Written by: Caitlin Herdman
Is he actually Mr. Right, or is it just the oxytocin talking?
One of the last guys I “dated” (a few sleepovers, one planned public appearance and inconsistent Snapchatting) was by all means average. Not to say that he wasn’t hilarious, smart, tall and had a nearly concerning degree of colour coordination (I love me a man whose entire existence looks like the inside of a Benjamin Moore paint index).
However, his backhanded compliments and propensity to ignore me for days on end ended up outweighing the charm that allowed him to occupy my “number one best friend” slot for several weeks at a time.
For those of you who are less tech-savvy, this is not a euphemism.
Now, I’m an intelligent girl, just ask my student debt, grandmother, or the fact that there are zero naked photographs of me floating around in cyberspace. I have walked away from toxic friendships, manipulative family members, and even the most persuasive Abercrombie and Fitch sales people with the utmost ease. Even so, knowing very well that Mr. Right was really just Mr. Last Call, I still found myself waiting to see his name light up my home screen and give me back that feeling I found seeing him across the crowded bar for the very first time.
Why is it that when his name did finally appear I would automatically open up my front facing camera and run for the best lighting in the break room (strategically kneeling while lodged between two rolling pant racks)? Why are women so quick to abandon their better judgment in the face of the past?
The answer to these questions is this: oxytocin.
Oxytocin (not to be confused with oxycontin) is the reason we women can’t have nice things.
In terms of love, neuroscientists have isolated the cause of sex-induced feelings (or as I call them “the bat sh*t crazies”) to the hormone oxytocin, which proves to be THE biggest catfish in dating history. I say this only because oxytocin provides women with a false sense of security because as soon as the hormone is released during a passionate (or passionless –who am I to judge) romp in the sack they often mistake it for feelings. Essentially, oxytocin tells women “this is DEFINITELY the guy whose going to watch Friends reruns with me until we both inevitably perish from our own delusions.”
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I have thought this through.
This physiological process is primarily responsible for a phenomenon I’ve experienced many times, which has time and time again allowed me to contribute to my ‘he probably doesn’t even remember my name, but I’ve planned our entire future together’ board on Pinterest.
The cool and equally frustrating thing about this deceptive mechanism is that it produces short-term effects, and in turn, facilitates short-term consequences.
This is where the similarities between oxytocin and oxycontin become apparent.
This means that you can put down your phone and robe yourself in harsh break room light once again knowing that these lust-filled feelings of closeness will subside eventually and will only rear their ugly heads again the next time you accept an offer to “split a cab” after tequila shot number five, six or seven.
It’s a common misconception that we women become effortlessly attached to our conquests out of our own volition. But it turns out that it isn’t our hearts that betray us, it’s our pituitary gland.
It’s science, after all.