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The 21 Most Romantic Facts Of All Time

Belief in love restored.

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1. Hugs can make you live longer.

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Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found that couples who hugged for just 20 seconds at the end of the day had lower heart rates and blood pressure than couples who didn't — both of which are physiological stress reactions that could lead to heart disorders.

2. Cuddling can alleviate headaches.

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Oxytocin, or the "love hormone," which releases when hugging and kissing loved ones, has been shown to treat headaches.

3. And kissing can reduce stress.

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Research shows that cortisol, a stress hormone, lowers in couples when they kiss. Also cool? The mid-kiss decline in cortisol levels actually increases in longer relationships.

4. Joe DiMaggio sent flowers to Marilyn Monroe's grave twice a week for 20 years.

This, despite their messy divorce following a two-year marriage.

5. And in Argentina, a farmer planted a forest in the shape of a guitar more than two-thirds of a mile long in honor of his late wife.

Pedro Martin Ureta, now 70, landscaped the memorial out of 7,000 cyprus and eucalyptus trees when his wife died in 1977.
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Pedro Martin Ureta, now 70, landscaped the memorial out of 7,000 cyprus and eucalyptus trees when his wife died in 1977.

6. Couples can sync up their heart rates by ~staring into each other's eyes~.

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In a (limited) study, 32 heterosexual couples were made to calmly gaze at each other for three minutes, to see if their heart activity would adjust to coordinate. They did!

7. Just looking at a loved one's photograph can be enough to relieve physical pain.

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Volunteers in a 2009 experiment reported feeling less physical pain while a "moderately painful heat stimuli" was administered to their arms if they were looking at photographs of their boyfriends, versus looking at photographs of strangers. Similar results were seen while holding their boyfriends' hands.

8. Love can make you measurably more trusting.

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This has to do, again, with the release of oxytocin.

9. Love at first sight, as we know it, can happen as quickly as in one-fifth of a second.

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One study showed the release of dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, and other hormones associated with love just 0.2 seconds after initial visual contact.

10. And men fall in love more quickly than women.

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In that same 2011 survey, 54% of men said they had experienced love at first sight, as opposed to 44% of women.

11. Still, initial attraction isn't everything.

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In a Match.com survey of 5,200 single Americans, 35% of men and women said they fell in love with people they didn't immediately find attractive. (More than half of those people said attraction came after engaging conversation and shared interests.)

12. 23% of online daters say they ended up marrying the partner they met through a dating site or app.

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(According to a 2013 survey by PewResearch Internet Project)

13. 823 same-sex couples were married in New York City on the first day that same-sex marriage was legal statewide.

The city had originally planned to perform only 764 weddings, but adjusted so that each applicant could be accommodated.
AFP / Getty Images STAN HONDA

The city had originally planned to perform only 764 weddings, but adjusted so that each applicant could be accommodated.

14. And in Iowa, Vivian Boyack and Alice Dubes (91 and 90, respectively) were married after 72 years together.

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15. Lionel and Ellen Buxton, married in 1936, never spent more than one night apart from each other.

16. Swans mate for life.

As do Atlantic puffins, black vultures, and a bunch of other birds.
Getty Images/iStockphoto Gennadiy Iotkovskiy

As do Atlantic puffins, black vultures, and a bunch of other birds.

17. Seahorses are also monogamous, and even hold tails!

18. Your brain is wired to think obsessively about the object of your affection — at least in the early stage of that affection.

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Studies show that serotonin (a calming hormone) levels dropped in people who had recently fallen in love, which is also what happens in people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

19. Those early stages of love also make you a less productive person.

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In a 2013 study, participants in a new relationship showed low cognitive control — i.e., weakened concentration and less of an ability to perform specific tasks. Too busy thinking about love! <3 <3

20. You also see a sort of idealized version of your significant other.

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People in love are able to see the best in their partners, and gloss over the somewhat negative qualities, which can actually lead to more satisfying relationships.

21. And because of all of this, breakups really can cause physical pain.

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The symptoms of broken heart syndrome mimic heart attacks, with chest pain and shortness of breath. The good news is it's temporary.

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