Contrary to what many people believe, true love doesn’t just happen in Etta James songs and Disney movies. And, for a lucky few, the passionate romance of early love never dies.
We’re not basing our evidence on Shakespearean sonnets—our sources are a group of scientists from Stony Brook University, who did a study scanning the brains of new couples and partners who’d been together for 20 years, comparing the results of their findings.
The scientists measured the chemical reactions of each person’s brain when viewing a photo of his or her partner. In many cases, the reaction was stronger in those who’d recently started their relationships. However, about ten percent of the long-term couples showed the same results, showing that they are just as passionate about one another as they were 20 years ago.
“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,” Arthur Aron, one of the researchers, told the Times Online.
Though at first he believed the couples were exaggerating their emotions, he changed his mind after performing the study. “This is what the brain scans tell us and people can’t fake that.”
The researchers have nicknamed the lucky long-term couples “swans,” in honor of another animal that mates for life.
So what’s the secret to keeping the romance alive decade after decade? The “excitement is very much alive,” said Lisa Baber, who’s been with her husband for 17 years. “We make sure our lives are always