This stat I stumbled into is a stunner: People fall in love in one-fifth of a second. Well, if the magic happens, that is… And consider this from Psyblog on the effects of love…
In 10 Psychology Studies Every Lover Should Know, findings like these figure heavily in my current pre-Valentine preoccupation with That Thing Called Love.
The brain gets a similar ‘hit’ from love as it does from a small dose of cocaine.
But didn’t we know that? Haven’t we felt it at one time or another? Isn’t that zing, that zazzle, that dazzling flurry of feelings as we fall in love a high we long for, revel in, and try to recreate when it’s gone?
And what about great loves? Would you rather yearn and burn for one Big Love instead of living a series of smaller sparks, however fiery their beginnings?
I have pondered the question of how many great loves we get in a lifetime, and woefully wonder if I’m done… or for that matter if I ever experienced “great love” even once.
While love does not necessarily equate to marriage, for many, that is precisely where it leads. Have you ever wondered about the most marriages on record? My Googling fingers reveal that number to be 23. The same source mentions another interesting post-marital-still-married love stat, namely, the most times a couple has renewed their vows, which currently sits at 100. Yikes! That’s a lot of weddings to pay for!
And on the topic of weddings, in case you’re wondering about the world’s most expensive wedding cake, try this, at a cool, diamond-encrusted $52 million. Hmmmm. I wonder what flavor it was. Might they have chosen “carat” cake?
So what about the longest marriage on record? That romantic reality reveals a remarkable 86 years. Imagine! Did they ever tire of each other? Didn’t they long for a little variety?
Speaking of variety, here, I cannot help but move along to the topic of lust. I tried to pin down this record — the most spouses (simultaneously), and found it a bit tricky, with as many as 60 simultaneous wives. Someone was taking their vitamins… And do check out this historical discussion on polygamy. It’s eye-opening!
Lingering on lust — now come on, you know you want to — let’s consider these stats on sex.
Do you know the average age of first sexual experience in the US, in Canada, or in, say… the Scandinavian countries? Do you think all European countries will be similar in their attitudes toward teenage sex? Bustle has that topic covered, with a sampling of worldwide stats, and these words to set the stage.
On average, people start having sex around the world at around 17. While people in some countries start having sex at an average age of 15.6, others do it as old as old as nearly 20. The United States falls somewhere in the middle at 16.9. But despite knowing all this, does the age at which you first have sex really matter?
Good final point, don’t you think? Still, I was curious as to where sexual activity begins at the youngest age, and likewise on the other end of the spectrum as people choose to wait until they are a bit older. Care to guess? Do you think local temperatures have anything to do with it? Are we more likely to snuggle up, and then some, if it’s icy outside most of the time? (If you guessed Iceland for that 15.6-year-old figure, you’re right!)
So what about the subject of variety? Your “number“ as some like to label it. If you are wondering about the average number of partners by sex, this 2017 report from Refinery29 reminds us to take “averages” with a grain of salt, since huge variations and nuance are lost in calculating an average. Furthermore, in reports on sex partners, people lie! (Women, traditionally, lower their number and men are thought to inflate theirs.)
Speaking of numbers to take with a grain of salt, what about infidelity?
Many of us are drawn to a hint of danger in our erotic entertainment, and infidelity, for some, certainly provides it. For others, it is a means to survive a sexless marriage or a less than satisfying relationship which, for other reasons (including love), they feel compelled to maintain. Still, the stats are surprising — surprisingly low if you ask me, when looking at this 2017 report on infidelity claiming that 22% of men cheat, while 14% of women admit to doing so. Remember… these are self-reported statistics. Do we believe people are forthcoming in what they confess?
Here is the statistic on cheating that really catches my eye:
People who have cheated before are 350% more likely to cheat again.
Pay attention to that! If you’re involved with someone who has been serially unfaithful and you’re not into open relationships, buyer beware!
Incidentally, it is estimated that some 15% of marriages are sexless. Also (sometimes) known as “the dead bed,” there are many reasons for sexless marriage, and it can be a painfully lonely place to be, and both cause and effect of marital infidelity.
I enjoy a lavishly produced period romance as much as the next person (woman?); give me a good Jane Austen film in a certain mood, and my longing for, well… longing… is ably addressed. But sometimes a state of yearning can be unsettling, if not destructive. What about unrequited love? Obsessing over someone you love but can’t have? Clinging to feelings for someone who has broken your heart and moved on, leaving you to pick up a thousand pieces of your past and present?
Do we have any way of quantifying the numbers on these painful periods that most of us have lived at one time or another? Is recalling the feelings more than enough to teach us to guard our hearts, or can we offset those painful recollections with heart-healthier happenings or belief in the future?
Of course, we may long for love, or long for more carnal pleasures. A little more Googling suggests that both are passionately pursued. Googling “books on finding love” offers 161 million results! “Adult sites” yields 785 million results! You can draw your own conclusions.
So what about sexual fantasies? We all have them, most of us enjoy them, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we live them, which might negate their purpose and power, at least to a degree. As for the most common sexual fantasies, for both men and women, you just might be surprised at how similar they are.
In musing on all of these topics, which are, of course, interrelated, I find it interesting — and only natural — that our views on love evolve as we grow older. Our views on everything evolve, don’t they? Shouldn’t our views and approach to love, lust, and longing evolve as well? Aren’t qualitative factors of increasing importance once beyond the blush of needing new and instructive experiences?
But must that mean we cease to desire desire itself, or the euphoric energy that flows from that sensational split second?
Wishing you a Valentine’s week of happy and healthy encounters… As always, I welcome your thoughts.
You May Also Enjoy