Passionate Love: The Forgotten Emotion


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That is why those early days are special.

Passionate love is a fleeting emotion. It is a high, and one cannot stay high forever. Hatfield and her colleagues (2008) interviewed couples (dating couples, newlyweds, and long-married couples). They found that, as expected, passionate love decreased markedly over time. When asked to rate their feelings on a scale that included the responses “none at all,” “very little,” “some,” “a great deal,” and “a tremendous amount,” steady daters and newlyweds expressed “a great deal” of passionate love for their mates. However, starting shortly after marriage, passionate love was shown to steadily decline, with long-married couples admitting that they felt only “some” passionate love for each other.

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Elaine Hatfield, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii and Richard L. Rapson, Department of History, University of Hawaii

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