A theoretical framework of romantic creativity: Dyadic creativity in romantic relationships and plausible links with wellbeing



Everyday creative behaviours seem to be associated with high levels of wellbeing. Yet, the effects of creativity on wellbeing remain largely unknown, notably at a dyadic level, and particularly in the context of romantic relationships. Previous research has studied the effects of creativity on romantic relationships but has been limited by the two main epistemological assumptions that we present in this article. Consequently, very little is known about the effect of a form of creativity that may occur at a dyadic level in a romantic relationship, and that may have implications in the science of human flourishing. In other words, the research field lacks a theoretical framework for studying the effect of creativity in romantic relationships on wellbeing. The present theoretical framework aims to fill this gap by proposing a dyadic dimension of creativity embedded within wellbeing: romantic creativity. Romantic creativity is conceptualised as an observable, quantifiable, yet non-product-hierarchic phenomenon. It is defined as a dyadic process which favours new and meaningful directions in a romantic relationship through dynamics of discovery and self-expansion in one or both members of the dyad. This article describes the epistemological foundations of this theoretical framework and draws on existing research on self-expansion and the neuroscience of wellbeing to hypothesise the processes that might account for the effect of romantic creativity on human flourishing. We also identify two possible ontological perspectives for research on romantic creativity. The present article proposes that romantic creativity might help dyads to flourish through the processes implied in homeodynamics and dyadic self-expansion.


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