Many people have the fantasy of being swept off their feet by a knight in shining armor. You know, someone to come save them or show up at just the perfect moment and remove all doubt that they are wanted or needed. Well it turns out that this kind of thing is not entirely limited to fairy tales.
A new study shows that men are more likely to go the extra mile for a woman when they are in love, and it may be due to the same hormones that create feelings of romance.
The research was published by Jens Förster and others at University of Amsterdam. The study involved male college students who were hooked up to a device that measured their perspiration. They were shown photos of women they said they had varying levels of attraction towards and then asked to run a short course on a treadmill. Afterwards, the researchers measured how long the men spent with an energy drink that was offered to them as a thank you for participating in the study.
Men who were shown photos of women they found more attractive left the room about a minute sooner when they were in love with the woman pictured. They were also more likely to choose an energy drink over plain water, even though both liquids had equal amounts of sugar.
In another study, women showed exactly the same pattern in these experiments. Women found their partners even sexier when shown photos of them, and this effect also lasted longer when they were in love. Women with long-term partners saw them as more attractive than women who had just met their boyfriends, and it took longer for them to look away from the photos of these individuals.
Förster says that his research shows that the same brain areas may be responsible for love and mate selection. They are also the same areas that are related to feelings of hunger.
"While being in love is quite different from being hungry, there are some remarkable parallels between the two types of motivation," he says.
The research indicates that this may be an evolutionary mechanism that gave men a reason to put energy into their partners and children. It also may have lead to monogamous relationships, which have the benefit of allowing people to focus on raising their children.
It turns out that there are some clear correlations between being in love and being hungry, but you don't have to choose between food or love if your dinner date doesn't work out. You can always try for both!
Just like any significant journey, finding love requires time, planning and a whole lot of preparation. In order to be ready for love, there are a few things you need to be deliberate about dealing with and taking care of in order to be at the best place that you can be when love comes along. Of course, you’ll have to wait for that special other person to make themselves available too, but in the meantime, there are some things you can take care of.
You need to be able to offer yourself emotionally before you expect someone else to do it for you. This means that if your life is in shambles then love will not be able to penetrate through all obstacles much less find its way in. You have to be whole on your own before you can expect someone else to share that wholeness with.
You need to feel complete within yourself not just in order to avoid the emotional baggage of being half a couple, but also so that you are capable of loving yourself enough to love someone else better.
If something is wrong with you, then you need to fix it now rather than later. You can wait for someone else to notice that something is wrong and ask how they can help, but relationships are about give and take. If you’re not healthy enough to offer love then there’s no reason for anyone else to stick around.