Oxytocin: The Third Wheel In Your Relationship

Make way for the ‘cuddle’ chemical

Xcode Life
3 min readMay 13, 2020


Remember the feeling when you first clicked with someone? The instant connection, as if you’ve known them for a long time. It may be with a person you just met or a casual acquaintance. But that was a special feeling, right? What drives this feeling of social bonding?

Image from Rawpixel

Introducing the ‘love’ hormone

Does the name Oxytocin ring a bell somewhere in your brain? Or maybe in your heart? Also called the ‘cuddle chemical’, this hormone is the behind-the-scenes superhero in regulating social behaviors including empathy, optimism, friendliness.

Who’s influencing whom?

No choice of yours goes uninfluenced by genes. Relationship and dating preferences are no exception. Presenting to you, the OXTR gene, a master regulator of the oxytocin hormone. We call it the master regulator because this gene produces the receptor, on to which the hormone binds and functions. Any changes to the efficiency of the receptor will affect your sensitivity to the hormone.

The good guy and the bad guy

Nothing is ever perfect, right? No person is. No gene is. There are variations in the OXTR gene that either promote or decrease your feelings of bonding, empathy, optimism, forgiveness, and other traits that influence your relationship big time.

One widely studied and important variation is the A to G transition. This means you may have AA, AG, or GG genotype. Now, the GG variant of the OXTR gene is the good guy here, because it makes you more sensitive to oxytocin resulting in increased empathy and friendliness. This translates to a stronger and more stable relationship. The other variant AA imparts resilience to the hormone’s effects.

Men or women; who’s better with apologies?

Here’s the good news, ladies! Men with the GG genotype of the OXTR gene are more sensitive to oxytocin than women with the same genotype. They are more forgiving, empathetic and take steps to end a conflict sooner. They remain positive and calm even in the face of disagreements.

There’s more

Which variant have you got? Check your results for empathy, social bonding, and optimism traits in the personality report. Even if it is AA or AG, there’s nothing to worry about. Don’t believe us after we’ve praised the good GG guy? Hold tight, because we’ve got evidence! Surveys have found that when GG genotype is present in at least one person in a relationship, couples still report a successful and secure relationship. So, it’s not all just in your genes; it’s in your partner’s too!

Get access to 30+ traits in the Traits and Personality Report if you haven’t got yours already. For access to 700+ health-related traits, get the Mega Pack!

Do you have your DNA raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FTDNA, MyHeritage?

Upload your DNA raw data to Xcode Life to receive 700+ health-related traits.



Xcode Life

Pioneers of personalized medicine and preventive healthcare. Breaking the complex DNA down to the simple traits they manifest. Learn more at xcode.life.