Is it Love or Desire?

Romantic love is complex and sometimes confusing. People confuse the obsessive infatuation of new love with being in love generally, and feel that they must continue experiencing its seemingly addictive intensity. But research by Acevedo and Aron in 2009 shows that this infatuation decreases in relationships over time.

Some researchers believe that this is supposed to happen and is a good thing. While the intensity and obsessiveness of initial infatuation helps couples come together and bond, it could interfere with other responsibilities if it lasted indefinitely. The research from 2009 showed that continuing infatuation in marriages was associated with low relationship satisfaction. Earlier work by Campbell, Foster, and Cooper showed that romantic love without obsession was experienced by people with higher self esteem, while the obsessive kind of attachment was felt by more insecure people with lower self esteem. Meanwhile, less intense continuing romantic love promotes health and happiness.

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Is it Love or Desire?

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