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5 Minutes to a Better Relationship

5 Minutes to a Better Relationship

You know that lovey-dovey feeling you get while cuddling with your significant otherówhen you forget all about how pissed you were that he came home late AND didn’t bring apology cheesecake, or how annoying it is that she always leaves little toothpaste ghosts in the bathroom sink?

That happy feeling is due to a release of oxytocin in the body. Often dubbed the “love hormone,” oxytocin has a little party in your brain during all kinds of stuff, from orgasm to giving birth, facilitating that loving, bonding feeling. And it can help you end a relationship fight in minutes.

For an experiment at Zurich University, researchers brought in 47 couples aged 20-50 who were either married or had lived together for at least a year. They gave the couples either five puffs of a placebo spray or five puffs of a spray containing oxytocin, asked the couple to choose a topic of conflict in their relationship, closed the door, and let them have at it for 45 minutes. Fun!

The researchers explained that generally, women tend to show demanding behavior more frequently, while men tend to withdraw. But something magical happened during those 45 minutes that couples spent arguing in a room. In addition to no homicides reported, the research, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, found that when couples had sniffed oxytocin instead of the placebo, women were less demanding and more friendly, and men were more positive and more likely to engage. “In our study, oxytocin might have driven quiescence in women and social salience and approach behaviour in men, ” the researchers said.

So what’s a couple to do until they can find oxytocin nasal spray at their local CVS? Well, women produce oxytocin while they’re lactating, so there’s that. Another way to go? Some relationship therapists recommend a cuddling time-out, which is probably the last thing you’ll want to do in the middle of the argument, but could be the best thing for your relationship. In his book, Communication Miracles for Couples, Jonathan Robinson calls it the “spoon tune.” Bring it up to your partner while things are conflict-free, and agree to try it next time you’re arguing. It sounds cheesy to call a spoon tune time-out, especially mid-fight, but you may just find that a lot of arguments feel less important after a few minutes of being the little spoon.

Robinson even suggests that you spoon standing up if you’re in a place where you can’t lie down, but if you’d rather not spoon your significant other during dinner with your boss, agree to shelve the issue until you’re home and alone. You can even sleep on it. Cuddle up at night after an argument and see if things look a little better in the morningójust keep in mind, this will require you to stifle the urge to angrily hog the covers all night. And of course, since oxytocin is released during orgasm, there’s always makeup sex (though you might as well take more than five minutes on that, while you’re at it). Thanks, science!

Related:
The Physical Effects of Falling in Love
7 Dos and Don’ts of Arguing
Coffee, Sex, and Other Weird Ways to Not Get Sick

Read more: Dating, Love, Relationships, Sex, ,

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48 comments

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7:44PM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

well, how to cuddle without a partner ?

1:27AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Thank you :)

3:07PM PST on Nov 14, 2012

Like Joe R: Glad there were no homicides! I'll have to check the local Health Shop or Pharmacy for Oxytocin.

12:44PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

thanks for sharing

4:18AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

Interesting :) Thanks.

4:43PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Interesting article. Actually you can buy oxytocin on line. There is a web site that offers it in both mint flavored sublingual drops and nasal spray. I have been using it for months and find that it helps reduce my stress level in day to day life...plus it has increased my libdo!!! Life is good and getting better!

3:37PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

interesting article

12:06PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thx a mill it I will put it into practice

5:12PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

thanks

10:06AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

good to know

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Very patient cat!

Quite interesting stuff to stop and ponder on in our too-fast-paced world.

Thank you for the enlightenment. Appreciatd.

A very Merry Christmas to everyone, hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you for posting and sha…

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