You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me

The tendencies both to adapt to a stable, average level of happiness and to feel dissatisfied are central in romance. Such tendencies underlie romantic compromises and enable people to live at an average degree of romantic intensity, and to maintain their love while their circumstances of life are reasonable. So why are these tendencies so often subject to criticism?

Can Romantic Love Be Calm and Dynamic?

Emotions are typically associated with great dynamic excitement; conversely, calmness is usually regarded as passive and unemotional. However, I claim that at the basis of profound love there is calm, dynamic excitement. Is such a combination possible?

I Want to Know Where Love Is

The issue of which bodily organ underlies romantic experiences is no longer in dispute today: We know that it is the brain, rather than the heart. An interesting twist in this dispute is the recently popular view that love is not located within the individual's body, but resides within the connections between the two lovers. Does this view make sense?

How Do You See Your Romantic Future?

The role of time in future romantic experiences consists of two basic opposing attitudes: (a) eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die, and (b) the wish to be with the beloved "forever and for always." Which of these attitudes should we take?

Why a Lover's Touch Is So Powerful

Touch plays a crucial role in generating and enhancing love. People feel more satisfied in a relationship in which physical affection is a significant part. Should the touch of love be exclusive?

Is Love an Addiction?

Romantic love has often been considered as a type of addiction. There is no doubt that love involves constant thinking about, and activities with, the beloved. Is such persistent preoccupation with one person always detrimental?

Is Romantic Ignorance a Virtue?

Knowledge is often considered to be essential for love. Hence, romantic ignorance is constantly criticized. However, empirical evidence suggests that positive illusions are beneficial for romantic love. This raises the question of what constructive role ignorance plays in love. I believe that romantic ignorance is beneficial in some circumstances.

Is Love Really Essential to Marriage?

The notion that "love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage" is still widespread, though the arguments against it are gaining strength. Addressing such arguments requires clarifying what we mean by profound love.

Why We All Need to Belong to Someone

Telling your beloved that "you belong to me" is common among lovers, but it is politically incorrect these days: each person is autonomous and should not belong to another person. Needless to say, no one literally belongs to anyone else. But can we speak about belonging in the psychological sense? I believe we can and should.

What Do Lovers Really Want?

Lovers want to be with each other, but in what kind of relationship do they aspire to be? Would they prefer to be in one profound loving relationship all their lives or would they prefer many short intense romantic relationships? The answer is not clear.

How's Your Romantic Intuition?

Can we love someone before meeting them? I believe we can, in the same way that we might "know" that we will not love someone even before we've met her or him. Our love is often based upon our romantic intuitions, which have developed before we met someone. Is such intuition helpful?

Distance Is the New Closeness

Geographical proximity has long been considered as crucial for promoting romantic relationships. However, a research indicates otherwise: long-distance relationships often have equal or greater value in maintaining romantic relationships. Can we say then that (geographical) distance is the new (romantic) closeness? Is living apart together better than living together?

Can Intuition Predict Marital Success?

Intuitive implicit knowledge has been criticized for inappropriately overriding reliable intellectual knowledge. A recent study indicates the opposite: marriage is often the triumph of intelligence over more reliable intuitive knowledge. Listening to your unspoken heart, whether it expresses negative or positive intuitions, often leads you to a more satisfied marriage.

Can Jealousy Be Retroactive?

Jealousy is typically directed at the future—it involves the fear of losing your mate in the future to someone else. The loss is an imaginary possibility that has not yet materialized, but the agent suspects that it is highly probable. Can an agent be retrospectively jealous of his beloved's past behavior, which occurred before he knew the beloved?

Is Love at First Sight Possible?

Love at first sight is not easy to explain. Some people even deny that it is possible claiming it is merely sexual attraction. Indeed, how can we fall profoundly in love after one quick glance? How can such a glance make us believe that we want to spend the rest of our life in the arms of a stranger we have just seen for the first time?

Who Is the Perfect Partner?

The perfect partner may not be the perfect person about whom you are dreaming; rather, it is someone who is comparable to you and is ready to invest in creating functional harmony with you.

I Need You More Than Want You

The cost of being so much in love with someone is that you have to bear the suffering of being away from her. The price of nurturing the beloved's flourishing includes providing the beloved with a personal space in which she can engage in her personal intrinsic activities, some (but not all) of which are not necessarily done with her lover.

The Impatient Versus Patient Heart

Does romantic love involve patience or impatience? There are good indications that it involves both; certain romantic circumstances require patience while there are others that require impatience. Let us consider which circumstances demand which response.

Should You Fall in Love With a Shy Person?

Shyness might be an initial impediment in a relationship, both for the shy person and for her potential partner, but as shyness expresses valuable moral norms, a relationship with a shy person has every chance of being rich and satisfying.

Are Second-Hand Lovers Merely a Second Best?

People do not want to be second best; everyone wants to be the first, even if being second means improving their objective situation. What is so bad in being second? However in many romantic circumstances, being the last expresses more profound love than being first or second.

"I Married Beneath Me"

Some people become aware on their wedding ceremony that their partner is inferior to them. This kind of awareness can prove to be disastrous for their future relationship. Can such awareness be tolerated, and can it be avoided? Can people live happily with such inequality?

Is Junk Sex as Bad as Junk Food?

The very use of the term "junk" implies that both junk food and junk sex are inferior to the "real thing" and are therefore wrong. But are they wrong in the same sense?

Is Sex a Non-Moral Issue Like Eating?

The scientific dispute of whether sexual desire is closer to hunger than to emotions has considerable implications concerning our appropriate sexual and romantic behavior. In this post I examine Catherine Hakim's claim that there is no moral difference between sex and eating at a restaurant: in both cases, variation and change increase our marital happiness.

Do Only Fools Rush In?

The common perception of genuine romantic love is that it involves no small measure of foolishness. Nevertheless, I will claim here that it is possible to perceive romantic wisdom in sincere and profound love.

The Love Paradox

The love paradox in current society arises from a combination of the following two seemingly opposing claims: (a) a greater percentage of intimate relationships are based on love; (b) a greater percentage of intimate relationships involve romantic compromises. Since romantic compromises are considered to run counter to love, how can these two claims co-exist?

Why Are Friends With Benefits So Happy?

The popularity of friendship with benefits (FWB) is increasing. A similar phenomenon within marriage (MFWB) is when the partners are friends and the sexual aspect is marginal. Both types of friendship lack romance, but while FWB is generally a most pleasurable relationship, in MFWB spouses are miserable. Why this is so, and how can MFWB can be improved?

Does Cohabitation Lead to More Divorces?

The major reason supporting premarital cohabitation is that it enables the couple to see whether they get along well enough to embark on marriage. However, counter-intuitively, many studies have found that premarital cohabitation is associated with increased risk of divorce and a lower quality of marriage. How can we explain it?

"My Husband Was Not the Most Romantic of My Loves"

People are often painfully aware that they are making romantic compromises. The most common of these involves giving up passionate love in exchange for companionate love. But how can we measure the two types of love? Can a relationship that was once regarded as a romantic compromise later become a profound love? The following true story provides a surprising answer.

Why Do Women Tend to Refrain from Romantic Window Shopping?

Window shopping—that is, browsing through goods with no intent to purchase—is a popular pastime, particularly among women. Romantic window shopping involves browsing through people with no intent to initiate a profound romantic relationship and is more popular among men. Is there any value in the two types of window shopping? And how can the gender difference be explained?

Why Make-Up Sex and Breakup Sex Are So Good

Make-up sex is wild and extremely gratifying sex that people report having experienced after having had an intense fight. Why, in the wake of having had a bitter fight, is everything forgotten while the couple engage in what many say is amazingly wild and enjoyable sex? And why is breakup sex similarly so exciting?