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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

This Valentine’s Day, there is one match made in heaven you can count on, that is love and chocolate. Unsurprisingly, the gift of chocolate is one of the most common Valentine’s Day gifts. However, I would be surprised if anyone rejected a box of chocolates at any time of the year.

Have you ever wondered why we give chocolate on Valentine’s Day?

First and foremost, there is a scientific explanation. In a study, scientists linked the emotional response your body has to chocolate to the same reaction you experience when you fall in love.

Chocolate contains small doses of tryptophan, an amino acid. Tryptophan triggers the brain to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that causes you to feel happy and content. 

Additionally, chocolate has trace amounts of phenylethylamine.

Phenylethylamine is also called the “love drug.” Upon initial attraction, your body begins to produce phenylethylamine naturally, which stimulates dopamine production. If you were unaware, dopamine is what makes you feel happy.

In less scientific terms, that means that love and happiness taste like chocolate. Perhaps if you are alone this Valentine’s Day, you’ll be having a new love affair…with sweets. 

The history of Valentine’s Day dates back to Roman times. Yet, extravagant gift-giving became popular during the Victorian Era, according to History.com. 

During this period of passionate courtships, Richard Cadbury created a sweeter version of chocolate. He packaged it in beautifully decorated boxes to be given to loved ones. Cadbury’s business blunder was not patenting his chocolate boxes. Here we are now, 180 years later, still buying little sweet chocolates in heart-shaped boxes.

Although a box of chocolates might not be the most original gift this Valentine’s Day, at least you know it will be the sweetest one.


Hi, my name is Fauve. I am a third-year Journalism major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Integrated Marketing and Communications. When I'm not writing, I am looking at fashion blogs or clothing sites. I love fashion, makeup, and all things beauty related.
Hi I'm Lauren! I am the Campus Correspondent at Cal Poly, SLO. I am studying journalism and hope to have a career in TV broadcasting. When I'm not running around campus with a camera interviewing people, you can find me watching makeup tutorials on Youtube. I LOVE anything beauty or skincare related and I'm always looking for new makeup products! Follow me to see makeup looks, sunset pictures in SLO and all my friends! (Oh and I have some funny tweets too!)