Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Romantic Love Can Be Intense and Long-Lasting

Study debunks popular beliefs that romantic love is destined to flicker and flame out

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to what has been widely believed, long-term relationships don't necessarily kill romantic love, and many couples can maintain an exciting relationship that is positively associated with marital satisfaction, mental health and overall well-being, according to the results of a study published in the March issue of the Review of General Psychology.

Bianca P. Acevedo, Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., and a colleague reviewed relevant taxonomies, theory and research, including an analysis of a moderately large data set of community couples, and conducted a meta-analysis of 25 independent studies.

The researchers found that long-term romantic love is a real phenomenon, and that couples can maintain intensity, sexual interest and engagement without the obsessive element common in new relationships. They also found that romantic love does not inevitably disappear or transform itself into companionate love, which is characterized by a warm, less intense love, devoid of attraction and sexual desire.

"These conclusions suggest a dramatic revision of some theories and careful attention to measures of love that include or exclude obsession. In terms of real-world implications, the possibility of intense long-term romantic love sets a standard that couples (and marital therapists) can strive for that is higher than seems to have been generally considered realistic," the authors write.

Full Text

Physician's Briefing