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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Dimitrion, LCSW, CST

Together for the Long Haul: Ways to Make Love Last

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

According to the 2018 national marriage and divorce rates, approximately 40% of married couples filed for divorce in 2018. Beating that 40% and remaining together AND in love for the long haul is a goal for most couples. How exactly do you beat the odds? A 2012 study at Stony Brook University found that couples who maintained long-term romance had the following characteristics in common:

1) Thinking positively about their partner.

2) Thinking about their partner when they were apart.

3) A mutual respect for their partner's individuality and growth.

4) The ability to compromise.

5) Intimacy.

6) Feeling happier overall about life.

7) Having sex with one another.

Family Medicine Doctor and Clinical Sexologist Dr. Rachael Ross has come up with a recipe for long lasting love developed after years of work with individuals and couples. Her recipe is simple and outlined below:

  • Strong romantic attraction.

  • Joint and solo activities that are new and challenging

  • Regular strong doses of Dopamine.

So how do you go about following this recipe?

Find new ways of being with one another that is intimate, novel, and exciting! Intimacy does not only need to be sexual. Intimacy can be created when you spend one-on-one direct time with one another. It's not watching television together. It's not independently reading in bed next to each other. It's spending time engaging with one another directly. At the same time, you want to engage in something new together. This can be trying a new restaurant. This can be going on vacation routinely. Not only does novelty help promote dopamine, it intensifies a feeling of excitement that is mutually felt together. Excitement can be as simple as signing up for a salsa class or it can be as adventurous as rafting in Costa Rica. The more you engage in new, intimate, and exciting experiences, the less likely you will be to fall into the monotony of daily life.

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