Is long-term love more than a rare phenomenon?

Some individuals in long-term marriages report intensities of romantic love comparable to individuals newly in love. How common is this? Are correlates of long-term romantic love consistent with theoretical models of love? In a random sample of 274 U.S. married individuals, 40% of those married over 10 years reported being “Very intensely in love.” Importantly, correlates of long-term intense love, as predicted by theory, were thinking positively about the partner and thinking about the partner when apart, affectionate behaviors and sexual intercourse, shared novel and challenging activities, and general life happiness. Wanting to know where the partner is at all times correlated significantly with intense love for men but not women. For women, but not men, passion about nonrelationship factors significantly correlated with intense love. In a random New York (NY) sample of 322 individuals married over 10 years, 29% reported being very intensely in love and our predicted correlates cross validated.

Source: “Is Long-Term Love More Than A Rare Phenomenon? If So, What Are Its Correlates?” from Social Psychological and Personality Science

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