One thing that always drove me nuts as a newlywed was hearing other couples who had been married longer make comments like, "One year? Oh, you guys must still like each other then." I hated hearing that so badly. I refused to believe that the romance had to fade with time. Now, years into my marriage, I can say that it doesn't have to.
I'm not talking about course joking in marriage (I've done that before here). Today's post is inspired by a new article published at MSNBC.com titled, "Sweet science! Love lasts longer than thought." It turns out there is now official research which states that romance doesn't necessarily naturally fade with time. From the article, "The scientists found that a surprisingly high number of people were still very much in love with their long-term partners..."
The article does draw a line between the passionate love of a new romance, and a romantic love of a lasting relationship. "Romantic love has the same intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry as passionate love has, but without the obsession, Acevedo said. Passionate love, on the other hand, includes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety." I hope you didn't miss that: Romantic love has the same intensity as a new romance, but it comes with feelings of assurance and trust.
The reason I bring all this up is because our mindset plays a big part in our marriages. If you think the romance will naturally fade away, then you'll be looking for signs of the setting sun of romantic fun. If you believe you can always be head-over-heels for your wife, then you won't be so quick to start believing in the sitcom junk TV is feeding you.
And the research thus far leads us to one make-it-or-break-it characteristic: Hard work. "'These people are often very relationship focused,' Acevedo said. 'Their relationship is something that is very central to their lives, something they spend time on, work on, really care about. They seem to resolve conflicts relatively efficiently and smoothly."'
I encourage you all to check out the article and let it inspire you. The romance doesn't have to fade.