Evolved Fragility
in Love is the Drug
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Why are there are so many couples looking for help with their relationships in the first place? Why is it so hard to make long-term, romantic partnerships work, much less flourish, in the modern world? This chapter argues that at least part of the explanation may lie in a disconnect between our ancient, evolved dispositions for mating and attachment and the social and physical environment we have created for ourselves through culture and technology. In short, our capacity for love did not evolve to support life-long relationships in contemporary societies. Rather, it evolved to support the reproductive success of our ancestors under social conditions that, for the most part, no longer exist. In addition, the place of love in marriage—and the institution of marriage itself—has undergone a whiplash-inducing transformation over the past 200 years, leaving us ill-equipped to fit the pieces all together. Might there be a role for chemical treatments in strengthening the bonds of attachment directly?

Love is the Drug

The Chemical Future of Our Relationships

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