My HormonologyEver been on a great date with someone new, but decided not to go on another one because your date turned out to be a lousy kisser? You were probably in Week 2 of your cycle (which starts 8 days after the onset of menstruation).

According to a 2013 study from the University of Oxford, you’re quick to cut loose someone who’s a bad smoocher as you approach ovulation. But, interestingly enough, you’d be willing to overlook that same lame kiss if it happened in Week 3 or Week 4 of your cycle (the second half of your monthly cycle) and agree to another date!

While the researchers admit they don’t know why we gals react to a bad kiss differently throughout our cycle, they do have theories:

One is that high estrogen in Week 2 has you more focused on looking for cues that the person you’re with is physically desirable–and a perfect kiss is one of these critical cues.

A second theory: High estrogen in your Week 2 sharpens your sense of smell, so you’re more easily turned off by someone with bad breath or an unpleasant scent because you can detect it more keenly.

Either way, it’s a good idea to keep this little hormonal effect in mind in case you’re tempted to give up on a great potential partner in your Week 2 because of a sub-par smooch–when all you really need to do is teach the person better kissing skills (for instance, by simply saying “Let me kiss you” or “Here’s how I like to be kissed”) or offer up a breath mint!

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