Researchers posit an intranasal “love hormone” could reverse the divorce trend, speculating that doses of bonding chemical oxytocin may help in the goal of facilitating a strong, long-term bond in couples.
While the idea of using an intranasal love hormone spray to help a marriage sounds kind of iffy, when you really consider it, the logic seems to be not such a bad solution.
And much of what we know about love, marriage, and monogamy comes down to maintaining the slow burn of lasting commitment once the state known as “limerence” (the hormone-drunk, new love “high” you experience in the “honeymoon stage” of a relationship) wears off and real life sets in.
Early in romantic relationships, hormones like oxytocin and dopamine work together to create, in part, love-related chemistry. Couples are bonded and moved to mate by these powerful neurological motivators — chemicals we are also flooded with during labor and while breastfeeding.
Harnessing the power of love hormones like oxytocin really could help loving couples through times of disconnect and decreased happiness, Oxford researchers posit in the study titled “Could intranasal oxytocin be used to enhance relationships?”
Of course, the question remains — is such a thing ethical, natural or even worth doing?
In an abstract about the study of a potential intranasal love hormone dose for marriage health, researchers explain how “well-functioning romantic relationships are important for long-term health and well-being, but they are often difficult to sustain.”
Citing “an underlying tension between our psychobiological natures, culture/environment,and modern love and relationship goals,” they suggest that one “possible solution to this predicament is to intervene at the level of psychobiology, enhancing partners’ interpersonal connection through neurochemical modulation.”
The concept of an intranasal love hormone drug to save marriages is a new one, but the idea seems strangely promising — after all, we spend so much time working on how to recapture the ease and lightness of new love, would it not be easier to just never lose it at all?
Do you think a love hormone drug to prevent divorce is a good idea or potentially unnatural and manipulative?