Weathering Relationships

By: Olivia Bradley

CHATTANOOGA (UTC/THELOOP)- With the change in seasons and the emergence of the birds and bees, UTC students have the opposite sex on the mind. As clothing becomes more scarce, some believe that the changing seasons effect their relationships .The opinions of select UTC students is that the presence of more skin can create a lack of inhibition.

During the changes in seasons some UTC students believe that more people are together during winter rather than summer. Kenisha Lewis, 22  from Dickson, Tenn., was in a long distance winter relationship this year. According to Lewis, guys get “tempted” by  summer time. Lewis believes guys are more affectionate during winter than summer.

 Denae Sylverston, 22 of Cleveland, Tenn. feels the same way. Sylverston considers herself a “relationship person” who  finds that warm weather makes people less inhibited. Sylverston stated that, “alot of people just don’t want to be held down.”

Senior Austin Emeagwai thinks that lack of clothing in the summer is a strong reason for winter to summer break-ups. According to Emeagwai, “People want to get naked,” leading to break-ups of previous relationships.

Other than animal instincts and the colleges student sex drive, there are different factors that can lead to relationship changes during summer. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, weather can play a major role in  someone’s mood. The study noted, “in spring days when people went a lot of time outside, mood was positively associated with air temperature.”

One theory, according to Sigmund Freud, can also play a part in the relationships people had over time. Freud developed a drive theory that describes what motivates individuals to make decisions in their life. These influences include Eros which is described as the libido. According to Wikipedia, libido is, “the desire to create life and favours productivity and construction.”

Besides nature and psychology, one popular woman’s magazine has some insight as to why relationships are so difficult in the winter. Cosmopolitan, along with clinical psychologist Dr. Seth Meyers, looked into why relationships take more effort in the winter. According to the magazine there are three major reasons.


Relationships may be harder to maintain in the winter

Relationships may be harder to maintain in the winter

  • More prone to fighting
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Decrease in sexual libido

The increased chances of altercations is partially due to weather, according to couple therapist Dr. Barton Gold Smith. “The season’s shortage of sunlight lowers our levels of the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin,” says Smith. “this makes you more cranky than in the summer when most people enjoy up to 15 hours of mood-boosting sunlight a day. This is also combined with the long periods of time people spend indoors and decreased activity. “This is contradictory to the outdoor activities of summertime.”

The second reason, according to Cosmopolitan magazine, has to do with our self esteems. During winter (with all the holidays that focus around eating) people tend to put on more weight. This makes it more difficult to be motivated to get up and get out to events with your significant other.

The lack of self-esteem becomes another deterrent that influences the third and final winter relationship killer: lower libido. The extra weight makes partners feel self conscious and therefore less likely to be intimate with on another. Also, during this season with longer nights, the brain produces more melatonin which makes people sleepier.

On top of the vast differences in winter and summer activities, Cosmo explained how each issue of summer dating can be resolved. In order to increase serotonin and vitamin D levels, couples should spend more time outdoors together. These activities can be a bonding experience and can also be increased during the summer time with vacations and picnics. For students in particular, after studying inside they can reward themselves with with some outside activities with their partner.

Summer love may come easier but also may not last as long

Summer love may come easier but also may not last as long

To counteract the lower self-esteem due to increased weight, Cosmo offers some tips for eating. “To break the cycle, make it a point to eat high-protein foods that have serotonin-boosting nutrients.” This will increase energy and ultimately activity which can be shared with the partner.

Author Pat Love suggests ways to boost libido and connectivity between partners. This means getting outdoors and doing more physical activities with one another. This, according to Love, can lead to an endorphin high making you  “alert and ready for action.”