Lifespan of Romantic Love

The latest research suggests romantic love can survive more than a year or two, and does for some couples.
A variety of practices contribute to long term romance, including quality time, conflict resolution, and exercise.
I would add kissing meditations, and some type of tantric practice. One of the yummiest techniques
in tantric practice is eye/soul gazing. This simple, but powerful practice even has scientific backing,
eye gazing releases oxytocin, the hormone of love and bonding.

from: MSNBC
Live Science
Though it is widely held that romance and sex must ultimately yield to friendly companionship over time, new research found that's not the case. Instead about 13 percent of people reported high levels of romance in their long-term relationships, in a new study published in the March issue of the journal Review of General Psychology. ...............more from MSNBC


Bianca P. Acevedo, Ph.D.—who completed a study of love at Stony Brook University—along with co-researcher Arthur Aron, Ph.D., noted the distinction between romantic and passionate love: “Romantic love has the intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry that passionate love has, minus the obsessive component.”
According to Live Science, the 13 percent of people who maintained romantic love in their long-term relationships made these relationships “central to their lives” and sought to settle arguments “relatively efficiently and smoothly.”

PsychCentral writer, John M. Grohol, highlights suggestions from research about maintaining long-term relationships, advising couples to try new activities and confront new challenges together. He emphasizes, “Feeling that your partner is ‘there for you’ is invaluable for a good relationship.”
.........more from Finding Dulinea


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GK said...

fascinating article. With obsession accounting to the balance between passionate love and romantic love, do you feel that SSRI's have a place in loving relationships...that is, if they dispel the obsessive quality without killing the romantic aspect of love?

my dakini said...

ssri's do more than reduce obsessive behavior, and that's my issue with them.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating is right! Found my way here through Greenwoman's blog. Glad I did.

I have issues tho with this statement, companionate love is defined as “a warm, less intense love, devoid of attraction and sexual desire.”

Sounds like roommates. No one addresses intimacy in these articles?? Or is it automatically equated with "romantic love"?

I have personally found SSRI's to dull down life in general, distract our emotions and kill libido. And, they are prescribed far too long without additional tools...

They ought to be prescribing meditation instead.

my dakini said...

so very pleased you dropped by, and I luv your user name! makes me want to change mine to playzonfreewayz, or longwalkshortpier, but they don't have anywhere near the poetic charm.

the issue of intimacy is frequently sidestepped, maybe because it's so ephemeral, elusive and hard to pin down..? I do think it's often confused with 'romantic love'...romantic love being the phase of heavy projections and disconnect with the real person, and their wishes. Not the same as erotic love, this i think can be cultivated and maintained, and the spontaneous sort seems to not care, or have any need of (romantic) projections....

This should be some kind of group blog post, intimacy, what is it, what does it cost, and where can i get some....

oy vay, ssri's!! I could go on for days on this topic, I think they have been a disaster for relationships, both those with others and with ourselves.

Vikram Madan said...

My comment is going to deviate from the discussion in this blog entry, but is connected to the issue, certainly.

Its impossible for "romantic love" to last more than a year, in our world, because its very existence (in this world) is doubtful.

These words of mine are not rooted in bitterness/pessimism, these words are rooted in observation of people. These are my observations.

"Romantic love" is dubious right from the outset anyway. I don't believe romantic love exists on this planet, despite the "loving words" that are exchanged between partners during the early phase of the relationship.

Their loving words are rooted in SELFISH feelings ---like 'fear of being alone, urge for money, etc". It is cathexis, not love.

Cathexis: "The investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea; The charge of psychic energy so invested.Cathexis produces a temporary 'high', but this 'high' is not love.

People 'cathact' each other like they would cathact a new dress, new car, new computer, i.e. a new object of fancy; its not love they feel for each other.

If they hang on to each other for more than a few months, its out of convenience, social/monetary compulsion, or fear of being alone. Or social status. Trophy boyfriend, trophy girlfriend, trophy wife/husband etc.

The trophy is of course nothing but an object. This is a world of sugardaddies & sugarbabies, owners & owned, not a world of love!

A "romantic" equation that does not come across as an obvious 'sugar-type' relationship also has the same underlying movements ---the "sugardaddy-sugarbaby" movements.

I am not the only one who feels this way. Well known shrink M. Scott Peck (Road Less Travelled guy) says the same things, though in a manner gentler and subtler than mine.

The typical human is incapable of love. Only an extremely rare human is mature/evolved enough to feel anything more than mere cathexis.

The sign of a person capable of feeling love in relationships: Compassion for life and its creatures.

(Compassion for all does not mean becoming a doormat for all, of course!)

It is not possible for a selfish person to feel love in any situation. A selfish person (and most humans are selfish) will approach every situation, including personal relationships, in a selfish, businesslike 'what-do-i-get-out-of-it' manner.

Of course, there might be very rare examples out there, of relationships in which real love has been born, but I haven't seen it.

The thing is --- if real love is born somewhere - it cannot wither away and die, no matter what.

Cathexis dies when the object of fancy deviates from what is desired, fails to perform as wished, etc.