Romantic love is more enduring than previously thought, says a new study in the Review of General Psychology. Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 people, some newly coupled, some married for decades, and found that 13% still reported high levels of romance. That may not sound like much, but it was still surprisingly high, researchers say. Until now, it’s been assumed that romance inevitably subsides over time.
Researchers arrived at the unexpected result by distinguishing between romantic love and passionate obsession. “The obsessive component is generally combined with the romantic component. Thought of that way, it looks like it's diminishing,” said one researcher. “But if you assess the romantic love differently than the obsessive component, it happens for a greater proportion than what was generally thought.”