The research has been piling up that when you're in love, the chemicals in your body change. A new study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology found that higher levels of oxytocin, a chemical given many names including the "love hormone," were found in more emotionally responsive couples and could even predict which couples would stay together longer. One caveat to the prediction is that these couples were contacted just six months after their blood had been tested. Overall, the study involved 163 adults in their 20s, 120 of them were in early relationships (the rest were singles). Oxytocin levels also increase for new parents (something we've blogged about in the past) and during intercourse (yep, talked about that too), but this research showed that new love created even higher levels of the love drug. This had the researchers thinking that perhaps our highest levels of oxytocin are achieved during the initial love/courting stage.
So what does this all mean? Love, touch, parenthood are all ways to boost this love chemical in the body and the research is piling up to suggest that this increased chemical pumping through our veins is a predictor of lasting love. We'll keep you posted…until then go give your spouse a hug and boost that oxytocin level.
For more, Time magazine has this in-depth write-up.