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Can long-term relationships maintain the sort of passion usually associated with short-term flings? Yes and no, says a new study.
Bianca P. Acevado, a researcher at Stony Brook University, looked at 25 different studies encompassing the romantic life of 6,070 individuals who were in committed relationships of varying lengths.
The studies included data from college students ages 18 to 23 who were single, actively dating or in relationships of less than four years. The studies also included data from middle-aged couples married for a minimum of a decade.
Acevado distinguished between long-term and short-term relationship satisfaction, identifying relationships as romantic, primarily passionate or based in companionship.
Acevado found companionship-based relationships produced little satisfaction in both the long and short term.
“Romantic relationships produced high levels
of both short-term and long-term satisfaction.”
Obsessively passionate relationships produced high levels of short-term satisfaction with little long-term satisfaction, while romantic relationships produced high levels of both short-term and long-term satisfaction.
Acevado explained the difference between passionate and romantic partnerships:
“Romantic love has the intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry that passionate love has, minus the obsessive component. Passionate or obsessive love includes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. This kind of love helps drive shorter relationships but not the longer ones.”
In other words, you don’t need to settle for a neutral companionship if you want a committed relationship. Long-term relationships can maintain the fire of short-term relationships, all without the threat of getting burned.
Source: Science20.com. Photo source: vividmagazine.in
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