Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Shock of The New

A stimulating piece in the Times suggests that undertaking new experiences together is an important part of keeping a relationship fresh. The article specifically addresses what couples do on "Date Nights."
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.
I also thought this bit of information, from the same article, was noteworthy:
And recent brain-scan studies show that romantic love really can last years into a marriage. Last week, at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in Albuquerque, researchers presented brain-scan data on several men and women who had been married for 10 or more years. Interviews and questionnaires suggested they were still intensely in love with their partners. Brain scans confirmed it, showing increased brain activity associated with romantic love when the subjects saw pictures of their spouses.
It’s not clear why some couples are able to maintain romantic intensity even after years together. But the scientists believe regular injections of novelty and excitement most likely play a role.
Date night for us is tomorrow night (Sunday). We had been planning to see a movie. Now we're going to reassess. Maybe a jaunt down to Cabo for Tequila at Sammy Hagar's bar, and then a night of spearfishing off the Baja coast? Then the wife will get arrested and I'll have to dress in drag to convince the corrupt mayor of the remote Mexican hamlet where we've gone to fence our stolen gold doubloons that it was his brother, the notorious Don Bigglesworth, who was responsible for revealing his role in the hijacking of the gunboat to El Securidad. We'll escape from town in the back of a refrigerated produce truck, holding each other tightly among the frozen yams as shouts of vengeance ricochet like bullets off the cruel and tender desert sun.

Or maybe we'll just try a new movie theater. Have to start slow with these things.

87 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been with cartooniste nearly 10 years. I can safely say we are still really romantically in love without any criminal activities. We do like making fun of bad television together. Maybe being interactive is key rather than passively receiving mass media. Maybe that is the difference. Maybe these "adventures" are just proxies for trying to think about life in a new way. That *is* important.

We also try to talk like characters from silk- and tuexdo-clad 30s films as much as possible. I don't know if that helps with our romance, but it is certainly amusing. I would also recommend bringing your spouse ice cream with chocolate sauce without being asked for it. That helps immensely.

-L

Le Chat said...

And I quote J. on this "L. may win the husband of the year award - he may take the award away from me."

J. and I read and discussed that same article last week. I really like the point that L. makes and I think it's extremely valid - that the "adventures" are proxy for many couples to interact in a more complex way with one another, and to think about life, and each other, in a different manner, keeping the relationship dynamic. However, it's probably easier to tell people "Go, find a new activity, break out of your routine," rather than "continue to actively engage one another mentally."

And L., for your reference, J. and I actually wear the tuxes and silk. Actually walk the walk, you hear me?

Cartooniste said...

Listen, just because he doesn't remember any illegal activities doesn't mean they didn't happen.

That's all I'm saying.

Dahling.

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