10 Love Facts Ripe For Valentines Day

Ever wondered why, when it comes to love, we have lots of ways to express ourselves? From a kiss at the end of a message to a whole day just to show how much we love someone. Here are 10 facts that might give you a lesson in love.

 

1. When in Rome

King Henry VIII officially declared February 14th St. Valentine's Day in 1537. However, pagan traditions of the 3rd and 4th Centrury BC suggest an older origin to this February love tradition. Fertility festivals in Ancient Rome would take place between the 13th and 18th February, involving animal sacrifice and rituals dedicated to peace, love and fertility.

 

2. Kiss on the dotted line

Ever wondered why we sign off with an X to signify a kiss? It is believed that this tradition originates in Medieval times. If you couldn’t write your name you would sign with a cross, which you would then kiss to authenticate the contract. Think twice next time you quickly type that cheeky x.

 

3. Heart on your sleeve

The expression originates from the 1500s when men and women would pick names in pairs from a bowl or box to find their Valentine. Then, for a week, they would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for everyone to see. I might try that this year. Better than the cowardly question mark sign off we’ve become accustomed to in our cards.

 

4. Boom Boom

Couples in love have matching heart beats. A study in the US monitored the heart rates of couples sitting facing one another in silence for three minutes. The couples who were in love regulated their heart beats to match each others, as opposed to the couples who didn’t know or love each other. This is possibly down to having more empathy for the one you love.

5. Sweet Dreams are Made of Cheese

In the era of King Henry VII’s reign, young ladies decided to eat strange mixtures of strong and foods throughout the Valentines season. Why? To dream that night of their future husband, of course.

 

6. Doctor Heartbreak

Pining for a lost love? Physicians of the 1800s would often prescribe chocolate to ease the heartache of the love forlorn. The antioxidant resveratrol in cocoa does help increase levels of endorphines and serotonin and in the brain, which increases mood levels. Get stuck in.

 

7. Obsessive Compulsive Desire

In 1990 a study was made in Italy showing the similarities between those in love and those with OCD. Our levels of serotonin decrease by approximately 40% when in love, same with a person with OCD. People who have low levels of serotonin in their system are more likely to fall in love.

 

8. I do, I do, I do...

The average number of proposals on Valentines day? 220,000 every year. Let’s hope that’s 220,000 I do’s.

9. Dear Julie,

Each Valentines day, approximately 1000 letters addressed to Juliet arrive in Verona, the Italian setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

 

10. Friends before flings

In Finland and Estonia, Valentines Day is called Ystävänpäivä and Sõbrapäev respectively, meaning ‘Friend’s Day’. As the title suggests, 14th February is more about celebrating your friendships rather than romantic relationships. Here here.

 

Striving for love? Find a companion with Reader's Digest dating.

 

Stuck for a romantic movie idea? Have a look at our 10 Most Romantic Movies of Yester-Year.