10 interesting facts about love
1. Historically, sweat has been an active ingredient in perfume and love potions.
2. 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.
3. The Mexican chief Montezuma considered chocolate a “love drug” and drank 50 cups of chocolate a day before visiting his harem of 600 women.
4. 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.
5. Roses are a traditional symbol of love and, depending on their color, can suggest different nuances of love.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Sources and References:
Ackerman, Diane. 1995. A Natural History of Love. Vancouver, WA: Vintage Books.
Ben-Ze’ev, Aaron and Ruhama Goussinsky. 2008. In the Name of Love: Romantic Ideology and Its Victims. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Fisher, Helen. 1992. Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
“The Drive to Love: The Natural Mechanism for Mate Selection.” The New Psychology of Love. Ed. by Robert Sternberg and Karin Weis. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
“Love.” Online Etymological Dictionary. Accessed
“Love Not Enough to Keep Couples Together.” MSNBC.com.
“Roses—The Meaning of Each Color.” The Gardener’s Network. 1999-2008. Accessed
l Schulz, Christine and the editors of The Old Farmers Almanac. 1996. The Book of Love: The Old Farmer’s Almanac Reconsiders Romance, Sex, & Marriage. New York, NY: Yankee Publishing Inc.