We’ve all wondered about our relationships.If we’re unsure about what’s happening, or if we’re curious how our habits influence the connection we have with our significant others, we might turn to a study.
Western University Psychology Professor, Lorne Campbell, studies relationships at the university’s SMaRt Lab. He says although intimacy is important to every relationship, “a lot of social-psychological research on relationships excludes the focus on sexuality, and instead focuses on ‘are you happy? What do you think? Do you argue a lot? Do you resolve conflict? Important things, but they omit the fact that there is a very intimate aspect to the relationship as well.”
He is supervising post-doctoral researcher Taylor Kohut, who is doing a study on relationship routines. Posters on campus ask couples who have been together for more than three years if they “are looking to spice things up?” Kohut says that although couples can get comfortable with each other over time, it is not as exciting as it was when you were first together. “At the beginning of the relationship, when people are first starting to get together, they’re most excited about one another, wanting to spend time together, they have this strong sense of passion and sexual desire and so on, and that kind of disipates for people over time.”
His supervisor agrees.
“You can get into very good routines, but then they do feel like a routine. You wake up, the partner makes the coffee, you take out the garbage, one has a shower, the other makes breakfast and lunches, and you kiss and you go off, and you go to work. You’re each helping each other do something. Over time, that can seem boring ‘Ugh, we don’t do anything that’s novel or new’,” Campbell explains, “So the question that a lot of research focuses on is how do you add something a little bit new, a little bit novel to make them remind themselves how much they enjoy being with each other.”
The professor adds that it can be anything, such as intimacy and riding a hot air balloon.
Photo courtesy of April Killingsworth on Flickr, found on Wikimedia Commons