As we approach another Valentine’s Day in the pandemic, consider how you might spend some time with someone special.
Known for being a day for displaying your love and affection, Valentine’s Day can hold significant meaning for your relationship and boost your feelings of love, no matter how long you and your special someone have been together. And despite it being a “Hallmark holiday,” children, too, get to join in the fun by expressing to their friends how much they like them.
Not Just the Fluff of Poetry
Even though love might seem like the fluff of poets and sappy movies, being in love and loving someone creates large, measurable biochemical changes in the brain.
Attraction, for example, is driven by a combination of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin—hormones that are released by exciting, novel and feel-good experiences. Estrogen and testosterone are responsible for lust in both men and women. Oxytocin and vasopressin are released when long-term attachment is formed and in play, which further encourages bonding.
Studies have shown that even having a deep conversation with a perfect stranger and looking into their eyes can intensify feelings, kindling the feeling of falling in love. (BBC, 2019)
The Benefits of Being in Love
The benefits of love and being in love are plentiful. Love contributes to both short-term and long-term happiness, and the euphoric feelings of love can improve physical, emotional, and mental health.
Many studies have shown that a healthy and supportive relationship, platonic or romantic, is linked to higher self-esteem, an increased sense of self-worth, and improved self-confidence. Just think how good validation from a friend or a hug from your child can feel. (APA, 2019)
Love also affects us physically. Romantic love can bring about a quickened heart rate, butterflies in our stomachs, dilated pupils, sweaty palms, a hard time finding words, and the instinctive urge to physically touch.
Physical Benefits Too
Sex as part of a connected relationship also brings about many benefits. It can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and boost both mood and the immune system.
So on this Valentine’s Day, find a way to spend some time with someone you enjoy. And don’t be shy about sharing the love.