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Feeling loved really might be a product of “the little things,” study shows


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Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed

When it comes to feeling most loved, are the big, over-the-top romantic gestures best, or is it more about the positivity added to your everyday routine? That’s the question researchers sought to answer in a new study, which ultimately found most folks prefer small, non-romantic gestures.

Researchers asked 495 American adults to look at 60 different scenarios and share whether they thought people would feel loved or not in each situation. The participants didn’t agree on everything, but for the most part, they felt the little things in life to be the most loving-generating—including being greeted by a pet. (And, honestly, is there anything better?)

“We found that behavioral actions—rather than purely verbal expressions—triggered more consensus as indicators of love. For example, more people agreed that a child snuggling with them was more loving than someone simply saying, ‘I love you.'” —Saeideh Heshmati, research scholar

“We found that behavioral actions—rather than purely verbal expressions—triggered more consensus as indicators of love. For example, more people agreed that a child snuggling with them was more loving than someone simply saying, ‘I love you,'” said Saeideh Heshmati, a postdoctoral research scholar at Pennsylvania State University, in a press release, adding that loving actions may imply more authenticity than words alone.

So, the next time you want to communicate your love to someone, steer clear of the big, over-the-top options in favor of something as simple as someone checking in on you to make sure you’re having a good day. Or, you know, enjoy a solid cuddle with your pup.

Your November energy horoscope is all about love. Speaking of, you need to see this glittery work of self-love art.