Emotions can be understood in light of their cause—i.e., a significant change in our situation—and their major concern, which is personal and comparative in nature. While acute emotions are unstable, intense, partial, and brief, extended and enduring emotions have longer duration. The dispositional presence of emotions—i.e., their potential to be repeated, actualized, and developed—is vital for lasting love. Diverse emotional experiences contribute to the cultivation of complex, deep, and meaningful love. Emodiversity relates to higher mental and physical health, as it provides more room for understanding and interacting with our romantic environment. This extends to the reciprocal relationship between partners who experience romantic diversity, when each can appreciate and love the other as a complete person. In long-term profound love, partners acknowledge each other’s complexity and intrinsic value. Their romantic environment is highly differentiated, thus leaving room for conflicting emotions or loving different people at the same time. It also makes space for activities that promote caring, reciprocity, and nurturing of the beloved and of oneself. Three major mechanisms responsible for our emotional balance and the feasibility of enduring affective attitudes are hedonic adaptation, positive mood offset, and enduring dissatisfaction.
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