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7 Unexpected Facts About Love and Relationships That Have Been Revealed in Recent Years


Scientists, in their quest to find answers to all love related questions, have come up with really surprising conclusions. Common myths have been debunked and we have to accept and use more and more new information about relationships. Sometimes scientists’ tips are really useful and help us find love or help us save our relationships from a breakup.

Bright Side has found 7 new psychological studies that are useful for those who want to understand what love is.

Everything depends on the first kiss.

A study conducted by the University of Oxford has revealed that the initial kiss may be used to evaluate aspects of a potential man’s or woman’s suitability. As a rule, kisses are considered to be really important when it comes to long-term relationships (especially, for women).

The results have shown that the initial hypothesis stating that the primary function of kissing is to elevate levels of arousal is actually wrong.

People who’ve been living with each other for more than 25 years develop similar facial features.

Scientists from the University of Michigan have studied the convergence in the physical appearance of spouses. The results show that after 25 years together, there’s an increase in apparent similarity. What’s more, an increase in resemblance was associated with greater reported marital happiness.

Among the explanations of this phenomenon that were examined, one based on a theory of emotional efference emerged as promising. This theory assumes that emotional processes produce vascular changes that are regulated by facial musculature.

The age of the first sexual experience predicts romantic outcomes in the future.

Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin have concluded that those who had their first sexual experience after 19 years old are more likely to have happier romantic relationships in adulthood. Moreover, they’re not likely to marry early and generally speaking will have less sexual partners over their entire lives.

Subjects with later sexual initiation were considered to be more reliable for long-term relationships. The experiment showed that they handle conflicts better and show their partners more love and affection.

Romantic movies help partners save their marriage.

A new 3-year-long study has shown that the risk for divorce decreases if spouses watch romantic films and discuss them. After watching these movies, both partners have a better understanding of what they’re doing right and wrong while interacting with each other. Thus, there are less conflicts and misunderstandings.

The photo of a loved one reduces pain.

A new study shows that just looking at a picture of your beloved can help reduce pain. Holding or touching a loved one’s hand helps in the same way. The study included women who had been in good relationships with their boyfriends for at least 6 months. During the experiment, they reported their pain levels while looking at pictures of their boyfriends, strangers, and a chair.

Photos of partners really helped women endure the pain. We often think that social support should be expressed by an action or with the help of words. But the experiment proves that even a picture can have a great impact.

Modern marriages require self-realization.

Eli J. Finkel, together with his colleagues from Northwestern University, has studied the main reasons leading to divorce. The results have shown that in modern relationships, partners expect more psychological satisfaction, while in the past, they wanted to fulfill their need for safety.

People think that their marriage will help them fulfill their self-esteem and self-actualization needs. To fulfill these needs, sufficient investment of time and psychological resources is required. If there are not enough resources, or one of the partners doesn’t want to put forth effort, the other partner gets frustrated. In this case, the other partner has to reconsider their marriage expectations in order to not get disappointed.

Men with higher IQs are less likely to cheat on their partners.

Scientists at Saint Louis University have found out that men with higher IQs are less likely to cheat on their partners. The authors have analyzed the results of polls involving thousands of adults and teenagers and revealed that smarter men valued monogamy and sexual exclusivity.

As for women, the IQ level didn’t have any impact on their fidelity.

Which paragraph was the most interesting for you? Are there any unusual facts you’d like to add to this list?

Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for Bright Side
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