Taste, smell preferences converge longer couples are together

Taste, smell preferences converge longer couples are together

Love may not stop newlyweds from occasionally sneering at the food a husband or wife puts on the dinner plate. One partner’s delicacy is often another’s pile of dreadful slop.

But take a good look at that slop. You may find it delicious in a few decades.

In the realm of taste and smell, European researchers recently discovered a couple’s preferences tend to become more similar the longer they are together. This seems to be particularly true for taste.

For the study, psychologists from Poland and Germany recruited 100 heterosexual couples ages 18 to 68 whose relationships were from three months to 45 years long. All were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how they desired the smell or taste of a number of things.

For the taste test, the couples had five flavors sprayed on their tongue — sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory, which are considered the five basic tastes.

For the smell test, participants rated odors that included lavender, banana, jasmine, eucalyptus and smoked meat.

Couples also filled out questionnaires about the state of their relationship, such as “Do you enjoy your husband’s/wife’s company?”

Don’t assume any agreement on dinner translates to marital bliss. Researchers were surprised to find no association between smell and taste convergence and happiness together. Worse, they found more unhappiness with couples whose smell preferences had grown similar.

Researchers suggest a shared environment accounts for the convergence of taste and smell. They noted that food negotiations can be an important part of a relationship.

So, guess what, guys: That broccoli you hated as a newlywed may look mighty tasty after a few decades of marriage.

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