Many of us have been in a relationship with someone who was all wrong for us, yet we stayed because we “felt a connection.” It can be tough to figure out what’s going through our heads when this happens, but what if it was actually beyond our control?

There is a little-talked-about hormone, oxytocin—nicknamed the “cuddle hormone”—which is released during sex and could be effecting our relationships and sex lives in ways we’ve never thought of.

What is oxytocin?
Basically, it’s one of our many hormones. Both men and women have it, and while its exact purpose is still unclear, it increases in our systems during orgasm (for men and women) and during childbirth (it’s what bonds mothers to their babies). It’s released into our bloodstreams in response to breast or vaginal stimulation as well says Dr. Beverly Whipple, Secretary General of the World Association for Sexual Health.

Is it him or the oxytocin that I’m attracted to?
Oxytocin has been found to increase our levels of trust and make us feel more connected with people. But what if that oxytocin released during sex makes us feel connected with someone who’s wrong for us?

“A year ago, a friend flipped for a guy whom, when I met him, I didn’t quite ‘get.’ He wasn’t all that nice. Just what did she see in him, I wondered. But I started to understand, because whenever his name came up in conversation, so did great sex ... with him,” says blogger Kat Wilder. She adds: “I wouldn’t doubt all that lovin’ triggers that oxytocin bonding.”