Making it last: Combating hedonic adaptation in romantic relationships

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Making it last: Combating hedonic adaptation in romantic relationships

Is the waning of passion and satisfaction in romantic relationships inevitable or can the honeymoon period be sustained? The Hedonic Adaptation Prevention model which describes the mechanisms by which people adapt to positive life changes posits that hedonic adaptation is a powerful barrier to sustained relationship well-being and suggests how to thwart it. In this paper we apply the model to a new area of study – namely intimate relationships. We explore the practices habits and activities that can increase the number of positive events and emotions in relationships boost their variety lower a couple’s entitled aspirations and build their appreciation – all variables that can serve to slow adaptation and increase well-being. Additionally we discuss types of romantic relationships (e.g. longdistance relationships and unhealthy relationships) that may be relatively less susceptible to hedonic adaptation.

The Journal of Positive Psychology , 2013 Vol. 8, No. 3, 196 – 206,

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