So I may be a little biased, since Dr. Jennifer Tomlinson is my sister, but I think this article and the accompanying podcast are pretty awesome. Basically, they summarize the work of the illustrious Dr. Tomlinson and her collaborator Dr. Arthur Aron in a fun and clever way. In their research, they found that when two people are in a close relationship, they tend to internalize interests or pieces of their partner’s self into their own. For example, you love eating out and trying new exotic foods. Your partner has a bland palate, and only eats a few things. Then! After dating for a while, you notice that your partner has begun to try new foods, and enjoy a wider variety of cuisines. This is simultaneously a signal that your partner feels close to, and cares about you, and an indication that your partner has begun to internalize pieces of your self with his/herown.
Dr. Tomlinson and Dr. Bjarne Holmes of Champlain College discuss the risks and benefits of being close with another, and talk about how this research can help people in new relationships gauge how satisfied their partner is in the relationship, and how close they feel. While you’re at it, you might as well download the whole paper (for free) here!
What helps you feel close to your partner when you’re in a relationship?