Long-lasting romance depends on positive illusions and bringing novelty and renewal to our intimate relationships. Although in many parts of the world couples are still united through arranged marriages, more and more modern communications are changing the ways people relate, for example learning about other culture to value freedom or the individual right to choose one’s spouse.
Computers provide platforms from which to initiate relationships, and opportunities to screen for important characteristics prior to any encounter.
Since the vast majority of romantic relationships exist between heterosexual partners we describe the journey from attraction to romantic relationship from this perspective.
There is little research so there is no way to know, however, there is no convincing reason to assume that this journey is completely different for homosexuals. And how can we build these feelings into lasting relationships?
Other research focus on exchange and communal relationships and point to the different ways we have of relating to each other.
The importance of relationships cannot be overemphasized since we as humans have a fundamental need to belong.
Does that take away something of the mystery of liking and loving relationships?
The early attachment theory advanced by Bowlby (1982) emphasized the importance of the field when he suggested that our attachments to parents to a large extent shape all succeeding relationships in the future.
The research described in the following pages concerns early attachment, and attraction and love between adults.
These relationships may be institutionalized by marriage, or (registered) partnership, or take some other form(living-apart-together) in relationships.
To give up one’s life for another is a noble commitment, but to live one’s life for the beloved is a different, but equally high calling.
How do we move from the initial encounter of liking to romance and love and lasting commitment?