I recently had a couple of personal contacts through this blog with people who were considering taking oxytocin. It made me want to take off my reporter's hat, open up and explain how and why I began learning about oxytocin and its influence on bonding.
After spending my life in a series of one-year-stands, I finally had found a mate and the first relationship that felt like it was "supposed to." For the first time, I hadn't been a victim of the outrageous high/devastating crash syndrome.
I still remember the rush the last time that happened, at the housewarming party for my first home.
It had been a miserable couple of years. My latest relationship had crashed and burned. I'd come home from work one evening to find all his things gone -- except for the jacket I'd bought him for Christmas. My dream job had become hell. Then, just after I found myself unemployed, the landlord informed me he was selling the cute little house I'd rented less than a year ago.
But things were on an upturn. Losing my house was the jolt I'd needed to take the plunge and buy my own house. I'd cashed in my pension from the job from hell, and, with some help from my parents, persuaded a bank to take a chance on me. I had a few months' financial cushion, thanks to severance pay, and I was already making a little money writing.
I'd cleaned the house, put my stuff away, cleared the crabgrass from the yard and planted a fig tree -- all on my own, without anyone beside me. It was time to celebrate.
At the party, I kept circling back to a man I hadn’t met before, the friend of a friend. By the end of the evening, I was swept away in the old pattern: an intense longing and desire for a perfect stranger. I’m not talking about mere lust, but rather that all-consuming, almost obsessive "I've found my true love at last" feeling sometimes known by the polite term "romantic love."
Was I surprised that after one passionate night, things quickly fell apart in a couple of "why am I here?" type dates? Not really. I'd never married and only had one relationship that lasted longer than a year. This scenario had played out in my life over and over and over. How could I know whether a man I’d flirted with for a few hours at a party was someone I could really talk to and be at home with?
Yet I’d felt a deep soul-bond with this man, what seemed to be a shared understanding that went so much deeper than the mundane details of careers and goals and interests.
What was wrong with me? I knew it was deeper than just another rejection. Something deep inside me was broken, had been all my life. I had gone through talk therapy, group therapy and a twelve-step program had given me plenty of insights into my lack of self-esteem and inability to trust. I'd consumed shelves of psychology books in my quest to learn how to connect. I felt I was really ready to make a life with someone. But every time I got excited about someone, he'd fade away.
Why couldn't I fall in love with someone who would love me back?