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Span J Psychol. 2015 Oct 13;18:E79. doi: 10.1017/sjp.2015.79.

Intensity of Love in a Community Sample of Spanish Couples in the Region of Madrid.

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Universidad Complutense (Spain).
University of New York at Stony Brook (USA).


Intensity of love was examined in a representative community sample of 2,988 couples, from the Region of Madrid (Spain). Gender differences revealed no significant differences in intensity of love. Twenty-five percent of the participants who were in a relationship of less than 10 years and eleven percent of the participants in a relationship of more than 30 years reported being "very intensely in love" F(3, 5.972) = 191.32, p < .001, ηp 2 = 0.08. The cognitive variables, thinking positively about the partner and thinking about the partner when apart, were significant predictors of the intensity of long-term love for both men and women. Affection was also positively associated with intense love for men (r = .47, p < .001) and women (r = .52, p < .001); sexual intercourse was for women (r = .36, p < .001) but not for men. Wanting to know the whereabouts of partner was associated with the intensity of love for women (r = .15, p < .05), but not for men. Engaging in novel activities with partner was not associated with intense love for male or females. As predicted, love declined significantly in the first decade of marriage, but not much after that. The percentage of men and women who reported being intensely in love was lower than that obtained in the U.S.


culture and cognition; dyadic data; romantic love; social cognition

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