In A Few Years, Will A Love Drug Cure Divorce?

Via the Guardian, Will Storr on chemically strengthening the bond between two people by huffing from an inhaler:

According to scientists at the University of Oxford, at some point in the life of my marriage (rough estimate of about 10 years), a new breed of “love drug” might become available – a medication that could heal wounded relationships. It will likely be delivered as an inhaler and prescribed by a relationship counsellor. You’d sniff up a dose in the presence of your loved one and, as the chemical entered your bloodstream, it would strengthen your bond.

Such a drug would likely contain doses of two structurally similar hormones: oxytocin and vasopressin. Of the two, oxytocin is the more famous–sometimes known as the “cuddle chemical”, its positive role in experiences such as orgasm and childbirth seems to have led some to imagine it as an inhalable happy drug. Vasopressin has been implicated in an animal defending its babies. A combination of oxytocin and vasopressin is necessary in order for a pair bond to form.

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22 Responses to In A Few Years, Will A Love Drug Cure Divorce?

  1. rus Archer February 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    we don’t need a cure for divorce
    we need a cure for possessiveness
    divorce = the cure for marriage

  2. Chaorder Gradient February 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    i find it interesting how many “new advances” like this are just people utilizing things that have been known for decades or more, but haven’t been used for one reason or another.

    I am wondering what kindof weird conversations bad couples (you know the ones) have with this sort of thing available.

  3. Zenc February 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    “a new breed of “love drug” might become available – a medication that could heal wounded relationships”

    Yeah, it’ll be called MDMA.

    Just you wait and see.

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    • Kevin Leonard February 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

      My experience with MDMA is that it heightens whatever emotions are present. Though rare, I saw a few vicious fights involving people on the drug, plenty of crying girls, and since it is typically a party drug, yes, lots of love and good vibes.

      • Zenc February 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

        In most people, the drug has a way of (temporarily, at least) disabling most of those prickly self-defense mechanisms.

        It is surprising how many of them most people have and how much they inhibit social intercourse. Indeed, they are generally the defining features of one’s personality.

        Those mechanisms are there for a reason, of course. But just like scar tissue and callouses, these self-defense mechanisms can over-develop to the degree they interfere with healthy functioning.

        Picking the right companions and environment for such a journey is essential.

        • Kevin Leonard February 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

          No doubt. That’s kind of my point. If you have a companion you are ready to divorce, MDMA could bring up some shit and it wouldn’t necessarily be therapeutic.

          Likewise, dope up a guy full of vasopressin and oxytocin and put him in a room with a woman he is sick of, he very well may be wanting to pair bond with someone entirely different. Hey, that secretary you’ve known for all these years is looking really good, or that other co-worker. What about the neighbor’s wife?

          At the tail end of my longest-term relationship, I found myself wanting to connect deeply with other women, not just sexually. Mostly because the woman I was with had the seemingly infinite.capacity to grate on my last nerve. I could just see, in a period where we were trying to work things out, we agree to take the The Love Pill ™… god, what a mistake that would have been.

          • Zenc February 15, 2013 at 12:15 am #

            I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Show me the most beautiful woman in the world and somewhere there’s a guy that’s just sick of her shit.”

            Personally, I’m not a big believer in long-term monogamy. Some people can do it, but then, some people can suspend themselves with a noose tied around their scrotum. (You probably shouldn’t google that.)

            So, I think there are a number of influences which drives couples apart. The sad reality is that 2 years into the next relationship you’re likely to feel just as annoyed about an entirely different person. Figuring out a way to get a “Fresh Start” emotionally without the upheaval of a break-up can be a worthwhile goal.

            However, if you find yourself with someone whose level of dysfunction is pathological – Run. As you suggest, you definitely shouldn’t stay and try to cope with it by taking pills.

      • ☆ForeverAeon☆ February 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

        you were hanging out with the wrong people, then. “Crying Girls”? Wow. You know how to party.

      • ☆ForeverAeon☆ February 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

        you were hanging out with the wrong people, then. “Crying Girls”? Wow. You know how to party.

        • Kevin Leonard February 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

          lol. I didn’t say *I* made them cry.

  4. emperorreagan February 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    I know something that staves off divorce: communication. People are less likely to marry someone they aren’t compatible with if they communicate with them up front and more likely to stay married someone they actually love and are compatible with if they continue to communicate with them.

    Of course, that’s not a drug, so never mind. Quick fixes only.

    • Hadrian999 February 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      but what happens when they get old?

      • emperorreagan February 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

        Oh, right. They need the high of first love again.

        • Hadrian999 February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

          well i guess if they get old enough it’ll seem ;like new again, monogamy and long life just don’t work together. in the old days by the time you were getting sick of each other one of you would probably die

          • Matt Staggs February 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

            Can’t speak for everyone, or even most people, but I’ve been married for about twenty years and our relationship seems to just keep getting stronger. Emperorreagan is absolutely correct, at least in my case: communication is key.

  5. BuzzCoastin February 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    another safe & effective product
    from your friends at Big Pharma

    for warm feeling for Der Homeland
    Soma is my preferred chemical solution

    • lazy_friend February 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      that feels

  6. Kevin Leonard February 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    I get the suspicion that injecting “love” hormones vs. feeling love naturally will be akin to this:
    http://disinfo.com/2012/12/what-happens-when-you-inject-pure-thc-versus-thc-and-cannabinoids/

  7. Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness February 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    When the love drug comes out, it will only be allowed for people who hate their jobs. It will help you realize the joys of cubicle life. “Abusing” it in the presence of another person will certainly be illegal.

    • Maya February 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      The coffee and tobacco manufacturers will most likely feel threatened by the cubicle love pill. It is their job to drug the white collars from 9 to 5.

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