, researchers confirmed that most (over 70%) believe women fall in love first and are quicker to say “I love you” compared to men. However, the survey also found that the stereotype is WRONG. In reality, men fell in love more quickly than women and were also the first to say “I love you.”  This is a great example of why research needs to test “common sense” assumptions about relationships.

Harrison, M. A., & Shortall, J. C. (2011). Women and men in love: Who really feels it and says it first?. The Journal of Social Psychology, 151(6), 727-736. doi:10.1080/00224545.2010.522626


Love Sick?

Several years ago, I read a journal article in which the researchers reported that individuals who had recently fallen in love had higher levels of cortisol than did individuals in long-term relationships or those in no relationship at all. Importantly, high levels of cortisol can eventually weaken the immune system and undermine physical health. Admittedly, this finding baffled me. If chronically high levels of cortisol can be bad for health, then how does that explain the overwhelmingly positive impression people have of being passionately in love? I’ve yet to find a Valentine’s Day card that reads, “I love you so much that you make me susceptible to pneumonia.”

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Can't Help Falling in Love?

Amanda asked “Elvis once sang, ‘I can't help falling in love with you.’ So... is love a conscious, rational choice or is it a chemical addiction that is uncontrollable?"

Dear Amanda,

Good question, and perhaps the answer depends on how you view “love.”  If you conceptualize love like Brick Tamland, San Diego’s favorite weatherman, then perhaps the answer is that love is rather conscious and only requires looking at objects and declaring your love for them. In that case, I love Science of Relationships!

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Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Love at First Sight

Countless books, songs, and movies have rapturously portrayed the idea that you might one day look across the room, lock eyes with a stranger, and know instantly that you two are meant to be together forever. This phenomenon is portrayed in the movie The Adjustment Bureau in which Matt Damon’s character meets Emily Blunt’s character briefly in a bathroom and is thereafter willing to defy scary men in suits who control the world in order to be with her. 

So what does science have to say about love at first sight?

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