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Similarities in smell and taste preferences in couples increase with relationship duration

Groyecka, Agata, Sorokowska, Agnieszka, Oleszkiewicz, Anna, Hummel, Thomas, Łysenko, Krystyna, Sorokowski, Piotr
Appetite 2018 v.120 pp. 158-162
food choices, psychology, smell, taste
Numerous studies point to partners’ congruence in various domains and note an increase in their compatibility over time. However, none have explored a shift in chemosensory perception related to relationship duration. Here, we examined the relationship between the time heterosexual couples have spent together and the degree to which they share their gustatory and olfactory preferences. Additionally, we investigated whether these preferences are associated with relationship satisfaction. One-hundred couples aged from 18 to 68 years being together for a period between 3 and 540 months rated the pleasantness of a wide variety of olfactory and gustatory stimuli. We showed that both taste and smell preferences are more similar the longer couples have been in a relationship. We also observed a very interesting trend in terms of smell preferences, with relationship satisfaction being negatively related to congruence in smell preferences between partners. We discuss these results from the perspective of evolutionary psychology.