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Professor shares tips on love

For more than 20 years, Jefferson Singer, professor of psychology, has studied love at length and has helped couples find happiness. In addition to serving on the faculty at Connecticut College, Singer is a licensed psychologist in private practice who treats a variety of patients, including couples. He has written scholarly articles on love and taught numerous courses about the psychology behind one of our strongest emotions. In light of Valentine´s Day, we´ve asked Singer to share his advice. Here are his tips on how couples can have long-lasting, fulfilling relationships: - Take your partner´s needs and preferences into account. When making decisions, look at situations from the perspective of a "we" rather than a "me." - Work as a team. Making the conscious decision to work with your spouse as a team helps solve marital disagreements, such as those related to child-rearing practices and scheduling. - Balance commitment, passion and intimacy. "A common myth is that couples who have been together for a long time lose their passion, while the commitment and intimacy remain. In this case, spouses become no more than good, loyal friends," Singer said. "I have found that this is not the case. Passion can be kept alive, even after extended periods of time." Singer is currently in the process of studying how Connecticut College students´ relationships have changed since the 1990s. With the help of his psychology students, Singer has developed, executed and analyzed an anonymous psychology questionnaire that asked more than 1,200 Connecticut College students about their dating lives. The results, which show a change to the campus´ dating culture, will be presented on April 9. By Laura Marenghi ´12

February 12, 2010