Playing Board Games With Your Partner Releases “Love Hormones”, Says Study


A new study has found that playing board games with your partner releases ‘love hormones’, which I find genuinely surprising for a number of reasons. 

The first (and most important) reason is that anyone who’s tried to play a game like Monopoly with a loved one has likely briefly imagined what it would be like to violently murder that loved one as they plant their fourth hotel on Mayfair while you scrabble for change so you can buy a house for Old Kent Road.

I also don’t know if Mario Party counts as a board game in the traditional sense, but anyone who claims Nintendo’s party game evokes anything other than feelings of intense hate is a liar.

monopoly for millennialsWalmart/Hasbro

Of course, while I might disagree, a recent study published by people who understand these things much better than me (Baylor University) finds that couples who either played board games (or go to art class together) had increased levels of oxytocin, which is also known as the ‘hugging hormone’.

This hormone plays an important role in social bonding and sexual reproduction, apparently. So I guess if you’re trying for a kid sit down for a rousing game of Risk before you get down to business?

The study found:

The release of oxytocin increased most for the men in the art class, followed by women playing board games; women in the art class; and last, men playing board games. But the last three groups did not differ significantly from one another.

Karen Melton, Ph.D., assistant professor of child and family studies in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, said:

Our big finding was that all couples release oxytocin when playing together — and that’s good news for couples’ relationships.


The study goes on to note that certain activities will benefit men more than women, and vice versa, but sitting down to enjoy a good board game and some quality time together is as good a way as any to keep that loving feeling going.

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