The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Marriage Failing? Pop a Pill

You may soon be able to get a prescription for love.

By Kristin Wong May 2, 2012 2:38PM

Photo: George Doyle/Getty ImagesLove might soon be available at your local pharmacy. Researchers at the University of Oxford have written a paper proposing a real life love potion—a pill that would recreate the feeling of being in love.  So if your relationship is on the rocks, and counseling just isn't working, maybe meds could save your marriage.

In Neuroenhancement of Love and Marriage: The Chemicals Between Us researchers assert:

"Love is one of the fundamental aspects of human existence. It is to a large part biologically determined."

They then argue that the reasons for divorce "seem to point at emotional issues as being important."

Their proposed pill, a combination of five types of drugs, would biologically manipulate the brain into thinking you really, really, want your spouse—enough to put your differences aside.

Here's a rundown of the ingredients:

Pheromones. While the paper addresses the fact that it's often contested whether pheromones are effective, researchers argue: "That has not prevented the cosmetics industry from selling many products purporting to contain pheromones."

By all means, then—toss those suckers in there.

The second ingredient is testosterone. But while testosterone can increase sexual desire, it doesn’t do anything for romance or attachment. We need other drugs for that.

Enter Oxytocin and Vasopressin—also known as "bonding chemicals." During the early stages of a relationship, when you're filled with romantic thoughts and feelings, you're actually filled with Oxytocin and Vasopressin.

CRH would also be included in the pill. It's a hormone that creates the fear of separation, and while it can lead to depression, it can also help bring two people together.

And then there's Entactogens, a drug found in MDMA pills like ecstasy. The paper argues its use:

"There has been therapeutic use of MDMA to develop emotional communications skills, and it is not implausible that it, or similar drugs, could be used to deepen pair bonding."

Far be it from me to question neuroscience, but isn't this whole idea just a bit…well, Matrixy?

Researchers address the philosophical concern of manipulating biology—the question of authenticity. As Morpheus put it: "You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe."

The paper argues:

"Even if love were not authentic, authenticity is not an overriding or exclusive value. People can trade a degree of authenticity for other values in their lives."

Basically, the effects of this pill might be worth it to some people.

But what happens when you can't afford to pay for your prescription anymore? Are you just postponing a relationship that might not be right in the first place? And is true love really just a mere mix of five different ingredients?

There's a long list of questions, and while a "love pill" might seem far off, these researchers are arguing that it's time to start studying:

"We should use our growing knowledge of the neuroscience of love to enhance the quality of love by biological manipulation."

Would you take a pill for love? Tell us on Facebook.

Photo: George Doyle/Getty Images

love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

  • Sign placement/"10 Most Outrageous Wedding Photos"/Photo: Brooke Aliceon Photography

    10 outrageous wedding photos

    The typical wedding: A white dress, tiered cake, floral centerpieces and a cute flower girl -- you know the drill. Every once in a while, though, a couple trades in tradition for a quirky, never-seen-that-before idea. Here are a few of the most out-there wedding photos that made us do a double take.

  • Hot wedding trends for fall

    9 hot wedding trends for fall

    There's a lot to love about weddings this fall, like cocktails served in copper Moscow mule mugs, industrial-inspired lighting and pheasant feather details. See what's new!

  • Monique Pean Mineraux diamond and rose gold ring, $3,400; barneys.com

    Why single ladies are rocking a wedding ring

    Do you have to be engaged to sport a ring with bling?

  • ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images //  ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images (​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images)

    Majority of Americans are single

    124.6 million haven't gotten hitched.

  • least expensive places to get married

    These are the 25 least expensive places to get married in America

    Even though the national average wedding is $29,858, that’s just an average. If you live in a smaller state like Idaho where the average wedding costs $16,159, you may find yourself saving a little more than half of the national spend! Check out some of the other least expensive cities to get married in below:

  • M Swiet Productions, Getty Images // M Swiet Productions, Getty Images (M Swiet Productions, Getty Images)

    Americans have nostalgia for summer romance

    Summer is winding down, but the ubiquitous summer romance lives on.

  • 8 signs it's time to break up

    8 signs it’s definitely time to break up

    For those times when nothing big and horrible happened--but nothing is feeling right either.

  • Actor/"Why we love an older man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love an older man

    He’s confident, distinguished and anywhere from 4 to 20 years older than you. Age is just a number, but there’s something about older men that we love. Here are eight reasons why being in a relationship with an older man is tops.

  • Actor/"Why we love a younger man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love a younger man

    While a younger man may have less life experience, that doesn’t mean he’s not emotionally mature. Here are the eight reasons why being in a relationship with a younger man is tops.

  • Other woman (Courtesy YourTango)

    5 reasons the other woman slept with your man

    Have you ever wondered what the 'other woman' was thinking?

  • Apple picking

    6 fun fall date ideas

    So fall is coming and you need some romantic inspiration now that long walks on the beach are out of the question. Well look no further! From apple picking to pumpkin carving, these are some great fall date ideas from girls just like you!

  • Go to a theme park

    8 cute celeb date ideas

    Getting bored of the same dinner and movie date night? Take an adorable cue from your favorite celebs and try something new! From dancing to boxing you can't go wrong with these awesome date ideas.

buzzing now on msn living
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
the heart beat