Tara Rummell Berson (@crankycrusher)
(February 4, 2015)
How much do you know about love and its connection to your health, happiness and safety? Take this quiz to find out!
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How long do you need to hug to reap the benefits of oxytocin?
You need to hug it out for at least 20 seconds to see a rise in oxytocin (aka the “love drug”), according to research from the UNC School of Medicine. Couples who held hands for 10 minutes and hugged for 20 seconds were less affected by stressful situations than their counterparts who didn't. The increased oxytocin reduced blood pressure and cortisol (the stress hormone) and improved sleep.
Can a broken heart literally kill you?
“Broken heart syndrome,” or stress cardiomyopathy, can resemble a heart attack. The emotional stress causes sudden and severe heart muscle weakness that can trigger chest pain, shortness of breath, and irregular heartbeats. In the most serious cases, the irregular heartbeats can be fatal if not controlled. But usually the symptoms are treatable and the condition reverses itself within a few weeks.
Can you really fall in love at first sight?
The process of falling in love uses 12 areas of the brain to release euphoria-inducing chemicals, including dopamine, adrenalin and vasopressin — and all of this can happen in as little as one-fifth of a second, according to research from Syracuse University. But some people’s brains are hard-wired to fall harder than others. If you’ve been burned in the past, you might ignore the impulse to fall at all.
What percentage of U.S. marriages are monogamous?
Roughly 85 to 90 percent of U.S. married women and 75 to 80 percent of married men are sexually monogamous throughout their marriages. Scientists believe that humans have an innate need to experience attachment and pair up for the survival of our species (which is why our brain triggers such pleasure from the physical sensations of love).
How many times a week do you need to have sex in order to boost your immune system?
Sexual arousal and orgasm boost the release of immune boosting antibodies such as immunoglobulin A (IgA). Over time they may increase your resistance to colds and other viruses. Sex also releases the hormone oxytocin, which tamps down pain.
About how long do couples stay in the "honeymoon phase"?
Looks like that blissful honeymoon period takes a nosedive after around two years, several studies confirm. Over time, the initial heated attraction tends to morph into a more compassionate love and deep affection. But for couples with children, at around year 20 — once the kids are gone and on their own — many couples rekindle that passionate love and desire.
Is it true that we're physically attracted to people who resemble us?
While the old adage “opposites attract” may hold true for some, it turns out we also like what we see in the mirror. Research by psychologist R. Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois found people were more attracted to strangers' faces that were digitally altered to look more like them.
Who reaps more health benefits from marriage?
While many studies have shown that paired-up people are less likely to have surgery, heart attacks or develop cancer or dementia, the health benefits are noticeably stronger for men. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found marriage makes men more likely to seek out preventive health measures, such as diabetes and cholesterol screenings.
Love, like alcohol and drugs, can be addictive.
Robert Palmer sang about being “addicted to love.” But experts haven’t reached a verdict about whether love addiction is a true medical condition, or how to diagnose it. People who become obsessed with the feeling of love can be treated through therapy, medication and support groups.
Which is a sign of an emotionally abusive relationship?
All may be signs. If you feel manipulated, trapped or threatened by your partner, find ways to get out from under their control. Seek help from support groups and friends/family.
Which of these tops the list for keeping women happy in a marriage?
The more wives perceived their husband as participating in family work tasks, the better the relationship was for both spouses, according to a study published in the Journal of Family Issues. Sharing chores ranked among the top three signs of a successful marriage — third only to faithfulness and good sex, found a 2007 Pew Research Poll.
Couples start to look more like each other the longer they’re together.
When University of Michigan psychologist Robert Zajonc analyzed photographs of couples taken when they were newlyweds, and photographs of the same couples taken 25 years later, the results showed that the couples had grown to look more like each other over time.
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