Is This the Secret to Having a Perfect First Date?

As Valentine's Day looms closer and we all start to think about what to give our date, science has decided to weigh in with some good news for chocolate lovers. Researchers have found that tasting something sweet increases the level of attraction we feel for a potential partner. So when your next first date comes along, remember: flowers are sweet, chocolate is sweeter.

Researchers at Purdue University tested on a group of 180 volunteers, getting some of them to eat sugary treats before they all rated the allure of a prospective date. Confirming all the sexy notions we associate with chocolate, those who ate something sweet were more interested in a first date than those who had stuck with water or chips.

It turns out love and sugar affect the same brain systems: both trigger production of the pleasure chemical dopamine. Scientists believe that activating one area "may facilitate activation of the other." In other words, sugar makes us feel all gooey.

This isn't the first time chocolate has been shown to boost your romantic prospects. Previous research has shown that sugary foods can make us daydream about hypothetical committed and satisfying relationships — which explains why ice cream seems to pair so perfectly with watching rom coms. And if that's still not enough to make you reach for some cocoa deliciousness, just remember that chocolate also acts as a natural sunscreen, helps reduce stress, and does wonders for the heart (physically and emotionally). It's basically a superfood.

Now the only thing you need to figure out is how to get your love interest to eat chocolate with you on a first date. If you bring a box of chocolates, try not to seem too creepy when you insist they eat some right away. Better yet, find a first date that involves something sweet. Gazing into each other's eyes over any type of dessert might just be the perfect date, anyway.

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