It has been found that older individuals perceive their spouse as warm during both disagreements and collaborative tasks and report high marital satisfaction. Older married couples have fewer marital conflicts than younger counterparts, although they report that erotic bonds are less central in their lives. Companionate love, which is based upon friendship, appears to be the cardinal feature of their lives. Overall, intimate relationships in old age are harmonious and satisfying (Berscheid, 2010; Charles & Carstensen, 2009)The author makes the distinction between romantic intensity and romantic profundity. The former is characterized by sexual excitement, fiery passion, and the like, while profundity is more centered on calm assurance, friendship, peaceful connection, and the like.
This kind of distinction is good for all couples to understand. For me, a profound romantic relationship represents a maturity in the relationship that is characteristic of the most stable couples. It's the qualities of my relationship with my wife that I most value. Also, it is available for a man such as I who is attracted to other men rather than women, even in a traditional marriage. The article makes the point that "excitement" is possible, and even desirable, in a profound romantic relationship. The true love of long term romance is not characterized by fiery passion, but calm assurance.