Can romantic love last the test of time, or does it inevitably fade? A study published in the journal Review of General Psychology and reported by MSNBC says a surprisingly large number of couples retain a high level of romantic intensity. It’s important, because many couples resign themselves to eventually falling out of love, or falling into more of a companionship or friendship rather than a passionate love affair. But we need not settle.
Researchers found 13 percent of people in long-term relationships reported high levels of romance. Romantic love has the same intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry as passionate love has, but without the obsession found in new passionate love, researchers explain. Passionate love also includes the negative feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. In essence, it’s thought that the early stages of romantic love do not allow us to focus on the rest of our lives, while the long-lasting romantic love has the passionate feelings without the anxiety and obsession that could preclude us from being successful in the rest of our lives.
The good news is that long-term romantic love is not only possible, it may not be as rare as we think it is. Couples who were most successful were “very relationship focused.” They spend time on, work on, and care about the relationship. They tend to resolve conflicts fairly smoothly. Experiencing new and challenging activities together can also stimulate the neurochemicals dopamine nad norepinephrine, which are also produced during the new love stage, says study author Bianca Acevedo, who completed the research while at Stony Brook University.
What are you doing to keep your romantic feelings alive and strong?
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