Contrary to popular opinion, it appears that romance doesn’t have to die a natural death in a long-term relationship. In a meta-analysis review of 25 studies with 6,070 individuals in short- and long-term relationships published last week, researchers set out to find out whether romantic love is associated with greater relationship satisfaction.
The researchers found that those who reported greater romantic love were more satisfied in both the short- and long-term relationships.
Perhaps not surprising, those who reported greater passionate love in their relationships were more satisfied in the short term compared to the long term. Companion-like love, on the other hand, was only moderately associated with satisfaction in both short- and long-term relationships.
What’s the secret?
“These people are often very relationship focused,” Acevedo told LiveScience. “Their relationship is something that is very central to their lives, something they spend time on, work on, really care about. They seem to resolve conflicts relatively efficiently and smoothly.”
Other studies on building strong, romantic relationships also suggest the following may help:
- Continue exploring and engaging in new activities and opportunities with one another.
- Resolve conflicts as they occur, respectfully; don’t let conflicts simmer and build into something bigger over time.
- Find something challenging to do together; a shared challenge can help bring you closer together if you work as a team.
- Feeling that your partner is “there for you” is invaluable for a good relationship.
- Guard against insecurity, as it can lead to spark relationship problems that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
Romance doesn’t have to turn into pure friendship over time, nor does it have to die a natural death in long-term relationships. Strive to keep the romance alive in your long-term relationship — it’s not as impossible as it may seem.
Read the full article: Romance Can Be Maintained in Long-term Relationships.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Mar 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Grohol, J. (2009). Romantic Love = Greater Long-term Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/03/22/romantic-love-greater-long-term-happiness/