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Using the dualistic perspective on romantic passion (Ratelle et al. in Motiv Emot 37:106–120, 2013; Vallerand et al. in J Pers Soc Psychol 85:756–767, 2003), the present research examined the role of harmonious and obsessive romantic passion in the prediction of personal changes in people’s lives associated with romantic relationships. Young adults recruited through universities (Studies 1 and 2) and social networking sites (Studies 2 and 3) composed the samples of the three studies. Results of Study 1 revealed that harmonious and obsessive passion both positively predicted perceptions of personal growth while they respectively negatively and positively predicted disengagement from important activities and other social relationships for the sake of the romantic relationship. These associations were either fully replicated (for harmonious passion) or partially replicated (for obsessive passion) when examined using a six-month longitudinal design (Study 2) and when the two outcomes (i.e., personal growth and social disengagement) were reported by an informant (Study 3). Overall, the results suggest that the nature and extent of changes in people’s lives as they become romantically involved may be predicted by the quality of their romantic passion.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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