True love is like an eternal flame, they say. Now researchers have confirmed that real bonding never dies — it lights up life just like a new romance.
A study at Rutgers University has revealed that couples still deeply mad about each other after more than two decades of marriage, experience the same sense of euphoria as those in the first flush of romance.
“If you ask people around the world whether romantic love can last, they’ll roll their eyes and say ‘probably not’. We’re proving them wrong,” lead researcher Helen Fisher told Daily Mail newspaper.
In their study, the researchers probed the durability of true love by scanning the brains of 17 men and women, who said they were still devoted to their spouses after an average of 21 years of marriage, as they looked at a photo of their longtime partners.
The scans were remarkably similar to those of people who’d fallen in love within the past 12 months.
Those newly in love also showed activity in a part of the brain associated with obsession and anxiety, whereas the long-termers were using parts linked to calmness and the suppression of pain.