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Valentine’s day roundup: what research teaches us about romance

Alan Turkus/wikimedia, CC BY-SA

We get it: your feed is clogged with last-minute Valentine’s gift ideas, restaurant deals and paeans to everlasting love. Whether you’re happily shacked up or going it alone, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction (or marketing) at this time of year. For those pondering the bigger questions of human love, here are a few of our favourite research finds.

What’s the deal with aphrodisiacs?

If you’re considering spicing up Valentine’s day with an aphrodisiac (or even if you’re not), Clare Collins gives a fascinating rundown on the efficacy of plants, foods and other stimulants.

How is the internet changing love?

Psychologists have done much to document the joys and pitfalls of digital romance. Here’s an academic view on how the internet affects relations.

Should you hold out for the one?

According to a study, holding out for the one may make evolutionary sense. Tom Smulders explains.

Can you revive the spark in a long-term relationship?

Sarah Gomillion reveals what science can tell us about going the distance.

Can your genes dictate if you’re lucky in love?

In a great relationship? Anthropologist Jo Setchell explains how your grandmother might have something to do with that.

Which perfume should you buy for your loved one?

Smell is humans’ dominant sense - which means getting your loved one’s perfume wrong may have more repercussions than you thought. Psychologists explain why.

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