Secret to long-term relationships revealed

Washington: Can the feeling of elation, which we call romantic love, last?

A study led by led by Bianca Acevedo, PhD, asked this question to nearly everyone who said that they still loved their longtime spouse wildly.

The team scanned the brains of 17 people, most of whom were in their 50s and were married for an average of 21 years, while they looked at a photograph of their sweetheart.

The results were contrary to what psychologists say about the feeling of intense romantic love - that it lasts only about 18 months to - at best - three years.

The team found that the brains of these middle-aged men and women displayed the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who were intensely in love on an average of only seven months, the Huffington Post reported.

However, there was just one difference between the two groups: Among the middle-aged lovers, brain regions linked to anxiety was no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas that has been linked with calmness.

It`s said that happy marriages are based on good communication, shared values, a sturdy support system of friends and relatives, happy, stable childhoods, fair quarrelling, and dogged determination.

However, in a survey of 470 studies on compatibility, psychologist Marcel Zentner, PhD, of the University of Geneva, found that there was no particular combination of personality traits, which leads to your being involved in a sustained romance but with one exception: the ability to sustain the `positive illusions.`