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Making it last: Combating hedonic adaptation in romantic relationships


Is the waning of passion and satisfaction in romantic relationships inevitable, or can the honeymoon period be sustained? The Hedonic Adaptation Prevention model, which describes the mechanisms by which people adapt to positive life changes, posits that hedonic adaptation is a powerful barrier to sustained relationship well-being and suggests how to thwart it. In this paper, we apply the model to a new area of study - namely, intimate relationships. We explore the practices, habits, and activities that can increase the number of positive events and emotions in relationships, boost their variety, lower a couple's entitled aspirations, and build their appreciation - all variables that can serve to slow adaptation and increase well-being. Additionally, we discuss types of romantic relationships (e.g. long-distance relationships and unhealthy relationships) that may be relatively less susceptible to hedonic adaptation. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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