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Expert: High School football triggers memories of first love

Science explains the long-lasting link between the brain and the heart.
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:36 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:44 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A new school year and Friday night football can be a classic recipe for teen love and remembering romances years after they ended.

“The thought of football and the time of year...it’ll trigger those memories of love,” said Dr. Karen Beale, an associate professor of psychology at Maryville College.

“The neural pathway of love is actually the same pathway of opiates,” Dr. Beale explained.

She said falling in love floods the brain with a drug-like euphoria that is hard to forget.

“They’re very intense emotions...emotions that you’ve not felt before so that they’re novel,” said Dr. Beale. “It really implants in your memory really hard.”

Dr. Beale said first love rarely leads to marriage, especially as couples marry at older and older ages.

But while most teen romances fade, the memories often don’t.

“I actually think it’s a lovely memory thing that’s built-in for us to be able to have those sweet moments again and to feel them again,” Dr. Beale said.

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