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What Do You Associate With Romantic Love?

a happy couple smiling
Americans frequently cited "friendship" and "comfort/love" as requirements for romantic love, but Lithuanian and Russian participants either seldom or never mentioned these requirements, the study shows. (Image credit: stock.xchng)

If you were asked to give 10 items that described romantic love, what would they be? Here's how others replied to a similar question.

In a new study published in the journal Cross-Cultural Research, scientists asked 1,157 adults from the United States, Russia and Lithuania to write in freelist form what they associated with romantic love.

[Read full story on how love differs between the nations]

Though respondents didn't use the exact same language to indicate, say, joy or being together, the scientists categorized list items that fell under the same meaning.

The top 5 items listed by Lithuanians and the percent who included the concept on their list:

  1. Being together: 50 percent
  2. Joy: 20 percent
  3. Walk: 17.5 percent
  4. Emotional upsurge: 17.5 percent
  5. Happy: 16.25 percent
  6. Kiss: 15 percent
  7. Do things together: 11.25 percent
  8. Temporary: 11.25 percent
  9. Sex: 11.25 percent
  10. Attention: 10 percent

Top 10 listed by Russians:

  1. Being together: 45 percent
  2. Sex: 25 percent
  3. Walking: 24 percent
  4. Unreal: 20 percent
  5. Beach/sea: 19 percent
  6. Joyful: 16 percent
  7. Travel: 15 percent
  8. Moon stars: 15 percent
  9. Candlelight dinner: 10 percent
  10. Night: 9 percent

Top 10 listed by U.S. participants:

  1. Being together: 38 percent
  2. Happy: 35 percent
  3. Friendship: 27 percent
  4. Mutual: 20 percent
  5. Care: 13 percent
  6. Love: 13 percent
  7. Sex: 13 percent
  8. Comfortable: 11 percent
  9. Connection: 10 percent
  10. Secure: 10 percent

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Live Science Staff
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