Pining for a Valentine is not all bad news, say researchers

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, many single people feel a little sorry for themselves. On a day dominated by couples, this can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, say researchers. However, don’t worry – they say it could actually be good for you.

“On the scale of everyday life, it is understandable how something as personally aversive as loneliness could be regarded as a blight on human existence,” John Cacioppoat and his fellow researchers at the University of Chicago write in the journal Cognition & Emotion.

“Research over the past decade suggests a very different view of loneliness than suggested by personal experience, one in which loneliness serves a variety of adaptive functions in specific habitats.

“Although it may feel like loneliness has no redeeming features, it promotes behaviour change to increase the likelihood of the survival of one’s genes.

“The pain of loneliness served to prompt us to renew the connections we needed to ensure survival and to promote social trust, cohesiveness, and collective action.”

However, there was also bad news – researchers found that the “lonely” were viewed more negatively in terms of their psycho-social functioning and attractiveness, which could lead to further isolation.

The team even say loneliness could be behind many sports fans’ decision to get behind their team. – Daily Mail

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