Happy Valentine's Day! The Science of Love Link Pack

Even in my single days, I've never been a Valentine's Day hater.  When I was dating, I loved (no pun intended) the drama of the Valentine's Date- is he going to purposely avoid the 14th since we've only been on two dates?  Will he bring flowers?  Valentine's week is a time to dish with your girlfriends (guys do the same, I assume?) and to speculate about where you stand with your honey. 

Now that I am married, Valentine's Day has taken on a less dramatic but welcome change.  We avoid the crowds and gossip staying in to cook buttery risotto, my husband's signature recipe.  Over wine and perhaps a candle, we stir patiently simmering our family's favorite pasta dish while making sentimental conversation.  This year we plan to do the same and eat our risotto while watching the eagerly anticipated Season 2 of Netflix series House of Cards (hooray!).  Nothing says romance like watching a TV series about lying, cheating, substance-abusing politicians. 

While I do believe there's something not quite tangible behind why date-anticipating, girlfriend-dishing and risotto-making dates binds us together, science has tried to explain many aspects of romantic relationships.  What do studies show about what keeps us together?

You're Single...

Kiss a frog?!  Veterinarians say "No".  Don't worry, Prince Charming will come.  In the meantime, kissing frogs can cause Salmonella...and it makes you seem desperate. 

You say he's just a friend, but your voice says differently.  Research finds that men and women alter their voices when speaking to lovers versus friends.  So, "yes", he can tell you have a crush on him. 

Height is important in matters of the heart.  Survey says most women want to date a man taller than they are. 

You're Dating...

Falling in love hits the brain like cocaine.  Falling in love can occur in as little as a fifth of a second according to brain imaging studies and creates a sense of euphoria similar to the sensation triggered by cocaine. 

Keep your romance alive by going on double dates.  Striking up a relationship with another couple also brings you closer to your partner.  Researchers say these interactions cause us to see our own relationship in a different light. 

Kissing plays an important role in choosing a potential partner. More frequent kissing was linked to quality of the overall relationship.

You're Married...

A dozen red roses may not be as welcome as washing the dishes on Valentine's day.  A recent study shows thoughtful gestures and saying "Thank You" are prized most highly in relationships. 

Hope your marriage is going strong...study shows marriage helps couples survive heart ailments.  The happier your marriage, the more likely you are survive bypass surgery.

Sad but true, in sex happiness hinges on keeping up with the Joneses.  A study shows sex is like income.  People who believe they are having more sex than their peers are happier than those who think they are spending less time in the sack that their counterparts.  

Forget stereotypes.  Over time, men love to cuddle and women love sex more.  Researchers came to the conclusion by surveying more than 1,000 couples across the globe. 

Happy Valentine's Day!