According to a new study from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, humans are most likely to get the warm and fuzzies from caring actions rather than large declarations of love.
Researchers surveyed 495 US adults on their feelings towards 60 different scenarios involving intimate their relationships, friends, family and pets.
Topping the list for what makes them feel happiest? Being shown compassion, snuggling with their nearest and dearest and hearing those three little words.
“It is possible for people to feel loved in simple, everyday scenarios. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top gestures.” explains researcher Dr Saeideh Heshmati explains.
“Whether we feel loved or not plays an important role in how we feel from day-to-day. We were curious about whether the majority of Americans could agree on what makes people feel loved on a daily basis, or if it was a more personal thing.”
“Our results show that people do agree and the top scenarios that came back weren’t necessarily romantic.”
In contrast, possessive actions and behaviours were seen as total buzz-killers.
“If someone wants to know where you are at all times, or acts controlling, those actions are not loving to us,” Heshmeti says. “This could be a cultural difference though.”
Further, he advises that each individual may differ in their beliefs.
“It may not be wise to go into a relationship assuming that both of you know the same things about being loved, or that all of the same things will make you feel loved,” he says.
“I think it’s important to communicate these things to each other, which can assist in being more in tune with each other and feeling loved in the relationship.”