We’ve all seen this commercial: someone sees an attractive person coming their way, they smell their breath, realize it is horrible, and pop in a nice stick of Spearmint gum in the nick of time. The attractive person approaches and our “personal space” is free for the kiss. Spearmint has saved the day once again.
So can gum really improve your chances of meeting someone? While having good breath certainly can’t harm your chances, perhaps taste has more power than we realize.
According to a recent study by Dongning Ren and a team of scholars at Purdue University, combining taste with romantic interest may be the secret to unlocking our “personal space” problem.
Sweet Tasting Love
Ren and her team wanted to know just what happened when people had something sweet to taste when thinking about love. Does chewing gum really help us resize our personal space?
When drinking or eating something sweet, it appears that we tend to think favorably about being in love. Those in the study who had something sweet were more likely to express interest in starting a new relationship in general. They didn’t even need to see an attractive stranger.
Having an attractive stranger doesn’t hurt though. When given information about a potential partner, those who had something sweet were also more likely to express interest in a relationship with that person specifically. But the effect didn’t stop at romantic interest alone. Those same people also predicted a happy and satisfying relationship with the stranger.
So what does this mean?
We have known for a long time that experiencing something with our senses triggers certain responses. Smell can help us remember something that happened long ago, and can even be used to change how we feel about a certain memory. Hearing music can bring up specific emotions and help people cope with stress. And it seems taste might just help us feel love easier.
No wonder we hear so many sweet names for romantic partners. Nicknames like “sweetie,” “honey,” and “sugar” may not be so random, and may actually improve relationships. If tasting something sweet helps us feel love easier, then maybe sweet names help us remember that love better.
So the next time an attractive stranger is walking towards you, don’t hog the gum to yourself. Offer them a piece too. And don’t forget to share your Halloween candy! It may just help you find a date to introduce to your family at Thanksgiving.
While we don’t have any candy we can give you, try taking our RELATE assessment to see just how sweet your personality is!
Read the original article here: http://spr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/10/20/0265407514554512.abstract
Written by: Dallin