How To Make Love Last

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A little bit of science and some other insights.

I have to admit, even after reading Still life With Woodpecker no less than about 5 or 6 times, I still have no idea how to make love stay. The most I gathered from the book, it has something to do with Camel cigarettes and since my relationship with smoking was a brief one, I'm afraid that tip is of no use to me. Thankfully, a new study published in the March issue of the Review of General Psychology found that a surprisingly high number of long-term couples, including some who had been married over 20 years, reported that they still felt deeply in love with their partners. The researchers draw a distinction between romantic love and passionate love. "Romantic love," the researchers say," has the same intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry as passionate love has, but without the obsession. Passionate love, on the other hand, includes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety." Well, if that’s the case, I'll take romance over passion any day. According to the researchers, there are some "tricks" to making that romantic kind of love endure for the long-term.

1. Hard work: People in romantic long-term relationships "are often very relationship focused," researcher, Bianca Acevedo said. "Their relationship is something that is very central to their lives, something they spend time on, work on, really care about. They seem to resolve conflicts relatively efficiently and smoothly."

2. Do new and challenging activities together: "These novel experiences stimulate brains to create the neurochemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, which are also created during the early, exhilarating stages of romantic love."

Though I'm no expert at making love stay for the super long-term (yet), I have managed to stay happily in love with the same person for nearly three years, which isn't bad. Here are a few of the tips I'd add to the ones above.

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