Relationships are a funny thing. Psychologists tell us that the key to a healthy and long-lasting relationship is communication, openness, separate hobbies and keeping the sex life hoppin’. But according to recent research from Bar-Ilan University, the real key to every-lasting love is oxytocin.
[photo by Jeremy Daccarett]
According to Emma Gray’s piece in the Huffington Post, the university study found that Oxytocin, the hormone that has been linked to sexual reproduction, orgasm, maternal bonging and anxiety, is potentially more important to relationships than was previously thought. 60 couples in their 20s who had gotten together within a three-month time span were interviewed both individually and as a couple about the new relationship. They had samples of their blood drawn and at the starting point, those couples had double the oxytocin in their system than the 43 singles that had been tested. Gray wrote that the couples had been tested over six months (the ones that stayed together, anyway) and the researchers found that the oxytocin levels had remained relatively the same.
Of course, Glamour points out that these findings are relative to how different people experience love, especially considering the hormone has been tied to both long-term relationships and unemotional sexual encounters and cheating.
OK, so, you’ve found the person that keeps your oxytocin levels up, but you’re not ready to make the kid commitment quite yet. Women are constantly struggling with birth control as many find that the added hormones cause, well, bitchiness, and the general feeling of being unwell. Dr. David A. Grimes, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, told New York Times reporter Jane E. Brody that the intrauterine device (IUD) is making a comeback in the US.
Although the IUD had previously only been recommended for women who were done having children because of the risk of infertility caused by infections related to the device, research has shown that these concerns were “groundless” with the current IUDs when they are properly inserted. The number of women using an IUD has more than tripled since 2002. I can honestly say that I recommend it to all of my female friends. It truly is a life changer.
But bogus birth control isn’t the only thing that can ruin your mood and health. As we all know, stress can be a serious hindrance to health and happiness. In today’s fast-paced, high tech world, we’re always on call and we never have time to disconnect. Real Simple provides these three ways to reduce tension and stress in 15 minutes. Remember, taking that time to unwind doesn’t just benefit you – it benefits all of your personal and professional relationships (and maybe even that oxytocin level, too).