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Date Night Sparks

This is the #1 most e-mailed article from the New York Times, and you can read the entire article by clicking HERE:

Reinventing Date Night for Long-Married Couples
By TARA PARKER-POPE
Published: February 12, 2008

Long-married couples often schedule a weekly “date night” — a regular evening out with friends or at a favorite restaurant to strengthen their marital bond.

But brain and behavior researchers say many couples are going about date night all wrong. Simply spending quality time together is probably not enough to prevent a relationship from getting stale.

Using laboratory studies, real-world experiments and even brain-scan data, scientists can now offer long-married couples a simple prescription for rekindling the romantic love that brought them together in the first place. The solution? Reinventing date night.

Rather than visiting the same familiar haunts and dining with the same old friends, couples need to tailor their date nights around new and different activities that they both enjoy, says Arthur Aron, a professor of social psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The goal is to find ways to keep injecting novelty into the relationship. The activity can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or something a little more unusual or thrilling — like taking an art class or going to an amusement park.

The theory is based on brain science. New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner. (They are also the brain chemicals involved in drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

Most studies of love and marriage show that the decline of romantic love over time is inevitable. The butterflies of early romance quickly flutter away and are replaced by familiar, predictable feelings of long-term attachment.

But several experiments show that novelty — simply doing new things together as a couple — may help bring the butterflies back, recreating the chemical surges of early courtship.

February 16, 2008 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Entertainment, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, News, Relationships | 3 Comments

Slight Haze

The weather forecast for Kuwait today is “slight haze.” You’ve seen what normal sunrises look like. This is “slight haze.”
00hazysunrise.jpg

February 16, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 2 Comments