In Part 1 of this series I discussed the topic of Hedonic Adaptation from a general relationship perspective. Part 2 of this series will focus on the application of these ideas to the sexual domain.
To recap, Hedonic Adaptation in relationships is where, after a surge in happiness and passion at the beginning of a new relationship, people generally adapt to this scenario over time -the passion then reduces and happiness comes back down to the person’s previous baseline. Continue reading Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: In the Bedroom (Part 2)
One of the advantages of a long-term relationship is the familiarity and comfort that develops as a couple – staying in for a cosy movie on a Friday night, building routines together, going to that favourite restaurant, feeling known and understood.
But if there is too much familiarity and routine in your relationship, this can lead to a significant drop in passion over time.
These observations are related to a theory called Hedonic Adaptation. Continue reading Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: The Back Story (Part 1)
Over the past decade there has been lots of discussion about whether humans are “naturally” monogamous or if we are actually polyamorous creatures in a monogamy-focused culture. As these discussions increasingly focus on evidence that we evolved as promiscuous and non-monogamous mammals (just look at our close relatives, the lusty bonobos…), this can have the effect of threatening people’s ideas about what is right for them and whether they are making the right relationship choices.
This can be rather confronting.
But rather than seeing this evidence as a prescription for how you should be running your relationship/s, an alternative way to use this information is to acknowledge that our culture’s preferred form of relationship (the monogamous relationship) will come with challenges: The challenge of managing attractions to other people, the challenge of familiarity and reduced novelty, the challenge of managing ongoing conflict, and the challenge of routine.
And this is just to name a few. Continue reading If Humans are “Naturally” Promiscuous, is Monogamy Wrong?