Finishing-up Dan Goleman’s “Social Intelligence” and thought I’d share a couple fascinating studies. First, it seems that couples in love–those who have spent many years together–begin to actually look alike. In strong, healthy relationships as two people interact and loop emotionally, they adopt similar expressions and mannerisms. This constant and parallel flexing/tensing of muscles creates similar patterns of ridges and lines in their faces–and the more alike two people appear, the happier and stronger their past relationship.

I find this sort of thing so charming and intriguing. We really do create and define one another as life goes on. We physically shape one another by our emotional states and feelings. Goleman sites another study that finds in unhappy, long-term marriages, the effects of negativity impact a woman’s health as strongly as factors like smoking or obesity. Being in a bad relationship is like smoking a pack-a-day. Curiously, though, it didn’t hold true for men–men seem to be just as healthy whether in a good relationship or bad. But you know what did factor extremely poorly for a man’s health? Being in no relationship at all.