Entries in chemistry (6)


Moving Together: A Sign of Relationship Chemistry

Most relationships start out as a meeting between people who don’t know each other well (if at all). But what determines whether an interaction with a stranger will evolve into a friendship, a marriage, or nothing at all? When thinking about what predicts initial liking toward someone new, concepts like social status, attraction, and perceived similarity often come to mind. But subtle nonverbal behavior can also be important for planting seeds of rapport – seeds that can blossom into a meaningful relationship over time.

Many of us can think of interactions with someone – perhaps a partner or close friend – during which we felt “in sync” with that person: perhaps we experienced behavioral synchrony, or a sense of harmony, shared movement, and felt the person was easy to talk to.

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Relationship Chemistry: It's Electrifying!

If your relationship doesn't have chemistry or has lost it's spark, check out this post on rekindling the romance.

Image Source: George Takei's Facebook


Chemistry + Timing = Relationship Success

Last season on How I Met Your Mother, Robin shared a sagely perspective with Ted during a friend’s wedding. She suggested any relationship requires two essential ingredients: “chemistry” (meaning, how compatible people are with each other), and “timing” (basically, whether people meet each other at the right place, right time). As I heard this, I immediately thought how perfectly that sentiment meshes with relationship science.

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Can't Help Falling in Love?

Amanda asked “Elvis once sang, ‘I can't help falling in love with you.’ So... is love a conscious, rational choice or is it a chemical addiction that is uncontrollable?"

Dear Amanda,

Good question, and perhaps the answer depends on how you view “love.”  If you conceptualize love like Brick Tamland, San Diego’s favorite weatherman, then perhaps the answer is that love is rather conscious and only requires looking at objects and declaring your love for them. In that case, I love Science of Relationships!

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Crying Women Are a Real Turn Off

Perhaps when Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses wrote “Don’t Cry,” he was really protecting his libido. First, researchers collected tears of women who watched sad movies. Later, males who smelled the tears had decreased testosterone and found pictures of females less appealing. fMRI scans of males’ brain activity after smelling tears revealed that males' brains had less activity in regions associated with sexual arousal, which suggests that odorless tears contain a chemical signal that men unconsciously detect. 

Gelstein, S., Yeshurun, Y., Rozenkrantz, L., Shushan, S., Frumin, I., Roth, Y., & Sobel, N. (2011). Humans tears contain a chemosignal. Science, 331 (6014), 226-230. doi: 10.1126/science.1198331


Ask Dr. Loving: Does Sexual Chemistry Matter?

Nicole asked, "If every other sought after characteristic is present, can a relationship thrive on a long-term basis if there is no sexual chemistry?"

 Dear Nicole;

The makers of Viagra® would have you think such an idea is sheer lunacy!  Ultimately, however, it depends on what you mean by “thrive.”

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