Can true love last forever? Scientists at Stony Brook University used brain scans to find that indeed, true love can last a lifetime:
Scanning the brains of people who have been together for 20 years, the scientists found that about one in 10 couples still display elements of “limerence”, the psychologists’ term for the obsessive behaviour of new lovers.
They enjoy “intensive companionship and sexual liveliness” but without the anxieties and tensions of early love. They are generous, calm and deeply attached. The scientists call them swans (swans mate for life).
This is good news for the 10%, if not for the remaining 90% gripped by marital fatigue. But Arthur Aron, leader of the researchers, says the majority can learn from the minority. One clue he has found is that the swans share experiences and avoid stress. This may be a symptom rather than a cause, but Aron, 64, and his wife are copying the swans anyway in the hope of enjoying a little limerence themselves.