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Most of the research in this area centers on marriage, but Reis believes many of the perks extend to other close relationships -- for example, with a partner, parent, or friend.
The key is to “feel connected to other people, feel respected and valued by other people, and feel a sense of belonging,” he says.
“It’s the dopamine-reward area, the same area that responds to cocaine or winning a lot of money,” says Arthur Aron, Ph D, one of the study’s authors.
But there were striking differences between the two groups in other parts of the brain.
When it comes to anxiety, a loving, stable relationship is superior to new romance.
Researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook used functional MRI (f MRI) scans to look at the brains of people in love.
“The best logic for this is that human beings have been crafted by evolution to live in closely knit social groups.
In long-term relationships, “you also have activation in the areas associated with bonding ...
and less activation in the area that produces anxiety.” The study was presented at the 2008 conference of the Society for Neuroscience.
“I need somebody to love,” sang the Beatles, and they got it right.
Love and health are intertwined in surprising ways.