There are moments of loving and being loved that will make for lifelong beautiful memories. But something simpler than that seems to matter more. Scientists say that feeling loved every day, not necessarily romantic, contributes to your overall wellbeing in the long run.
The study which draws this conclusion is due to be published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal. It involved two studies by the team, both of which examined how the participants perceived their daily experiences of feeling loved, and the impact of these experiences.
“We took a very broad approach when we looked at love,” said Zita Oravecz, assistant professor at the Penn State University and one of the authors of this study. “Every day felt love is conceptually much broader than romantic love. It’s those micro-moments in your life when you experience resonance with someone. For example, if you’re talking to a neighbor and they express concern for your well-being, then you might resonate with that and experience it as a feeling of love, and that might improve your well-being.”
It was found that love and connection felt in everyday life resulted in individuals with better psychological wellbeing, with feelings of purpose and optimism. This was the case with the group who reported higher ‘felt love’ scores. People who reported low ‘felt love’ scores showed signs of neuroticism.
Furthermore, the team noted that the ‘felt love’ score has increased through the course of the study. This suggests that random prompts to recognize feelings of being loved can result in feeling more loved.