By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
Have you ever heard of the so-called “hormone of love” called Oxytocin? This hormone has been promoted in some circles as “promoting long-term attachment” between two people who purport to love each other. Some have even suggested a “shot-in-the-arm of this substance” to make the world more lovely and loveable – to make two people more attracted to each other.
But alas, a study has come out that concludes what we have been saying for years – Oxytocin does NOT promote long-term attachment! Never did, never will! There is no drug – natural or man-made – that produces love between two human beings. Only humans produce mutual love.
Over the years, some folks have advocated that Oxytocin is the “love drug” or the “cuddling hormone.” Others have focused on Oxytocin as the hormone that causes people to fall in love and to stay in love. We believe this is all nonsense.
Now let’s be honest about all this – we have studied successful marriages around the world for nearly 30 years and have discovered, across cultures and continents, the “seven secrets of successful marriage” – and we can assure you of this – we have found no evidence that Oxytocin is the elixir of love!
Oxytocin is a fake when it comes to love and marriage! Oxytocin is an impostor when it comes to lasting love! Oxytocin does not foster good feelings about love between those in love. It is not the hormone of love!
It is time to debuke the myth of Oxytocin. Here’s what we have found to be true.
Oxytocin as a love-drug is a myth – it is science fiction. The just-released study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science concluded that “oxytocin is not an all-purpose attachment panacea.”
Oxytocin shots, sprays, injections, and the like do not fulfill the promise of enhanced orgasm, happier marriages, and better relationships between a man and a woman.
Here’s what we know to be true. Oxytocin is a natural hormone. It causes the uterus to contract. It is used to induce labor. It is used to “strengthen labor contractions during childbirth.”
Oxytocin should never be used if you drink alcohol or caffeine to excess, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. And there are a number of potential negative side effects for women including shortness of breath, irregular heart beat, difficulty urinating, confusion, rash, severe headache, seizures, loss of appetite, nausea, and excessive vaginal bleeding.
So, it appears that women have lots of reasons to avoid Oxytocin as a “love hormone.” But what about men?
We don’t know how else to say this – Oxytocin should not be used by men as a “hormone of love.” Never, never! Using it is a clear misuse with no benefits.
True love between two people occurs naturally. Two people in love fall in love for a variety of reasons (see How Do I Know I Am in Love?), but not because of any particular hormone.
Two people in love work at staying in love. They understand that being in love is all about doing the simple things day in and day out. They recognize that successful love is all about an accumulation of having done the simple things.
No hormone can guarantee love. No hormone can sustain love. Love is only sustained by doing the simple things day in and day out to make love work. There are no magic drugs or elixirs that make love work or last. Only hard work.
Love is between two people who are attracted to each other for a whole myriad of reasons. Falling in love is complex. Sustaining love for a lifetime is simple if you commit to doing the simple things day in and day out.
In the end, the Best Marriages around the world represent an accumulation of having done the simple things. Oxytocin is not among them.
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more tips to enhance your relationship get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010)
Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With 28 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 44-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.
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