Rose Wesche joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the science behind the warm, fuzzy feelings that often accompany a new romance as well as the transition from infatuation to attachment and how to maintain intimacy and passion in relationships. She also shared her research that explores the emotional outcomes of casual sexual relationships and offered advice for those in relationships.

About Wesche

Wesche is assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her research focuses on how diverse interpersonal relationships, including friendships, romantic relationships, and casual sexual relationships, are associated with adolescents’ and young adults’ well-being. 

Three takeaways

  • Warm, fuzzy feelings are associated with the release of chemicals in the brain, similar to the effects of drugs. These intense feelings often fade over time as attachment and bonding hormones increase.

  • Casual sexual relationships can have positive emotional outcomes, but attitudes and expectations play a significant role in determining individual experiences.

  • Being introspective and intentional about your relationships, whether casual or long-term, can help ensure they are fulfilling and healthy.

Learn more

Heart-racing romantic feelings fade over time — here’s why

Faculty Spotlight: Rose Wesche

About the podcast

"Curious Conversations" is a series of free-flowing conversations with Virginia Tech researchers that take place at the intersection of world-class research and everyday life. Produced and hosted by Virginia Tech writer and editor Travis Williams, university researchers share their expertise and motivations as well as the practical applications of their work in a format that more closely resembles chats at a cookout than classroom lectures. New episodes are shared each Tuesday.

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