Smartmarriages smartmarriages at
Mon Nov 17 16:32:49 EST 2008

To cheer us all up on a Monday!  I'm sure many of you will read this and say
"I told you so"......nice to have brain scans to prove that what you knew
you were experiencing in your marriage - IS possible.  You're not crazy,
you're just STILL in love. What great information to add to our marriage
education classes about what we've believed for years - people CAN learn how
keep the romance and passion going and that it's even better when it's calm
attachment.  Love the bit about long-term couples viewing partners as
central to their lives and continuing to want connection and engagement and
wanting to maintain a sexual liveliness.  Yes we can!!
   - diane 

Proof's in the brain scan: Romance can last
It doesn't always fade over time
By Sharon Jayson
November 17, 2008

The honeymoon doesn't have to be over just because you've been together for
years, new research suggests.

Popular wisdom would have it that romance fades over time. But new brain
scans of people who say they are still in love after decades of marriage are
similar to scans of those who have just fallen in love, leading researchers
to conclude that long-term relationships can be just as passionate and
romantic as new love.

"We're confident it's real," says psychologist Arthur Aron of the State
University of New York-Stony Brook, one of the researchers involved in the
study. "That's what the brain scans are telling us. People can't fake that."

The study, presented Sunday at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in
Washington, D.C., represents a dramatic shift in thinking. Other research
"always suggested romantic love is over by 12 to 15 months. This suggests
that may not have to be the case," says Richmond Thompson, associate
professor of psychology and neuroscience at Bowdoin College, who wasn't
involved in the study.

Scientists used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to scan the
brains of 10 women and seven men who said they were still intensely in love
after an average 21 years of marriage. When they viewed photos of their
partners, their brains reacted.

"If you ask people around the world whether romantic love can last, they'll
roll their eyes and say 'probably not,' and most textbooks say that, too.
We're proving them wrong," says anthropologist Helen Fisher of Rutgers
University, a co-author.

Lead author Bianca Acevedo, who has worked with Aron and now works with
neuroscientist and study co-author Lucy Brown of Albert Einstein College of
Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., says the findings are similar to earlier
research they did on 10 women and seven men who had fallen in love within
the previous year.

Findings show long-term relationships don't have the obsession and anxiety
of new love; instead, they show increased calm and attachment, Fisher says.
Couples view partners as central to their lives; they continue to want
connection and engagement and maintain a sexual liveliness.

Elaine Hatfield, a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii, says
the studies are "a promising beginning - not the last word in our
understanding of passionate love."

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