How Does Oxytocin Effect Love?

All you need to know about Oxytocin and its effects

What is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a hormone which plays a role in having successful romantic relationships. It is known as the cuddle hormone since it deepens feelings of attachment in people when released and creates a stronger bond. It's released when two people interact romantically (hugging, holding hands, sex, etc.) but also when a mother gives birth.

Oxytocin in Romantic Relationships- Why is it important?

Men Stay Loyal & Attraction Lasts

In romantic relationships, it is important for both partners to be loyal to each other and not cheat on one another. Oxytocin helps to keep this in place. A study was conducted, where men who had a dose of oxytocin, were put into a room with an attractive experimenter who was supposed to be asking them questions but was actually experimenting their behavior towards her. The results of this study showed that men with doses of oxytocin had actually kept their distance from the woman and been formal whereas the single men tried getting even closer(Greater Good Science, 2013). These results explain how oxytocin allows men to be faithful and be monogamous.

Attraction is a very important factor in romantic relationships as well. Attraction allows partners to want each other physically and emotionally. It is also one of the three stages of love. Oxytocin increases attraction of people in romantic relationships towards each other. When it comes to attraction, a test was done where almost 40 men had gotten a dose of oxytocin and were placed in a brain scanner where they viewed pictures of their partners or women that were similarly attractive. The brain scanning of the men with oxytocin showed that the pleasure regions of the brain lit up when the partner was shown but not when the other women were. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013). This goes to show how oxytocin allows people in relationships to always find each other more attractive than others creating a healthy relationship.

Unconditional Love

Oxytocin allows unconditional/blind love in romantic relationships. To be precise, many researches have shown that oxytocin is released when acts of intimacy are shown. High levels of oxytocin are released during sex which causes a higher attraction to the partner and creates a stronger bond that helps to increase affection and stimulates the brain to attach to that person. This is done whether either partner wants it to happen or not causing each partner to be unconditionally attached to their significant other and be ‘blindly in love’ (Raymond in Egypt. Tripod, 2013). These facts help to understand how important oxytocin is in romantic relationships.