Romance Is Necessary in the Winter

I was reading a non-fiction book with the very long title Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave, which is all about unexpected outside influences affecting our lives. The book recounts interesting studies of aggression and color (the calming effect of the titular pink now used in prisons), drug abuse, road noise on education, and how the name a parent gives a child can change their whole lives. It reminds me a lot of Freakonomics.

Toward the end of the book, there was a chapter that discussed romance.  The winter blahs aren’t good for much, but they do increase people’s desire to be comforted by love. It turns out that people were more willing to pay to see a romance during chilly winter months than other times of the year. Even taking into account other factors, the colder the winter the more people sought the comfort of romantic connections. There are theories that male testosterone is higher in winter months, but also that people seek warmth. More babies are conceived in wintertime, and the trend is higher in places that are more seasonal.

Besides turning to romantic comedies, people could also use physical warmth as a substitute for love. Just holding a warm cup of coffee, as opposed to something iced, on an elevator ride left subjects less needy for social comfort when they subsequently took a survey. I’ve read elsewhere that lonely people are more prone to bathing — rather than showering — since it is an immersion in warmth.

Now that winter has fallen behind us, and the sun is reaching higher into the sky, I hope that you will continue to appreciate romances. Not because you need them, but because they offer pleasure and comfort.


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