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|Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14|
The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising and soon millions of people will begin a summer romance.
Why is this so? Isn’t it just as common to snuggle and fall in love beside a warm fire on a cold night?
Yes, it is, but the search for that cherished mate begins months before.
The Earth’s biological cycles can affect our physiology and our behavior. Seasonal change can be linked to hormonal fluctuations, our blood pressure and even our immune system function.
For instance, people tend to put on weight in the winter and they sleep longer. We suffer more anxiety in fall.
In spring, we have the most health problems and depression (even suicides.) There’s no better remedy for a down mood than love.
“It all begins in the spring. Clothes become
more revealing. Our bodies get active.”
Like all animals, humans are very connected to nature and seasonal change.
In our anthropological past, humans who survived the long, dark, cold winter were depleted and anxious before they gained renewed optimism by the longer days.
The onset of spring signals new growth, a fresh harvest and long days to be active. There is nothing more live affirming than love.
Communicating with another, exchanging affection and the dopamine rush of sex helps us overcome the frightening feelings that can come with changes in climate.
Remember, in our ancient history, people didn’t know if the sun (and food) was ever coming back. But love makes us feel hopeful.
By the time the autumn arrives, those who find a mate hunker down for the winter. Not surprisingly, the most common birthday month for human beings is August.
That means in the darkest days of winter, when our ancient people huddled together around fires and awaited the spring, there was some great sex happening.
Men’s testosterone levels rise by the end of the summer and peak in the fall.
And if the holidays are not filled with exciting sex and cozy bonding, that’s the time of the year most people go online to find mate.
Online dating sites report their biggest surge in users is between Christmas and New Year’s, when single people take stock of their situation and make resolutions to find love.
But it all begins in the spring. Clothes become more revealing. Our bodies get active.
The evenings become longer and warmer, and that sets us up to search for a summer lover for next winter’s nest.
Photo source: cloudfront.net.