Can Playing a Board Game Make Your Date Fall In Love?

couple board game

Trending News: Study links love hormone with couple’s activities

Have you ever wished you could make a romantic interest fall in love? You know what I’m talking about, right? The ability to cast a spell or create a powerful love potion.

If the answer is yes, welcome to the club. Goodness knows that I’ve wanted to do this over the years. That’s why a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family caught my attention.

According to investigators, couples who play board games or create art together release a “love hormone” called oxytocin. In case you don’t know, oxytocin is a brain chemical that is thought to be heavily involved in human bonding.

Here’s a quick rundown of the study.

Researchers at Baylor University recruited 20 couples ranging in age from 20 to 40. The couples were randomly assigned to one of two types of dates – a board game or an art class. Each date lasted one hour.

The “board game group” played in an environment designed to mirror someone’s home. The games made available were popular in nature (i.e., cards, checkers, puzzles, chess) and required no directions.

The “painting group” took part in classes at a community studio. Participants were joined by other couples who also there to learn new skills. Each person was asked to paint a simple beach scene and initial their names on the sand.

love sign in neon

To measure oxytocin levels, the scientists took urine samples before and after each activity. After the “date”, all participants were asked to complete a short survey about the experience. The questions focused on things like touching, eye contact, and verbal communication.

So, you may be wondering about the outcome? Long story short, investigators discovered that all of the couples had elevated levels of oxytocin.

Dr. Karen Melton, a study co-author and assistant professor of child and family studies at Baylor, said the following in a statement:

“Our big finding was that all couples release oxytocin when playing together — and that's good news for couples' relationships,” Melton said.

Here’s the real kicker. The study also revealed the guys who took part in the painting class released 2.5 times more oxytocin than the other groups.

MV spoke to dating expert and Chicago psychotherapist Adam Kessler about the study to gain his impressions. “I think the research is interesting and in some ways confirms things we already know about the benefits of couples activities,” he said.

“However, we need to see more hard science on oxytocin, human bonding, and love. But I’ll be the first to say the results from this study are thought-provoking,” Kessler adds.

Well, there you have it, folks. Apparently, playing a board game with your date – or painting – can stir up feelings of closeness.

While not exactly a love potion, either activity may produce the desired result.

About Andy Seaborn 27 Articles
Andy Seaborn is a Seattle based freelance writer who blogs about relationships, parenting and men's issues. When he's not writing, he's usually spending time with his family outdoors. Look for pieces that focus on a variety of topics.