Excitement is an important factor in a relationship. Couples usually plan future trips or new activities to keep the flame burning. However, psychologists say it's more than that. Plotting new varying activities with your partner may mean you actually want to be with this person for a long time.
According to new research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, the more varied the ventures we choose to have with our partner, the more we consider the relationship to last longer. Professor Jordan Etkin published this report on the study, "Choosing Variety for Joint Consumption
," that can be seen in the Journal of Marketing Research.
"When you perceive a long time ahead, you choose more variety in your shared activities, but as you perceive less time ahead you begin to trim the variety out and focus on similar things," Etkin told to Duke
. "That finding is consistent for romantic partners, long-term friends, any close and ongoing relationship characterized by frequent interaction."
Etkin gathered five studies to know how diverse the activities people want to share with their partner. She interviewed 192 people in romantic relationships, and asked them to choose the activities they'd like to do with their partners over the following week.
The results showed, subjects who see their relationship lasting for a long time chose more varied activities than those who don't. Another similar study was conducted among 200 people in long-term friendships had similar results.
"The conclusion is that if you haven't been together for long then you want more variety, but if you see less time ahead then you want less variety," Etkin said.
"The type of positive emotions that people desire from a relationship differ depending on that future time perspective," she said. "When you have all this time in front of you, you want things to feel exciting and that's what drives your choices. But as a relationship moves through time and your future time shrinks, you desire excitement to a lesser extent."
"Satisfaction across relationships plays a huge role in our happiness as individuals," Etkin added. "This research shows thinking about where we are in our relationship and getting on the same page about how much time we have ahead of us can help us align our variety preferences — and then not fight about it."
Maybe, now it's time to ask the person you're dating about his plans with you in the future. But if you just met him last night, well..I'm really not a love doctor.