The internet today is full of memes that make fun of the complications that romantic relationships can provide us, but people online still lament being single, making jokes about their inability to flirt and how they will be forever alone. It’s fun to laugh about serious things on social media so that they don’t feel so serious, especially when it’s something as treasured as finding a mate for life. People are mammals that value companionship after all. People take love quizzes in magazines, go get relationship psychic readings, and look to friends and family for opinions and advice. But why? Why is love so important to us?
Psychologically, caring for others increases happiness in ourselves. We find that loving others brings us joy and needing to be loved in return is one of our most basic needs as human beings. We as animals enjoy being held and comforted by touch. Studies show that infants who are deprived physical contact as comfort grow up to have psychological problems. Love is important to us because it brings us physical and emotional comfort in addition to the happiness that it gives us to love in return.
The reason love is important to us is because we are psychologically hardwired to need love as well as love in return. Studies have shown that doing things for others make us happier. Love drives us to selfless. When healthy loving relationships are going well, it’s usually because both parties in the relationship are selflessly thinking of and caring for the other person. When both people do this, nobody wants for or needs anything. Love is essentially a provider, because it stems from generosity. It also happens that those who are generous tend to illicit generous behaviors from others, as well as attracted people who are more generous in nature. Hanging out with generous people, typically, makes you happier than if you were to spend time with self-centered individuals.