In 2018, it’s pretty easy to feel down about love. We live in a world where everybody’s relationship business is plastered on the internet, where other people’s lives seem perfect and yours can’t compete. It seems like we’ve said a permanent goodbye to old-school romance, and replaced love letters with unwanted photos, real dates with virtual ones, and loyalty with side chicks. Millions feel like their chance at finding true love has been torn to shreds, and that’s hardly a surprise.
But at the risk of sounding totally clichéd, you should never give up on finding love. Why? Even if it takes half a lifetime to find, the benefits of true love make it worthy of your pursuit. Your chance of meeting a soulmate is not hopeless, no matter how much it may feel like it. So chin up!
Whatever your situation might be, all hope is not lost. Love might seem out of your reach, but we’ve gathered 17 facts (backed by science!) that suggest those fluffy feelings are not gone and are easier to stumble upon than you thought. So please don’t call it quits just yet. Your next big relationship might be just around the corner.
17It Doesn’t Take Long To Decide Whether You Really Like Someone Or Not
Just the thought of all the time and work that goes into a successful relationship is enough to put some people off, especially if you feel like you’re years behind everybody else. But don’t fret—falling in love doesn’t actually have to take as long as you think it does.
According to a report from The Daily Edge, scientists say that first impressions are formed in just four minutes, and that can be the foundation on which all other feelings are built.
So, how does one make a good impression? Scientists believe that you’re more likely to catch feelings based on a person’s body language, as well as the tone and speed of their voice, as you are by what they actually say. So don’t worry if you say something silly!
16Love Is Fluid, Which Helps You To Maintain It
You might look at older couples with admiration, wishing you could find a love like that and wondering how the heck they managed to stay together for so long. But maintaining love for decades isn’t as impossible as you might think. Sure, it takes hard work, sacrifice, and persistence, but it can be done.
The Daily Edge reported that love is fluid and always changing, and that’s how we’re able to hold onto it for such a long time. It has different stages! In the beginning, you have the romantic honeymoon phase, that comes with all the butterflies and nervous chit-chat, and feelings of euphoria and extreme happiness. But you can’t live a lifetime like that, which is why what scientists refer to as committal love comes next. It’s more about feeling attached to a person and wanting to make them happy, though they no longer give you butterflies.
15Love Is Related To Self-Esteem, So Working On Yourself First Gives You Control
It’s easy (and common!) to feel like love is out of your hands. If you’ve been single for a while or have just dated flop after flop after flop, you might be starting to feel like you’re cursed or destined to spend eternity alone with many a cat. But actually, you do control your romantic life. You might not be able to call the shots on exactly when that person is going to cross your path, but you can influence the likelihood of that happening with your own thoughts.
Studies have found that love is closely related to self-esteem and how you feel about yourself.
Those who are happier and confident in themselves are more likely to attract a healthy relationship.
This is good news, even if you’re totally insecure! Spending more time on your relationship with you (as many times as you’ve heard it) will actually help you to find love in the long run.
14Believe It Or Not, Monogamy Can Actually Work
These days you can barely listen to a popular song without mention of a side chick, and can’t have a conversation about love without hearing about how somebody was unfaithful, or even worse, how all relationships are doomed to suffer the same fate. Some people out there believe that monogamy is unnatural, which might make you feel like your chances of finding someone to be faithful to you are next to none.
Those who say monogamy is unnatural usually reference the animal kingdom, claiming that animals don’t have exclusive mates, so why should humans? But as Bored Panda pointed out, several species practice monogamy, including wolves, swans, and even black vultures. It’s fine if some people don’t believe in being exclusive, but there are monogamous species out there, so don’t think we can’t be one of them!
13Long-Distance Relationships Can Really Work Too, As Long As You Have A Photo
Don’t despair if you’ve finally found the person of your dreams, but they live a zillion miles away. Research has shown that long-distance relationships can actually work out really well, even if they come with their own struggles.
Bored Panda reported of an experiment conducted where participants who were experiencing pain were given photographs of their lovers, and others distracting word games.
The results showed that just looking a photo of your partner eases your pain and makes you happier, consuming your mind even more than super exciting word games! So by the same logic, having a photo of your significant other available (which shouldn’t be too difficult in this day and age) can give you feelings of happiness, even if they’re a long way away.
12You Can Actually Fall In Love At First Sight
Who would have thought Disney was actually onto something! Okay, you might not be able to build a strong and healthy relationship overnight, but in terms of falling hard for someone? That can happen instantly, and a conversation doesn’t even need to take place.
Studies have shown that the way to love at first sight is through eye contact. Research proves that when another person is looking into your eyes, the body produces a chemical known as phenylethylamine, and that’s associated with the fight, flight or freeze response. So that crazy loved-up feeling can overcome you and nobody needs to say a word! Yes, it will sadly take more than that to create a strong relationship with somebody, but intense first impressions are a very good start.
11It’s Possible To Make Someone Fall For You
There is a way to affect how much another person falls for you, and it has nothing to do with voodoo dolls. Time reported that one Dr. Arthur Aron successfully manipulated two complete strangers to fall in love in his lab, using totally natural methods.
He had them stare into each other’s eyes (of course) and take turns answering 36 personal questions for several minutes.
They answered questions like “What do you find most attractive in a woman/man?” and “If you were to die this evening, what would you most regret not having told someone?” which combined with eye contact, made them fall for each other. So how does this work? Intimacy was created through the questions and the eye contact, which increases the chemicals produced when in love.
10Marriage Isn’t The Be All And End All
Falling in love with someone who’s not interested in marriage might have seemed like the worst thing in the world a few decades ago. But as time passes and we begin to question traditions, more people are catching onto the fact that marriage doesn’t necessarily cause happiness. It’s not a bad thing, but the good news is it’s actually possible to be happy without it.
Time reported of a study conducted in 2006 where it was found that although happy people are more likely to get married, it doesn’t actually make them happy. The people in the study were happy to begin with and walking down the aisle in a fairy-tale dress didn’t do a lot to change that. Marriage is still the dream for many people, but you aren’t doomed to sadness if it’s not yours.
9Love Really Is Blind, And That’s Okay
We’ve all been there: being so consumed by someone that we just can’t see their flaws, no matter how obvious they are to everybody else. These types of feelings can be frustrating, because they can make us vulnerable and expose us to heartache, and they also make us look a bit silly in front of our friends and family.
But you shouldn’t worry about this blind phase, because according to Life Hack, it’s totally necessary.
Some experts believe that not being able to see a lover’s flaws is crucial if you want to move forward with them. Though you can’t stay blind forever, initially being that way helps you to get so close to somebody that you move onto the next stage: the attachment or commitment stage, which is where the relationship really begins to gain strength.
8Having A Perfect Figure Isn’t Big A Deal When It Comes To True Love
This should make you feel better if you’ve lost any sleep at all feeling insecure because you don’t have a thigh gap or a flat stomach! Hollywood might make us feel like we’re not worthy of love (or won’t be able to find it) if we don’t look like Kim Kardashian, but that’s not technically true.
Aside from the fact that everybody has different tastes and beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, physique isn’t actually that important to most people when choosing a long-term mate. Yep, it’s true. According to some studies, men, in particular, are less likely to be turned off by you being bigger or smaller than their ideal size, and more likely to care about how your face comes across.
7Being In Love Is Actually Like A Natural Pain Killer
Even though the wait for love might be lengthy, what should keep you going is the thought of how good it’s going to be when it finally arrives. There are lots of benefits to being single too, but there’s no denying that being in real love is one top feeling.
According to Bored Panda, love has been scientifically proven to be a natural painkiller.
Affectionate hugs and cuddles with your partner actually help your body to produce oxytocin, which has been found to eliminate certain types of pain and significantly decrease the presence of headaches.
It’s also been proven that holding hands with your partner has the ability to reduce pain and stress. We know, sometimes being in love can bring about quite a bit of stress, so it’s good to know that you get compensated in a way!
6There’s No Need To Fear The Fear You Get When You’re In Love
A major roadblock to many young people actively pursuing love is the awful feeling of fear and anxiety that tends to fly in those early stages. A few light butterflies might be an exciting feeling, but some people are so worried about how their love is going that they work themselves up and bring about feelings of serious fear. But while those feelings are uncomfortable and make you want to avoid dating altogether, take comfort in the fact that they’re normal and a good thing.
It’s better to care than not to care when it comes to love, and that’s just what the adrenaline rush you get is trying to tell you—this is something you really care about. Love can absolutely be scary, but that’s not a reason to stop yourself from experiencing it.
5All The Amphetamines Will Make Your Life More Exciting
The body’s physical reaction to falling in love is truly amazing. The symptoms might not all be that fun or comfortable to experience, but they clearly confirm that you are in love, which is pretty exciting. You might have thought that being in love just came with butterflies in the tummy, but you can also experience an increased heart rate, a lack of appetite and even a lack of sleep.
The best thing about falling in love is the intense excitement and sense of euphoria that overtakes you.
There’s no need to turn to anything else to give yourself a happy buzz—being in love is all you need! Knowing what’s to come should be motivation enough to keep you from giving up in your pursuit.
4You Can Absolutely Last With Someone Who’s A Little Different
Falling in love with someone who’s different from you might be a cause for concern, but studies have shown that the saying “opposites attract” isn’t just an old wives’ tale. Actually, you can have more chemistry with someone who differs from you in certain ways.
Research detailed on Bored Panda has proven that couples who are too similar don’t typically stay together as long as those who have just the right amount of differences. Of course, you need some similarities to make it work, but the beauty of differences is that they give you a chance to teach each other new things and learn lessons from each other. Don’t panic if you’ve fallen for someone different from you—it could be just the thing that helps you stick it out!
3Don’t Worry If You’re Single: Just Thinking About Love Can Make You More Creative And Happier
Hearing about how amazing love is might make you feel even worse if you’re currently single, but it shouldn’t. For starters, you have the chance to experience it all in the future, and even if love doesn’t happen for you for a while, you can still enjoy some of the benefits now!
Studies show that just being reminded of love can cause you to think in a more abstract and creative way, and even improve your mood.
Bored Panda explained that this is because the feelings that long-term relationships entail (intimacy, commitment, and devotion) are generally distant and abstract topics, so naturally encouraging that kind of thinking is important.
And as for the benefits of cuddles and hand-holding? Getting affection from anywhere, even a friend or family member is good for the soul.
2Men Are More Than Just Capable Of Love; They Fall Harder Than Women
One of the saddest and most incorrect assumptions about love is that men, in particular, are incapable of it. The age-old stereotype that love is a woman’s game and men are only in it for the physical gains is stronger today than ever, but couldn’t be more untrue.
Believe it or not, men have actually been known to become more emotionally invested in relationships than women. Research gathered by Bold Sky shows that particularly men in their 20s can get very attached to their partners, and this is why they generally have a harder time with the breakup. To stay hopeful, don’t lump all men in the same category, and remember they can fall for you just as hard as you can fall for them, if not harder.
1Most People Look For Love In The Wrong Way, But That’s Easy To Change
The bad news is that a lot of people are involuntarily single because they are going about looking for love the wrong way. But the good news? This is easy to change.
Psychotherapist Ken Page believes that people should stop focusing on making themselves look like models and focus on attracting the right person for them based on what they have to offer.
Ken recommends “leading with your gifts”, or sharing things like generosity, empathy or passion for justice with others, allowing them to see the real you. He also suggests those looking for love identify any problems they may have with intimacy and work through them, and pursue only those who attract you and inspire you. He believes that if you follow those steps, finding true love is not just possible; it’s effortless.