It Appears That “Closeness” And “Otherness” Are The Secret To … – The Project
Do you want to keep the spark alive with your partner?
New research by Goss et al., published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, indicates that the answer to maintaining the sexual desire for our partner over time lies in self-expansion theory.
Self-expansion theory suggests that one way we try to evolve and learn more about ourselves as humans are through romantic relationships.
According to psychologytoday.com, two concepts related to self-expansion are closeness (taking on aspects of one’s partner) and Otherness (seeing one’s partner in a new light).
Concluding that “closeness” and “otherness” creates more sexual desire.
But what does this actually mean?
Closeness is defined as; feeling connected to your romantic partner and taking on their aspects as your own.
While Otherness is the feeling that you are learning new or unique things about your romantic partner.
Hypothetically, maybe you told your partner you like jazz way more than you do when you first got together, and perhaps you’re way more into pop music than you let on. And while we’re at it, Star Wars isn’t your favourite movie; Notting Hill is.
Now, while I’m not condoning lying, just acknowledging the fact that early in relationships, we are often more eager to please and can feel self-consciousness to reveal certain things about ourselves.
But potentially, these revelations could allow your partner to see you in a new light. Watching your ‘actual’ favourite movie and sharing your music can create a unique experience now that you feel more comfortable revealing your cheesy taste.
So how is self–expansion theory responsible for you and your partner getting it on to Ariana Grande (No guarantees)?
Self-expansion is linked to desire because it “creates opportunities for partners to feel closer to each other and appreciate the unique and novel ways that each person contributes to the relationship,” thus “fostering desire.”
People in romantic relationships function the best when they feel a sense of belonging and autonomy.
Other suggestions for fostering sexual desire based on self-expansion theory that doesn’t include lying about your taste in music are; taking a class together, visiting somewhere neither of you has been before or sharing an opinion or story you may have never thought to discuss before.
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