Apparently, Your Significant Other Can Actually Change Your Taste Buds

Photographed by Kate Anglestein.

The longer you're in a relationship, the more likely it is that your partner will influence the things you like or dislike. Chances are they'll introduce you to new music, television shows, and even new foods.

So, the results of a new study published in the journal Appetite aren't really as strange as they seem, Time reports. According to the researchers, a significant other can have a big impact on someone's senses of both taste and smell.

They looked at 100 heterosexual couples, between the ages of 18 and 68, who had been together between three and 540 months (45 years), and tested their preferences through sniff and taste tests. Each participant was asked to sniff a scent like rose, eucalyptus, smoked meat, and leather. Researchers later sprayed a flavor on their tongues, either sweet, salty, sour, umami, or bitter. They found that couples who had been together longer had more of both tastes and smells that they liked in common.

That's pretty easily explained, given that people who have lived together for 45 years, verses couples who had been together only 3 months, share the same environment and therefore eat similar foods and smell similar smells.

"As partners share household (including kitchen and fridge) and a significant proportion of meals, they are much likely to eat similar types of food," the researchers wrote.

That explanation makes sense with the researchers' observation that how happy a couple was didn't change their similar preferences for both food and scents. Even in an unhappy relationship, people are likely still eating and smelling the same things.

Still, more research needs to be done to prove that there isn't more at play when it comes to why a couple likes to eat and smell the same things. But, for now, take it as reason to have more date nights over dinner.

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