Matt James is making history as the first Black Bachelor. In his season premiere, he spoke about how important that was for him and how seriously he took his role — although it did cause him a fair amount of stress. “You’ve got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person, a specific person of a specific race,” he said (via People). “That’s something that kept me up at night,” he added.
Aside from navigating a brand new trail, host Chris Harrison revealed in a December 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight that Matt also had some personal obstacles to overcome before being able to fully devote himself to the process. “There’s just stuff in his past, in his family. We all have baggage that has made us who we are,” Harrison said. “He’s a great man, but there are things that he’s going to have to get past, some hurdles he will have to clear, before he can find that happily ever after.”
After a few weeks as the Bachelor, it seems that Matt has had a fairly solid handle on his emotions and following his heart to cut through drama that presents itself — like the feud between Victoria Larson and Marylynn Sienna. However, promos for this season have shown Matt getting overwhelmed with emotion during the process. So, is Matt’s calm, cool, and collected facade thus far legitimate? Nicki Swift spoke to an expert to understand what’s really going on in Matt James’ head on The Bachelor.
Matt James is being guided by natural chemicals in his body
Nicki Swift spoke to Dr. Kristen Willeumier, a neuroscientist and author of Biohack Your Brain, who explained the chemical processes going through Matt James’ head as he gets deeper into his Bachelor journey. During his premiere, viewers saw Matt blown away time and time again after meeting each contestant. Dr. Willeumier says what viewers saw was a result of different feel-good chemicals being released into his body.
“When Matt begins his journey on The Bachelor, his brain releases chemicals involved in sexual attraction, with testosterone fueling his sex drive and the more physical aspects of love. There is also the release of dopamine and adrenaline, which provides focused attention, excitement, hope, motivation, goal-directed behavior, craving, and longing that drive the initial stages of love,” she explained.
According to Dr. Willeumier, these hormones drive Matt’s initial actions on the show, but then they begin to balance, which allows Matt to think in a more “nurturing, romantic” way. “This will happen through the deeper bonds that form during the one-on-one and fantasy suite dates. Physical touch through hugging, kissing, and intimacy causes the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin to be released, which are involved in social interactions, bonding, and attachment,” she explained. Dr. Willeumier said this transition of chemicals and interaction allows viewers to see the deeper connections formed later in the show.
While we might not know exactly what Matt is thinking at all times, at least we know the driving forces behind his actions!
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