Writing the Love Scene: Part II

kissSeems as if we were on a love theme last week. A little late, we should have hit this in February!

Robin wrote about love archetypes, in her post of the same name, a concept I’d never thought much about when writing a love scene, probably because my lovers develop their character traits as I write. Not much of a planner, me. My last post was more of a how-to-get-them-to-fall-in-love deal. In my research I stumbled upon a ton of “love tidbits” and so I thought I’d share more of them with you this week.

Did you know that…

  • Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don’t.
  • When it comes to doing the deed early in the relationship, 78 percent of women would decline an intimate rendezvous if they had not shaved their legs or underarms.
  • Feminist women are more likely than other females to be in a romantic relationship.
  • Two-thirds of people report that they fall in love with someone they’ve known for some time vs. someone that they just met.
  • People telling the story of how they fell in love overwhelmingly believe the process is out of their control.
  • Falling in love can exert the same stress on your body as deep fear. You see the same physiological responses — pupil dilation, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate.
  • Being in love can induce a calming effect on the body and mind and raises levels of nerve growth factor for about a year, which helps to restore the nervous system and improves the lover’s memory.
  • Brain scans show that people who view photos of a beloved experience an activation of the caudate — the part of the brain involving cravings.
  • Couples’ personalities converge over time to make partners more and more similar.
  • The tradition of the diamond engagement ring comes from Archduke Maximillian of Austria who, in the 15th century, gave a diamond ring to his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy.
  • Forty-three percent of women prefer their partners never sign “love” to a card unless they are ready for commitment.
  • People who are newly in love produce decreased levels of the hormone serotonin — as low as levels seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to feel obsessed when you’re smitten.
  • Philadelphia International Airport finished as the No. 1 best airport for making a love connection, according to an online survey. (I was just stranded their for several hours and it almost happened.)
  • According to mathematical theory, we should date a dozen people before choosing a long-term partner; that provides the best chance that you’ll make a love match.
  • A man’s beard grows fastest when he anticipates sex.
  • When we get dumped, for a period of time we love the person who rejected us even more. The brain regions that lit up when we were in a happy union continue to be active.
  • There’s a reason why office romances occur: The single biggest predictor of love is proximity. Familiarity breeds comfort and closeness… and romance. Maybe that why so many movie stars fall in love when making a film and it’s tough to avoid that workplace romance.
  • A simple peck uses two muscles; a passionate kiss, on the other hand, uses all 34 muscles in your face. Now that’s a rigorous workout!
  • Like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two lip impressions are alike.
  • Kissing is good for what ails you. Research shows that the act of smooching improves our skin, helps circulation, prevents tooth decay, and can even relieve headaches.
  • The average person spends 336 hours of his or her life kissing.
  • Ever wonder how an “X” came to represent a kiss? Starting in the Middle Ages, people who could not read used an X as a signature. They would kiss this mark as a sign of sincerity. Eventually, the X came to represent the kiss itself.
  • Talk about a rush! Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters in our brains as parachuting, bungee jumping, and running.
  • The average woman kisses 29 men before she gets married. (There’s no research on how many frogs.)
  • Men who kiss their partners before leaving for work average higher incomes than those who don’t.
  • The longest kiss in movie history was between Jane Wyman and Regis Tommey in the 1941 film, You’re in the Army Now. It lasted 3 minutes and 5 seconds.

Need to test your love quotient? Check out these love quizzes on Cosmo.

Excerpted from Laura Schaefer’s Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor and Dr. Helen Fisher’s Why We Love.

Up Next From Caryn: I promise to be more serious. Maybe.

Author: Caryn McGill

Caryn is a former high school science teacher, school district administrator and adjunct college professor.

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