For many people, finding a loving life partner is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding aspects of life. People try being set up by family or friends, using dating apps, or even using reality TV, all in the attempt to find true love. But how important is chemistry in finding your soulmate? More importantly, is "chemistry" even a real thing? And what role, if any, do your genes play in building a relationship? New research suggests there may be some important genes that play a role in the formation of social and romantic relationships. Perhaps DNA romance is the future of dating.
Researchers conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in which they looked at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the production of certain chemicals important for social bonding. The chemicals evaluated, better known as neuropeptides, including endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, and testosterone. By comparing what genetic variants study participants carried for the targeted SNPs, along with various questionnaires administered to better understand the quality of social and romantic bonding, they were able to make some provocative conclusions. Here is what they learned about the association between neuropeptides and finding true love.
Out of all of the neuropeptide SNPs scrutinized, those significant in producing endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine were associated with the formation of high-quality romantic relationships. More specifically, sexual attitudes and behaviors were highly associated with oxytocin, while vasopressin was more significantly associated with relationship satisfaction. Dopamine was the neuropeptide least associated with relationships, though it plays an important role in happiness and is therefore also important in finding a fulfilling romance.
Could it be that it isn’t about how tall, good-looking, or kind that special someone is? Maybe it’s all about a genomes romance. The idea that people who have more of certain chemicals are more likely to fall into a DNA romance may not be as romantic as the movies would have us believe.
However, there is much to find encouraging about the idea of a genomes romance. This research can shed light on the struggles experienced by people who just can’t seem to find love. After all, having DNA romance replace “true love” takes away much of the burden of finding and keeping love. If your genes are working against you, you may be more forgiving of the difficulties you face and more likely to keep trying even when it’s hard. In fact, understanding your particular genomes romance presets may help you to develop the social bonds required for happiness and good health.
There is evidence to suggest that the lack of good, quality social bonds can lead to increased disease risk and complications, even more so than the use of drugs or alcohol. Though this sort of research can never say for sure what influence your genetic profile has on traits like social bonding, the results of this study are compelling nonetheless. Read the whole article to learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28461468
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