The main player among the wellbeing hormones is dopamine, also known as the reward hormone. Then there is prolactin, the hormone of satiation, and oxytocin, the love and bliss hormone. All these hormones interact powerfully affecting our moods and desire for intimacy and bonding. And although we might believe that dynamics within the relationship has a conscious element to it, there is also a deep physical hormonal element that contributes to our experience.
After the orgasm, the man and the woman enter different biological and hormonal cycles that can cause a disconnection, as they are not on the same page. The male is responding to the decline in dopamine and testosterone while the female is high in oxytocin levels, the intimacy hormone.
Known as the “bonding hormone”, oxytocin plays an important role in the neuroanatomy of wellbeing and intimacy. It is associated with various behaviors, including pair bonding and parental behaviors. For that reason, it’s not surprising that both men and women release significantly more oxytocin when they have a baby, because they both need to be a lot more stable and engaged to raise the baby. Obviously, going out, making new romantic connections and looking for the biological thrill of new partners wouldn’t create a secure environment for the baby to thrive. Oxytocin helps to create the bond of love at a biological level.
In my experience working with people on this very problem over the years, I have come to realize that the subconscious mind feels a lot more ease to trade in a lower vibrational drug to a higher vibrational drug. Adopting the mindset of “going cold turkey” activates the potent powers of the dopamine receptors and this biological scarcity creates a sensation in us that leads to cravings.
The endocrine system produces and regulates our body’s hormonal activity. The gland known as the hypothalamus creates oxytocin, and it is stored in the pituitary gland, which then releases it to the rest of the body.