Can We Really Make Love Last?

By Anna Luerssen | August 20, 2009 | 2 comments

We've all read the fairy tales and watched the "rom-coms," but most of us maintain a certain cynicism when it comes to romantic love. Sure, it may exist, but it certainly doesn't last in long-term relationships. Passion and romance give way to routine, boredom, and even infidelity. This is just the disappointing truth about romance, right?

Not necessarily, according to Bianca Acevedo and Arthur Aron, two psychologists at Stony Brook University. In a recent paper, published in the Review of General Psychology, they examined research on long-term relationships and conclude not only that romantic love—intense, engaging, and sexual—can persist, but that it's a reasonable and important goal for couples to work toward. In a meta-analysis of 25 studies of long-term marriage, Acevedo and Aron found that a significant proportion of married couples report being intensely in love. So why are we still so skeptical?

Acevedo and Aron argue that we underestimate long-term relationship satisfaction partly because we confuse romantic love and passionate love, which is like romantic love plus obsession. While many long-term couples report having deep, strongly connected, and sexual relationships, these relationships are no longer characterized by a distracting preoccupation with one another. Acevedo and Aron find that a lack of obsession is certainly not a bad thing; in fact, obsession is associated with poor relationship satisfaction in long-term marriages.

The authors say it's critical to dispel the myth that romantic love cannot persist in long-term relationships. They argue that if partners recognize their potential to love one another for years, they won't settle for the status quo.

"In terms of real-world implications," write Acevedo and Aron, "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."

Tracker Pixel for Entry
 
 
 
  

Like this article?

Here's what you can do:

Donate
 
  
 

I do think that love can last… but i don’t know if it can last forever! There are few long-lasting relationships these days… What happened to true love? As they always say love at first sight! But that hardly happens anymore. You should only say “I Love You” if you mean it. Not when you just “Like” them. How do you know if you love the person? You care about them, you trust them, enjoy being with them and you look out for them. But what are the fights that make love stop? They are small and stupid fights. But isn’t arguing good for a relationship? Not anymore, i guess… Sometimes you meet someone else and sparks fly. You want to be with this person but you also don’t want to hurt your current partner’s feelings. This is how cheating starts. It is the most common cause of break-ups. I don’t get love, you say you love someone and then later you realize you don’t. Your partner can make you feel special and happy when you’re together but when you’re not together you don’t feel so special and happy anymore. Love isn’t about being with someone it is about how you feel about them. So I don’t believe in long lasting love.
——-

Klara & Sahara (by the way we are 11) | 5:41 pm, November 10, 2009 | Link

 

True romantic love that last a lifetime happens for matured people.  First, you have to understand that love is not the romantic notions we see on television.  It is two people who commit to building a relationship, feelings will come and go but commitment is what creates long term endearment, trust and respect, all foundational elements of life long love.

Dory Alexander | 8:41 pm, October 13, 2010 | Link

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Most...

  
  

Greater Good Events

The Greater Good Gratitude Summit
Craneway Conference Center, Richmond, CA OR Live Webcast
June 7, 2014


The Greater Good Gratitude Summit

A day of science, stories, and inspiration, featuring a keynote by Jack Kornfield and Brother David Steindl-Rast. CE credit hours available.


» ALL EVENTS
 
 

Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!

» TAKE A QUIZ
 

Dr. Christine Carter's blog on the science of raising happy kids.

» READ MORE
 

Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.

Watch
 

Greater Good Resources

 
 
» MORE STUDIES
 
 
» MORE ORGS
 

Book of the Week

Making Grateful Kids By Jeffrey Froh and Giacomo Bono Two experts explain how to foster gratitude in children, drawing on new research and compelling real-life stories.

» READ MORE
 
Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.

Sponsors

The Quality of Life Foundation logo Special thanks to

The Quality of Life Foundation for its support of the Greater Good Science Center

 
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

thnx advertisement