Science explains why romance is all about sex

Or, more specifically, chemistry, telling us that a "beautiful stranger" might be a good candidate for reproduction

Sarah Gray
May 9, 2014 8:24PM (UTC)

Is there such thing as love at first sight? Well, according to science, the answer is yes and no.

Sight does have something to do with it, but that is not the only sense playing into your sudden attraction to the intriguing stranger at the bar. (It may, however, make you get up and move closer.) Love also has quite a bit to do with your sense of smell picking up pheromones, your ears' response to their voice, touch and, of course, the (actual) chemistry of the first kiss. All of this might lead to the activation of your flight or fight response -- the quick palpitations of your heart.


But why do our senses react this way? In a video from Ted-Ed, the chemistry of love is broken down by what our bodies are looking for: a biologically fit potential mate. At the end of the day it is all about reproducing.

If you're worried you'll never meet that special someone (as I've written about before), science can help out with that too! According to the folks at It's OK to Be Smart, there are 871 potential soul mates floating around out there. And if you find one, there's a mathematical equation to tell you how long it'll last.


h/t Gizmodo, Ted-Ed

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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Chemicals Innovation Life Love At First Sight Reproducing Science Sex Video

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