Since the first season of “The Bachelor” back in 2002, we’ve seen the same romantic fairy tale play out. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love in two months - while he’s dating dozens of other girls - and boy proposes to girl. It’s tough to believe these couples actually fall in love in just six to nine weeks, but experts say it often is the real deal. So how does it happen so fast?
For one thing, “The Bachelor” and it’s spin-off shows are all about the “honeymoon phase,” explains neuroscientistDr. Kristen Willeumier.When the contestants step into that mansion, they’re cut off from the outside world and without all those distractions, all they can do is focus on their feelings and what they want. Plus, those elaborate dates are filled with over-the-top activities, like skydiving and candlelit dinner in caves, and all that excitement impacts their emotions. Dr. Willeumier says, “It’s science:studiesfind that adrenaline rushes can help spark sexual attraction.”
But the chemicals in their brains also help convince them they’re falling in love. A surge of testosterone, dopamine and others affect the pleasure centers in the brain and drive the attraction phase of love. That transitions to the attachment phase of love, which is when couples feel connected and contestants on the show confess their feelings for each other. But why do so many relationships from the shows fizzle out so quickly afterward? Dr. Willeumier explains that when the wild dates and the show are over, the couples are back in the real world and reality sets in. They may find they’re not as compatible as they thought after leaving the bubble of the show.