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Your relationship is on the rocks. Begrudgingly, you and your significant other visit a marriage counselor in the hopes that there's still something left to salvage in your relationship.
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49 comments
 
Extacy, as in MDMA...

It's all good!!!
 
Half a gram is better than a damn
 
An excuse not to actually work at relationships? If it's worth saving, work at it.
 
Work at it + MDMA

A great combination... Trust me... Once or twice is all it takes to remind both what is really important in a relationship.
 
+Steve Mayne I never find the "do it the hard way because that's the way we used to do it" argument to be a very compelling argument.

Please note, I'm not commenting on the article itself, I'm just saying that no matter what the subject, I don't find your argument very compelling. For instance, If I could take a pill and learn a new language in an hour, I'd do it, and anyone that said "do it the hard way, because it's harder!" would get made fun of. In Italian. ;-)
 
Hug me till you drug me, honey;
Kiss me till I'm in a coma:
Hug me, honey, snuggly bunny;
Love's as good as soma.
 
+Joe Betsill In my less-than-compelling way, I believe relationships require more than just the right chemical conditions to work - it can't all be about the sexual/physical side. They require understanding, compassion and compromise on both sides.
 
+Steve Mayne
Is it that you believe understanding, compassion, and compromise cannot be put into pill form?
 
+Steve Mayne But that understanding, compassion, and compromise is used as a strengthener for emotional bonding--for chemistry. Literal chemistry could be an equally effective (or even more effective) way to strengthen figurative chemistry.

+Leina'ala Ovitt History and the current US divorce rate don't offer much support for your suggestion.

+iPan Baal It's all about the orgy-porgy.
 
+Joe Betsill have you considered - more generally, not just wrt relationships - that the process of learning, the struggle, may itself be beneficial?
 
I see nothing wrong with taking the pill if the basis for the marital problem is biological.
 
+Yin Huang you're too reductive. Substituting understanding as a cause of neural chemistry with just the chemistry would leave you as baffled by and alienated from your emotional stance as you would be if a puppeteer started jerking your limbs about.
 
+David Jones And you're far too confident in dismissal. Romantic love suspends rationality all the time, and people accept that all the time. It's what virtually every single love story in human history talks about. I don't see why altering your chemical state via chemical alteration vs. subconscious suggestion would necessarily force you to suddenly split your consciousness into "the emotional (chemically bonded) one" and "the unemotional one that's suddenly looking through a window at the weirdo emotional one."
 
I've heard that the key to a successful marriage is to not fall out of love at the same time as your partner. There's truth to that - relationships are hard work, and if you pretend otherwise, you're lying to yourself.

If you're able to recognize and admit it, I think that a pick-me-up boost of pheromones or some other chemical tweak would be a great help to 'get around the bend'. Plus, the chemically-manufactured 'in-love' phase could be the spark needed to get the couple back on track.

People use Cialis and Viagra for this exact reason - it's not just about the mechanics of sex; it's also about the connection with your partner. If these pills became commercially available, I'd give it a try.
 
I don't want to turn this into an endless religious debate, +Leina'ala Ovitt, so I'll leave our particular subdiscussion at this: anyone claiming "well those other Christians just suck at being Christian" needs to read more about what "humility" and "Christian" mean.
 
+Leina'ala Ovitt The amount of marital problems I've seen within God-fearing couples that go to church suggests otherwise. If you're just saying that people need to see the other's point of view, then just say that.
 
+Leina'ala Ovitt
Please stop.
I'm not just laughing on the inside at you, I am also laughing on the outside.

I imagine Love Potion #9 is one part LSD, one part DMT, one part oxytocin, and one part MDMA.
 
+Yin Huang if you really want to learn from the history of love stories I'd point out the terrible consequences that usually follow when a love potion or the gods intervene, I think there's a certain truth there.

But...being a complete materialist about this I'm absolutely certain that mental events simply are physical events; nevertheless the two - the description at the level of the mental and the causing, and caused, physical events are usually in step.
 
+David Jones Eh, people will insert whatever morality they themselves prefer in their stories. The "if you do this hypothetical thing, then bad stuff will happen" line is so cliche (and so often incorrect) that hipsters won't even touch it ironically.

Sure, I agree that the experiential and the chemical are "usually in step"... for now. But, the fascinatingly creepy history of psychological disorders caused by brain trauma (word salad, being "stuck in time," inability to recognize faces, retrograde amnesia, etc.) shows that the subject is often internally unaware of any discordance between its mental state pre-trauma and post-trauma.
 
If people lived like Christ as depicted in the Bible, they would never get married and probably never have sex. Jesus is hardly an exemplar of romantic intimacy. If anything, he exemplifies the detachment that results from prolonged celibacy.
 
Arguing about drugs vs hard work is accepting a false dichotomy. These aren't mutually exclusive approaches. Of course hard work is necessary in any serious relationship, romantic or otherwise. No one would seriously argue to the contrary.

The necessity of hard work is completely independent of the potential usefulness of drugs. Drugs don't replace hard work. What they do (potentially) is allow you to temporarily achieve the first person experience of what you are trying to achieve through hard work.

It is pretty difficult to find your way when you have forgotten what your intended destination looks/feels like. Recalibrating your internal compass can make the whole process dramatically more effective.
 
+Damiean Garciamendez B---es love Solomon. Or something.

+Gregory Rader Ah, but what if, five years down the line, pharmacology can replace hard work--at least turning it into "casual work"? The social ramifications would be very interesting, to say the least.
 
Hey honey, want to have a glass of wine with me and unwind?

No difference.

Going on vacations, taking walks, going to spas. All these things release chemicals in our brains.....pleasurable chemicals. When experiencing these things with another person, those chemicals create an association with the pleasure being experienced and the person you experience it with.

Sex is no different. It's not just the pleasure, but how the pleasure rewires your brain to see the other person - i.e. bonding.

Choosing to take an intimacy enhancing chemical concoction - WITH someone you love - is still a CHOICE.

For example, taking MDMA with your partner is no less a choice than taking MDMA alone, or with a stranger. It's still a choice.

When I go for a jog, and I release endorphins into my brain - is anyone going to argue that jogging is the easy way to access endorphins? Should I handmake those endorphins from scratch or something???

For some reason, when ingenuity finds a shortcut to something, people get pissed, because they didn't have it when they grew up.

I understand.

I see all these cool innovations in schools now - for example using social media and smartphones - and I'm like, damn, I wish I had that when I was a kid.

But I would never suggest, you're doing it wrong, bros.

That's just envy.
 
+Yin Huang I think the point of, say, the love potion in A Midsummer's Night Dream , or of Odysseus and Circe, wasn't to hammer home some moral position, exactly. I think they're more cautionary.

And I agree about the instances of mental disturbances you mention. But they're pathologies.
 
+Yin Huang Then our notions about what can be achieved through hard work will level up. As effective as drugs might be, it will always be true that intelligent application of effort + drugs will be even more effective. Across virtually all domains, innovation only replaces human effort in the short run. In the long run we find new challenges worthy of further efforts.
 
I mean to say, though, +Gregory Rader , that it is the effort itself that's most valuable. The effort of the journey is precisely what makes the destination so enjoyable....if that doesn't sound too fortune-cookie.
 
We do have to be vigilant about wireheading.
 
+Steve Mayne Very possible. When I read the headline, I was immediately reminded of one of Asimov's short stories, where he details a future in which 99% of the population can learn using brain-machine interfaces that directly download information into our minds, called "Tapes." The story was about the tiny, strange contingent of the population had to do this weird, interactive process called "learning." The "hard way" may have benefits, but such benefits may also either be negligible or simply not exist.

For emotional bonding, compatibility filtering is the easy traditionalist benefit, but it's often not very effective, so us maybe citing it as a real benefit is contestable.

+iPan Baal The traditionalist argument is silly, but I don't really see anyone using it here as a primary argument. I only see tangential references to it in speculation that "the hard way" probably has unquantified benefits.

+David Jones Yes, those are pathologies, but they're also instances where physical modification (damage, in those cases) of the brain causes behavioral modification without the subject being fundamentally aware that something changed. I don't think it's much of a stretch to suggest that chemical tweaking may be as "stealthy" in its behavioral modification. Granted, chemical castration is a rathe brutal counterargument, but not particularly applicable if we are to discuss the hypothetical limits of chemical tweaking.

+Gregory Rader Oh, absolutely. I actually didn't see "chemical bonding may wholly replace having actual relationships" as the article's thesis. It suggested that, at some point likely far down the line, chemicals could be used to greatly help.
 
But this is already the case. What the article is really saying, is we may take more interest and invest more money into, and refine what we already do.

Couples already take MDMA, or viagra to enhance their relationships.

The article is merely suggesting that science may take a more precise role in refining and perfecting what we have always been doing.

+David Jones
I hated the savage. I loved Helmhotz and Mustapha.
 
+iPan Baal you hated the Savage and loved Mustapha? See, you're no romantic, are you.
 
+Plato Nista Make supper more pleasant? Hmm, a drug that'll make brussel sprouts taste like cocaine... an intriguing idea.
 
Taste, or feel, like cocaine? Cocaine tastes pretty awful.
 
One pill makes you bigger, another makes you small; pills you want the most from, don't do anything at all.
 
Seriously, people-- no prosthelytizing on my posts. The Bible doesn't have didily squat to do with having a trusting, loving relationship with your partner. "Live as Jesus did"? Really? And who was he married to again?
 
But how does the pill know who you are married to ? I'm thinking it needs to have a pretty short term effect or it will likely affect relationships with co-workers as much as a spouse.
But then I had to do a Midsummer Night's Dream at school when love potions got all the couples tangled up.
 
+Gary Myers
There is, of course, potential for all sorts of abuse.

Just like there is today.

Does MDMA "know" who you are married to, when you go to a rave and take some with a stranger?

People make the choice to take these drugs, with their partner, alone, or with someone else. Knowing what the drugs do before hand gives us "informed consent" - at least as much as possible.

The abuse comes from 1) Drugging people without their knowledge, or forcibly. And 2) Spreading misinformation about the effects of the drug.

Presumably, a "couple" would only take these types of drugs in privacy. If not, then obviously they wanted to enhance their intimacy with someone else, or else they wouldn't have chosen to take the drugs in another situation to begin with.

Do you see what I'm getting at?
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If feelings and emotions are nothing but chemical reactions then ¿Is the inevitable fading of love just a tolerance or a saturation our neurons develop?
What will keep these pills from failing by the same reasons?
 
Love, yeah. We all know what it means, but try to find even two people who agree on that meaning. There is more to a successful partnership than the passion or personal liking that may start off a long-term relationship, and while some of that may fade, other valuable feelings may grow to replace it.
 
This is a bad idea and is as likely to cause dysfunctional attachments (think Stockholm Syndrome) as functional attachments.

All relationships take two people. Each one has to be capable of being satisfied with what the other can provide.

There are very likely to be anti-attachment mechanisms also mediated through oxytocin. We know there is such a thing as anti-maternal bonding. Think of postpartum infanticide, something that all mammals exhibit (under the right/wrong circumstances). What is the physiology of that? Unless you know (and we know that the physiology of it is unknown), you should be afraid of messing with things that you don't understand.

But then that is exactly where fools rush in.
 
I feel so humbled, having been married but once and for only 27 years.
 
I have no problem with people having a faith, but as the owner of this thread, I can pretty much call the shots here. Just sayin. My house, my rules.
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