There’s a perception that romantic love doesn’t last in lasting relationships. So we found some fascinating research by Bianca Acevedo – now at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She conducted a study about long-term romantic love [PDF].
The subjects of her research claimed they still had an “intense romantic love” for their spouse. They had been married at least 10 years. (21 years, on average).
Some still had kids at home; others were empty-nesters. Some were still in their first marriage. Others had been divorced.
She showed them photos of:
1. their spouse
2. a close long-time friend
3. a highly familiar acquaintance
4. a person they didn’t know well
While they looked at the photos, the researchers conducted a brain scan.
Love at first sight
When looking at the photo of their spouse, participants demonstrated brain activity associated with romantic love. In fact, it was the same brain activity that people who had just fallen in love exhibited in previous studies.
Apparently, it’s possible to keep falling in love!
Benefits with friend
That’s interesting but it wouldn’t have been enough to get us to talk about it with you. It gets even better.
The researchers also found that these people also showed brain activity that indicates calmness when looking at the photo of their spouse.
Passion and peacefulness can walk hand-in-hand!
How do they do it?
Tara Parker-Pope, author of the book For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, recently wrote an article for The New York Times, where she asked Dr. Acevedo the secret behind a passionate relationship that lasts.
The answer: Don’t let engagement end with the engagement.
Stay involved in each other’s lives. Love can be a noun or a verb. We tend to only think of it as a noun. If love is taken for granted, it will burn out.
She suggests 3 questions to determine how much passion you have in your relationship:
1. How much does your partner provide a source of exciting experiences?
2. How much has knowing your partner made you a better person?
3. In the last month, how often did you feel that your marriage was in a rut?
We think it’s a good idea to turn this question around. Ask yourself how you’re doing with these things.
You have to take action to keep up the attraction! The BIGG idea behind BIGG success is synergy. This study shows that you can have both passion and companionship.
With that, we should go. It’s time to put another log on the fire!
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(Image in today's post by pitabox987)