Does Speed Dating Make Your Testosterone Levels Soar?

You might think that two minutes is not a long enough period of time to get to know a person, or at least develop any emotional response, but according to the results of a new speed-dating study, when speed-dating causes a mutual attraction, both male and female testosterone levels spike.

Outside expert, Dr. Robin Edelstein, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, commented, ‘The findings do suggest that we have some sort of ‘radar’ to detect who’s attracted to us … but it’s not clear from this study whether people are consciously aware of this or not.’

The study involved approximately 200 heterosexual men and women taking part in roughly 2,000 speed-dates. Each participant had two saliva samples taken for hormone analysis a week before their speed-dates, and another two swabs were taken right before and after the dates.

The results showed that though testosterone levels did not rise as a result of one-sided attraction, both men and women experienced a testosterone bump when the attraction was mutual. This means that if you are attracted to someone, or they find you attractive, that is not enough to affect your hormone levels unless the feeling is reciprocated, no matter your gender.

Lead author Eli Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University in Evanston, explained, ‘Many people think that only men have testosterone, but that’s not the case. It’s true that men have much more testosterone than women do, but the links between testosterone and social outcomes are similar for men and women, and testosterone is associated with a stronger sex drive in both sexes.’

Finkel said that the results are not surprising when applied to relationship wellness: ‘It is extremely rare that humans mate in the absence of mutual consent. Feeling attracted to a new person, or having that person be attracted to you, is not a reliable indicator that you have a good chance of initiating a sexual relationship with him or her. Mutual attraction is required for that.’

Therefore, this hormone spike could indicate a positive wellbeing in the future relationship, and Finkel theorised that a spike in testosterone may ‘promote efforts toward establishing a relationship with the other person.’

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