Long-term couples can still experience first flush
9 January 2009
Contrary to previous views that love and sexual desire reach their peak at the beginning of a relationship, recent research has revealed that some couples will still be as passionate after 20 years together as they were when they first met.
That is according to a team of scientists from Stony Brook University in New York, who the Times reported ran a research project comparing the brain patterns of long-term couples with new lovers.
When they scanned the brains of both groups after showing them a picture of their loved ones they discovered that approximately one in ten of those couples who had been together for 20 years had the same chemical reactions as those who had not been dating long.
Commenting on the results of the research, Arthur Aron, a psychologist at Stony Brook, said: "The findings go against the traditional view of romance – that it drops off sharply in the first decade – but we are sure it's real."
Mr Aron said that it was impossible to fake the activity on the brain scans which showed what the Times described as "a burst of pleasure-producing dopamine" that is more often seen in couples who are in the "first flush of love".
Paul Newman married actress Joanne Woodward in 1958 and when asked about infidelity he famously said: "Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?"