Imprinted in the hearts of hopeless romantics everywhere are the words of the wise and inspirational Mother Theresa: "Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."
Although a relationship can spark during any season, is there a certain time of year where relationships blossom best and are most enduring? A true romantic would say no, but science says otherwise.
So what exactly is the best season for love?
Although we all feel warm when cuddling with the person we love, winter can be a difficult time to find that special someone. This is due to the fact that we aren’t as sociable, are moodier and spend much more time indoors. Clinical pyschologist Susan Davis, Ph.D. stated that "In the winter, we hurry home to our nests to stay warm and protected from the elements." According to the National Institutes of Health, there's also a link between mood changes and lack of sunlight during the cold season (as shorter days attribute to getting the "winter blues").
It's no surprise that being cooped up inside makes it harder to find the one.
After shaking off the rough winter months, we welcome spring with open arms. When it comes to love, many feel that it's a tie on whether spring is a good time to start a new relationship or the best time to end one. According to marriage and family therapist Dr. Jane Greer, we hold on to relationships during the harsh winter months "even if it's not exactly what [we] want it to be [because] it's too dark to start something new". This changes in the springtime when the warmer weather alleviates our mood and boosts our confidence.
What about the time of year where we attend parties, have bonfires, succumb to our wanderlust and spend more time out in the sun? While all of these activities give you the perfect chance to make new connections, summer doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for the starting point of a relationship. According to anthropologist Helen Fisher, one of the reasons why summer romances rarely last are because we’re constantly on the go; "Summer is a time when we’re off, we’re traveling, we’re not part of our communities."
Though summer probably isn’t the best season for love, it still has its benefits. One benefit is the freedom to explore new hobbies. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D of the University of Michigan said that "Being outside readjusts your outlook. The sun represses melatonin levels, making you feel alert, open to new ideas, and willing to put yourself in unfamiliar territory." This spur of spontaneity gives you the opportunity to go on adventures and meet new and exciting people.
Fall is a more serious time of year. It’s when all the commotion from summer fizzles and we get back into the swing of our routines. This slowing down process is part of what makes fall the perfect time for love. In 2012, Facebook Data Science released a study that calculated seasonal patterns of relationships in Facebook profiles. During the fall months, more singles were changing their status to "In A Relationship" and "Engaged". Fall proves to be a good time for love because we all want someone to spend winter and the holidays with.
Date nights are even better in the fall. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found that when the weather starts getting colder, our choice of movies starts to get warmer. Men and women are more likely to choose romantic comedies during the frigid months due to the connection between physical and psychological sensations. Feeling cold results in the desire for warmth. There's never been a better time to get closer to your sweetheart by watching The Notebook.
We can now stop dreading the end of the exhilarating highs of summer and look forward to fall, where there’s a possibility of something even more magical to happen.
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