Kicking off the new season, the 30th installment of SAGE’s Relationship Matters podcast, produced and hosted by Dr. Bjarne Holmes of Champlain College, brings you the latest science from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, translated into practical and applicable knowledge that you can apply to your own relationships. In this season’s premier, Dr. Virgil Sheets (Indiana State University) discusses his recent research on how to keep passionate love alive (and well) in long-term relationships.
The beginning of relationships provides many opportunities for self-expansion as new partners learn novel and interesting things about each other. This growth tends to be associated with excitement for the new relationship and partner. However, researchers believe that the high levels of self-expansion characteristic of new relationships tends to decrease over time as opportunities to learn new and interesting things from (and about) a partner wanes. Hence, the feelings of passionate love in a relationship often decrease with time as well. However, from this perspective, couples could sustain passionate love in relationships if opportunities for new and interesting self-expansion opportunities are deliberately maintained over time. Dr. Sheets decided to study this possibility in a community sample of over 500 people from different age ranges.
So what happened? Is there a way to maintain passionate love in a relationship over time? Listen to the podcast to find out!