Chemically Assisted Relationships

Fighting all the time? No interest in intimacy? If you’re having trouble with affairs of the heart, the answer may lie north of your heart. In your nasal passages.

That, at least, is the theory of a group of researchers led by Olga A. Wudarczyk from Oxford University’s Centre for Neuroethics.

In a recent paper to be published in a forthcoming edition of Current Opinion in Psychiatry, Wudarczyk and her colleagues argue that increasing levels of neuropeptides — particularly synthetic oxytocin delivered via a nasal spray — might “improve the quality of romantic relationships”.

The researchers suggest that administering the so-called “love drug” oxytocin, alongside marriage counselling, could be used to improve romantic relationships “so long as certain ethical and clinical-policy considerations are taken into account”.

They are not recommending people start wearing it as perfume to improve their chance, but instead, suggest that snorting artificial oxytocin might “jump-start” the natural production of oxytocin in couples who are in a floundering relationship.

Call me a starry-eyed romantic, but if you have to snort a chemical so you can bear to be in the same room as the supposed love of your life, then that’s a pretty good sign that IT WASN’T MEANT TO BE, PEOPLE!


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