Love comes in many shapes and sizes—from romantic love to the love between friends and family, to a loving culture in schools and beyond. Sustaining our loving relationships involves many skills that are also good for our own well-being, like gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness.
Luckily, human beings are wired for love—from the neurons in our brains to the hormones in our bodies to the touch receptors in our skin. With that in mind, we hope these resources inspire you to reach out to someone important to you. You know that little moment of warmth you feel when you connect with someone? According to researcher Barbara Fredrickson, that’s love.
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- How Relationship Satisfaction Changes Across Your Lifetime: Our romantic happiness goes through normal ups and downs as we get older—and we’re least happy around age 40, a new study finds.
- 10 Pillars of a Strong Relationship: Many of the keys to a satisfying, lasting bond are probably already present in your relationship.
- How to Keep Love Alive: After more than a decade together, our podcast guest tries to bring the spark back into her marriage.
- How Science Can Help Your Love to Last: Two relationship experts explain how to foster positive feelings and overcome challenges for a long-lasting relationship.
- How to Fall in Love With Anyone: Can 36 questions help you fall in love—and stay in love? Bestselling author Kelly Corrigan tries a research-proven technique to feel closer to her husband. Plus, we learn how the same technique can actually reduce racism and prejudice.
- Four Keys to Building a Love That Lasts: Taking cues from positive psychology research can help us avoid the pitfalls of long-term relationships and maintain happier, healthier partnerships.
- Four Ways to Make the Most of Gratitude on Valentine’s Day: Whether February 14th is your first Valentine’s Day together or your 35th, it’s a great excuse to show gratitude for the one you love.
- Five Ways to Renew an Old Love: Love is fleeting, says one of the world’s leading experts on positive emotion. But with practice, you can foster love anytime you wish—and, in doing so, renew old bonds.
Pain and pitfalls in love
- How to Communicate With Love (Even When You’re Mad): A marriage therapist offers a step-by-step guide for a conversation with your partner when emotions are running high.
- What to Do When Love Breaks Your Heart: Heartbreak can be devastating for our minds and bodies. Here are six ways to help yourself through it, based on research.
- How to Stop Romantic Comedies From Ruining Your Love Life: Romantic comedies create unrealistic expectations, but we don’t have to buy into them.
- What to Do When You Hate the One You Love: It’s a thin line, says an old song and some new research. Here are seven ways to keep bad feelings from getting out of hand.
- How to Stop Attachment Insecurity From Ruining Your Love Life: Do you have commitment, trust, and attachment issues? Science helped Meghan Laslocky—and it just might help you, too.
- This Is Your Brain on Heartbreak: Why does getting dumped hurt physically? Meghan Laslocky explains where that feeling comes from, and what it’s good for.
- When Are You Sacrificing Too Much in Your Relationship?: Close relationships require sacrifice. Here are seven questions to ask yourself before you give up too much.
Love and friendship
- Four Types of Work Friendship (And Which One Is Best for You): Should you be friends with your coworkers? Here’s how to navigate the benefits and pitfalls of friendship in the workplace.
- Why Friendships Among Men Are So Important: Men have fewer friends these days, which can hurt their well-being. Here are expert tips for fostering those relationships.
- How to Make the Lasting Friendships You Want: A new book sheds light on how important friends are for our well-being and gives advice on how to cultivate more, deeper friendships.
- Thinking About Reaching Out to Someone? Science Says Do It: Two new studies find that connecting with someone is even nicer than we expect.
- Why Your Friends Are More Important Than You Think: How can you sustain your friendships in life? The first step is recognizing their importance, argues author Lydia Denworth.
- Why You Should Prioritize Your Friendships: A new book looks at how friendship—in its many forms—contributes to our well-being.
- When Teens Need Their Friends More Than Their Parents: A new study suggests that teens may cope with stress better when they’re around peers, rather than adults.
- Friends Help Our Health As We Age: A new study suggests that the quality of adult relationships matters more to our health than their quantity.
- How a Father’s Love Helps Kids Thrive in Life: A new study suggests that affection from dads can help children grow up to be more satisfied with their lives and accepting of themselves.
- When Do Teens Feel Loved by Their Parents?: In their drive for independence, teenagers can seem to reject parents. A new study suggests that the key to making them feel loved is to be persistently warm, even in conflict.
- With Kids, Love Is in the Little Things: Researcher Barbara Fredrickson explains how a parent’s love helps kids thrive.
- What Being a Stepfather Taught Me About Love: Jeremy Adam Smith has learned some difficult lessons from his stepchild—and he’s grateful for them.
- Five Ways to Talk With Your Kids So They Feel Loved: These warm, nurturing messages need repeating over and over again with our children.
- How Love Can Help Your Child Become More Compassionate: New research suggests that warm and loving relationships with parents help children grow into compassionate adults.
- How to Cultivate a Secure Attachment With Your Child: A new book suggests that parents can raise healthier and happier children by providing a balance of support and freedom.
Love in schools, society, and beyond
- Is There a Place for Love in Medicine?: One doctor found a way to feel love for his patients. Here are four things he learned.
- Six Tips for Loving Your Enemies: Choosing love over hate can be difficult, but ultimately it may be the path to healing for ourselves and our society.
- Is Love Better Than Anger for Social Change?: We can learn from the fly fishing industry, which shifted toward conservation thanks to decades of messaging about caring for nature.
- How to Love People You Don’t Like: Our podcast guest tries a practice to help her feel compassion toward others—even those she disagrees with.
- Why You Should Love Thy Coworker: A new study suggests that fostering compassion among health care workers might improve the quality of patient care.
- Love in the Classroom, Beyond Candy Hearts and Raging Hormones: We asked for your stories of love in education. Here are some of the moving responses.
- Is It Possible to Love All Humanity?: Qualities like gender, ethnicity, and nationality tend to define us more than being human. What happens when we try to identify with all of humanity?
Love in the body
- Is Oxytocin Really the Love Hormone?: New research with prairie voles questions the idea that oxytocin is the driver of romantic attachment and good parenting.
- Moments of Love and Connection May Help You Live Longer: A new study finds that couples who show more warmth, concern, and affection for each other live longer, healthier lives.
- How Biology Prepares Us for Love and Connection: Our brains and bodies are wired for empathy, cooperation, generosity, and connection.
- What’s Love Got to Do with the Brain?: Poems and pop songs have a lot to say about love. But is it all nonsense? Helen Fisher looks at lyrics through a scientific lens.
- Five Surprising Ways Oxytocin Shapes Your Social Life: New research is finding that oxytocin doesn’t just bond us to mothers, lovers, and friends—it also seems to play a role in excluding others from that bond.
- How Love Grows in Your Body: Here are the places where romantic love abides in our bodies—and the role each one plays in sustaining love over time.
- Born to Love: Our body equips us with some natural and powerful aphrodisiacs, writes Helen Fisher, along with the tools to make romance last.