Keeping the Spark Alive: How Novelty and Responsiveness Can Enhance Intimate Relationship

Romantic relationships play a key role in happiness but keeping the spark alive over time in relationships is challenging. One route to maintaining passion and desire is to engage in self-expanding activities with a partner. Although novel, self-expanding experiences tend to promote desire and passion, introducing novelty into a relationship can be intimidating. In a recent study, we found that individuals who were asked to engage in exciting sexual activities over the course of two-weeks reported greater passion and sexual desire, though there was no influence on intimacy. It is possible that while novelty provides excitement and fosters passion, it is accompanied by uncertainty and the risk of being vulnerable with a partner. Having a partner who is responsive or is attuned to and motivated to meet a partner’s needs, may promote both intimacy and passion through novel experiences. TO BE CONT’D

Faculty Supervisor:

Lorne Campbell


Rhonda Balzarini


Standard Innovation Corporation




Digital media




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