Gary W. Lewandowski, Monmouth University, told CNN that putting your partner first is relationship advice of the past. Lewandowski, who is speaking at the APS-STP Teaching Institute this May in Washington, DC, and his colleague, APS Fellow and Charter Member Arthur P. Aron, Stony Brook University, study “self-expansion,” how individuals use a relationship to accumulate knowledge and experiences. Research shows that the more self-expansion people experience from their romantic partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship. “To the extent you can do some of these things more with your partner and expand more with your partner,” says Lewandowski, “you are going to have an improved relationship.” At first glance, it may seem selfish to focus on how your partner can enhance and expand your life—but in fact it can lead to stronger, more sustainable relationship.
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