Harris Rubin and Lorne Campbell (2012)
The current research tested a model proposed by Baumeister and Bratslavsky (1999) suggesting that passion’s association with intimacy is best understood as being linked with changes in intimacy over time. Within this framework, when intimacy shows relatively large and rapid increases, levels of passion should be high. When intimacy remains unchanged over time, levels of passionate experience should be low. To test this hypothesis, 67 heterosexual couples involved in long-term relationships completed daily measures of intimacy, passion, and sexual satisfaction for 21 consecutive days. Analyses guided by the actor–partner interdependence model (Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006) demonstrated that day-to-day changes in intimacy for both partners predicted relationship passion, sexual frequency, and sexual satisfaction in a manner conforming to Baumeister and Bratslavksy’s model. These results represent the first empirical support for this model of intimacy and passionate experience.