Do your genes affect your choice of partner?

Do your genes affect your choice of partner?

I have written in my earlier articles about the importance of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin concerning our relationships.
The hormone oxytocin for example is released when women breastfeed their babies which makes it easier for them to bond to their babies. The hormone is connected with the reward system in the brain which makes you feel calm and satisfied.
Research has shown that people who get doses of oxytocin in thir nose have become less selfish and they have had less anxiety when speaking in public.
Further research has shown that the hormone vasopressin is important for mice concerning their motivation to live with one partner. Studies have shown that mice living in the fields have a bigger uptake of vasopressin and oxytocin than mountain mice have, which is thought to be the reason why they spend their life with one partner while mountain mice prefer having several partners.
In human beings one specific part of the brain has been found to be connected to release of vasopressin, allelen 334 which plays a role in the motivation to bond to one partner. Men with a simple or a double allelen 334 are thought to have difficulties being with one partner.
In women there is also a set of genes which are thought to be connected to release of oxytocin, that can have impact on how they behave in relationships.
It is interesting to know that different set of genes influence us to ehave in different ways in relationships.
I want to point out though that you, of course can control your choice of partner. As I have written in my earlier articles about relationships it is important, if your are not satisfied with your relationship that you analyze your patterns. If you have been in a dysfunctional relationship several times where you don´t get your needs met, it is probably not because of your genes, but because of your early attachment patterns and that is possible to work with in therapy.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

What happens in the brain when you feel attracted to someone?

What happens in the brain when you feel attracted to someone?

I have written in my earlier articles about what happens in the brain when you feel attraction. In the book “The chemistry between us”, you can read more about this interesting subject. The authors, Larry Young and Brian Alexander write that when a woman looks at a person that she is attracted to, the same areas in the brain get activated as when she looks at her baby.
Further the authors write that the reason why people stay in a relationship after the period of strong chemistry has faded is that they become addicted to each other the way you get addicted to drugs. I have writte in my earlier articles what substances get activated in the brain when you for example meet your partner after having missed him/her for a period.
Another thing that researchers have identified is that about a third to a quarter of all people are not brainwired to live in monogamous relationships. That does not mean that these person can´t miss their partners, because they can, but nevertheless they can have a need to have sexual relationships with other people.
Form these findings we can conclude what most of you already probablyknow and that is that relationships are complicated. I still want to point out that it is possible to successfully work on your relationship, both when it comes to finiding someone that is good for you and when it comes to working on the relationship you already have if both you and your partner are motivated.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se