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Saying 'I love you' on Valentine’s Day: One dozen ways

Do gentlemen prefer blondes?

In the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe was considered the quintessential "blonde bombshell". In the past half century, things have changed.

Just last month, English researchers from the University of Westminster sent the same woman to three different nightclubs. One night she was a brunette, the next night she was a blonde and on the third night, she dyed her hair red. Each night, researchers recorded how many men approached her and how they rated photographs of her.

The study found that although as a blonde, she received more offers to dance, as a brunette, she was rated higher for perceived attractiveness and intelligence. The researchers believe the evidence showed that men’s preference was swayed more by style than biology.

Do women prefer tall men?

Studies have shown that most women do prefer men who are taller than average.

However, petite women are often more attractive to some men. Certain studies have indicated that a prominent brow, a strong jaw and a square chin are perceived as highly desirable by women, whereas a more feminine, look is preferred by those seeking a long-term partner rather than a fling.

Do opposites attract?

Well, not always.

How many times have you heard your grandmother say, “There’s a lid for every pot?”

The suggestion that love often strikes those who least expect it from opposite ends of the spectrum who may not always fit together, may not always work, according to researchers at Cornell University who surveyed a thousand volunteers.

The research found the volunteers looked for potential mates who are what they described as “in their league”, and of equal intelligence, looks and status.

“We are attracted to people who like us,” says Dr. Robin Gilmour, a social psychologist at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. "And that usually means people who are like us.”

When it comes to love, is really just hormones?

Scientists say love comes in three stages: the initial flurry of lust and desire, followed by a deeper bond of attraction, and then finally the warmth of attachment and contentment.

All three stages, say researchers are closely determined by our hormones, testosterone and estrogen. The deepening bond of attraction is commonly linked to rising levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which make us feel calm and reduce anxiety.

Oxytocin is commonly referred to as the "love hormone" or “cuddle hormone”, and another called vasopressin, appear to have the effect of increasing trust and bonding.



 

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