Can a blood test detect true love?

Jen Kirsch
Shine OnFebruary 28, 2012

Sure being wooed and having your partner utter those three magical words, "I love you", is a way to tell if he's into you, but according to a new study, there is a much less romantic way to predict love -- though a blood test.

A recent article in TIME magazine explains the study in this manner:

According to the study, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, higher levels of oxytocin — the hormone known as the "cuddle chemical," which rises during breast-feeding, lovemaking and parent-child bonding — were associated with more emotional responsiveness between couples and predicted which couples would stay together longer than others.

Margaret Hicks, a relationship expert and registered therapist with over 20 years of experience, says that although she thinks these findings are fascinating, it is important not to rule out other elements that effect a relationship. "Love is still mysterious. It can't be brought down to a purely biological explanation. There are so many factors," says Hicks.

Related: Why broken hearts really are physically painful

Other factors include moral values, money, education, lifestyle, life goals, dreams and of course, sexual chemistry, which Hicks notes is different than bonding. "Bonding is more about long term love and sexual chemistry is more about desire. You need bonding to sustain a relationship," says Hicks, who adds, "Though first you have to start the fire before it can endure."

The TIME article adds some interesting perceptive to Hicks comments:

Interestingly, it was love rather than sex that the study found to be associated with oxytocin. While prior research has found that oxytocin levels rise at orgasm, this study found that new couples had higher oxytocin levels than singles, regardless of whether they had consummated the relationship.

Related: Sign a contract to date a colleague? Companies might require it

Hicks believe there is still a lot more to learn on this subject, such as how nature affects the biological side of things. Some of the questions she would like answered:

"How has oxytocin affected these couples earlier in their lives? Does neglect, trauma, and abuse versus emotional stability impact your oxytocin levels?"

How strong do you think biological factors play a role in matters of love? Tell us what you think.

"Shark Tank" Star's Brilliant Mortgage Payoff Tip

If you're over 40 years old and you own a home, you need to read this. (It's not what you think!)

Summer Styling Tips

Get big, bold, beautiful curls with this summer styling advice.

2016 Mortgage Rates Take Huge Dip - 3.20% APR

Rates now at 3.20% APR - $250K mortgage for $923/mo. Process is easy & quotes are free! (3.20% APR 5/1 ARM). Calculate new payment now.

Tour the Most Beautiful Sports Courts in the World

Skirts and Shirts

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Apply Today! Earn 50,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Terms Apply.

Capella can help you reach your potential

Choose from over 50 degree programs and 50 certificate programs built to help you achieve your academic goals. Apply today!

Final Goodbye - 'She Was The Love of My Life'

Burt Opens Up Finally About Sally Relationship.