Why does love fade over time?
Simon and Garfunkle's tribute to fading love
April come she will
Many love stories tell tales of the brilliance of love and the pain of its decline. One has to wonder how we would have so many stories if it weren't for heartbreak. The high and euphoria of early love make everything seem so promissing. Despite this, people go through many relatiosnhips and many breakups over and over again. It is rare to find someone whose first attempt at lifelong love was their final, successful attempt at lifelong love. Simon and Garfunkle immortalized this in their song "April Come She Will". Why then do we continue to be so hopeful time and time again when so often love fades? Also, why does love fade when it can seem so promissing?
Love potion number 9
When one first falls in love there is a tremendous high. Some liken this euphoria to the high of drugs. In many ways, these people are correct. When we first fall in love our bodies release chemicals such as PEA (phenylethylalamine). The effects of this chemical last between 6 months - 5 years. This chemical can supplant genuine affection and cooperation, but, once the body has become accustomed to it, the relationship will die if strong bonds have not not been forged. Before this time, adrenaline and endorphins reign. This is why new lovers can thrive on little sleep and are bursting with energy. This is also why some people flit from relationship to relationship. They are endorphin junkies. They are constantly seeking the next surge of chemicals from the next partner.
We are only what our situations hand us
When we first fall in love we only see parts of our partners. We are not with them on a day to day basis. The realities of changing cat boxes and grumpiness from life's every stressors have not kicked in. The longer a couple is together the more the partners learn about each other. In time the mundane realities of life and the frustrating challenges will begin to show. It is when you can see your partner and know what really bugs you about them that you are beginning to know what you might see in the future. A couple does well to examine the flaws and the realities and decide logically if these problems will be a pebble in the shoe. When you can accept that love does not conquer everything you are on your way to understanding your partner well enough to have an inkling about what the future may bring. If you analyze your realationship and the "yeah butts" are giving you serious pause, you need to consider a pause in the relationship.
Thinking it over
When one begins to be truthful with themselves in a relationship they will be able to make decisions with a clear mind. This is important as the choices made in a relationship can affect the couple, the individuals, families, and children. If things seem wrong, they likely are. Don't get married just because the wedding was planned when the realities began to hit. Divorces are painful. Mutual, peaceful divorces are rare. Breakups can also be very destructive, especially in a long standing relationship or one with children involved.
On the other hand, just because love is changing doesn't mean that the relationship is doomed. The euphoria will fade and when it does, there may be a wonderful partnership that has forged. Don't take the loss of chemistry as a sign of doomsday. Equally important, don't take the chemistry of sexual interactions for love. Above all of that, know that you can heal and use your past wisdom to love again if you keep your heart open. Not all euphoria ends in heartbreak.
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