Dienstag, 19. November 2013

Does a Long-Term Relationship Kill Romantic Love?

Does a Long-Term Relationship Kill Romantic Love?
Bianca P Acevedo and Arthur Aron; 2009


Abstract

This article examines the possibility that romantic love (with intensity, engagement, and sexual interest) can exist in long-term relationships. A review of taxonomies, theory, and research suggests that romantic love, without the obsession component typical of early stage romantic love, can and does exist in long-term marriages, and is associated with marital satisfaction, well-being, and high self-esteem. Supporting the separate roles of romantic love and obsession in long-term relationships, an analysis of a moderately large data set of community couples identified independent latent factors for romantic love and obsession and a subsample of individuals reporting very high levels of romantic love (but not obsession) even after controlling for social desirability. Finally, a meta-analysis of 25 relevant studies found that in long- and short-term relationships, romantic love (without obsession) was strongly associated with relationship satisfaction; but obsession was negatively correlated with it in long-term and positively in short-term relationships.

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"We suggest that both a major reason for the assumption romantic love cannot exist in long-term relationships and confusion in the relevant literature is the mixing of romantic love with passionate love (defined based on new relationships) as including high obsession, uncertainty, and anxiety. By disentangling these constructs in a factor analysis, decades of research can be unraveled to suggest that romantic love—including intensity, interest, and sexuality—thrives in some enduring relationships, while obsession is much less common and unrelated to romantic love in long-term relationships."

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