We’ve all done it, as it is the oldest trick in the book to watch a scary movie when you want to hold your girlfriend tightly. There is a scientific expansion why this works.
When we are frightened, our brains produce the “feel good” chemical dopamine, the same chemical that is released when we are obsessed with someone, Your heart races and you can quickly become so addicted to that feeling—as the euphoric serotonin hormone also goes up.
These chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, are also triggered when we fall in love with somebody. They give-us that euphoric sensation, and are the purpose we crave less food and sleep when we are head-over-hills in love.
Being scared builds the same sort of exciting feeling. Scientists have been able to increase dopamine release in mice by frightening them.
What does that mean for you when datenight comes around? When you are drawn to see the latest rom-com, get out of your comfort zone with an action thriller.
If you do some frightening activities the only thing it’s going to do is surge your overall arousal level. You are much more likely to be more passionate about anything when your arousal is high,
So if your relationship is missing that “who needs air when I’ve got you” feeling, getting frightened by a slasher film can increase dopamine, to give you that lovesick feeling again. The arousal from being scared mixes up with the arousal of sexual desirability.
The practical term is “misattribution of arousal.” In one research, an attractive woman stood at the end of either a “safe” or “scary” bridge. Guys marched across one of the bridges and took a survey with the lady. She then gave the guys her number. Later, the guys crossing the scarier bridge were more probable to call her. The notion goes that the men confused their nervousness for sexual attraction toward the lady.
So supposedly, your scary-movie could backfire, and you might fall for the main character in your film instead of your girlfriend.
If you are watching a scary movie, you will attribute the arousal to the movie. There is an easy justification for why you are frightened out of your mind. That said, when the film is finished, the arousal does not disappear immediately. You will still have some energy in you. That energy is going to go into what is happening in your life. That means if you are attracted to your spouse, you can get more attracted. If you are pissed off, that anger may only rise.