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Double Dates can Help with Romance

Update Date: Feb 18, 2014 02:02 PM EST

Double dating, which has been a part of American culture for decades, is often used early on in a relationship. Movies and television shows depict young adults engaging in double dates especially when they are meeting someone new or introducing their friend to someone new. Despite these themes, a new study is reporting that double dating can help people already in a relationship rebuild their romance.

"Passionate love is one of the first dimensions of love to decrease in couples over time as the newness of a relationship begins to wane," stated Keith Welker, a doctoral student at Wayne State University. "Relationships have widely been thought to flourish and develop in a broader network of social relationships, while emerging research has suggested that novel, arousing experiences can increase feelings of passionate love."

For this study, the researchers wanted to examine the effects of double dating. For years, researchers have concluded that sharing personal information with one other person can help create a closer relationship. The researchers wanted to see if sharing personal information with another couple could be effective as well.

The team recruited 150 couples. In order to group the couples according to their similarities, the researchers conducted a "Fast Friends" experiment, which involved questions such as "What is your idea of a perfect day?" and "What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?" These questions varied based on how personal they were. The couples were then split into pairs and instructed to discuss the questions.

The researchers found that couples that talked about more personal subjects reported feeling higher levels of passionate love with their partners in comparison to couples who did not delve into personal, in-depth questions. The team also discovered that couples that were more responsive when answering personal questions were also more likely to report higher and stronger levels of passionate love.

"The more that the other couple responds to your self-disclosures in a validating and caring way when on a double date, the more passionate you feel about your own relationship," Welker said according to Science Daily.

The findings were presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology's annual conference in Austin, TX.

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