The first moments of falling in love with someone are, at the same time, the supreme high and the absolute deception. You surely know that feeling when you are convinced that your world finally acquired the ultimate meaning, and you only want for this emotion to last forever (even though after a few of such experiences, you can hear that tiny voice telling you that it is fleeting). It is this elation that guides you into the desire to make this person be by your side until the day you die. And now the deceptive side to it all – even though being freshly in love is among the most profound feelings that one can have, it just cannot last forever – usually not even more than a few months, as studies show.
Infatuation versus love in marriage
The rush you get when you fall in love with someone mobilizes all your senses, and causes a whirl of emotions, thoughts, and, not to forget, chemical reactions – all of which inevitably make you yearn more and more and more. Many decide then and there to try and ensure that this won’t go away, and they often do so by making their bond official at the face of law and God, if they are people of faith. Yet, unfortunately, although romantic, such step often proves to be a gateway to trouble. Love in marriage differs from that which made you get married in the first place, especially if you got hitched quickly. Don’t get the wrong idea, love and marriage do exist together, but it is not the kind of sexual and romantic infatuation that you first felt when you started looking at your now husband or wife in a certain way.
Apart from chemicals that wore off (and evolutionary psychologists level-headedly claim that the purpose of this passionate enchantment is to ensure procreation, so it needs not to last longer than a few months), once the period of being freshly in love goes away, you are up for a surprise. They say that love is blind, and this might be true in the first months of it. But after the very beginning of your relationship in which you get to know each other and feel the constant excitement of discovering your loved one, the reality kicks in. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. The world is filled with couples who live in a loving marriage. It is just that the nature of your emotions and your relationship as a whole necessarily changes.
When you get married, soon the honeymoon is over and you need to start not just fantasizing about your future, but also approach it pragmatically. The obligations, the career, the plans, the finances, the responsibilities, the ideals, and the recollection of how you once were, all that gets mixed into your now married life. And, at that stage, whether you will continue to love your spouse (and how much) or you will find yourself in a cordial (or not so much) marriage will mostly depend on how suitable you are. This applies not only to those who tied the knot in the midst of the impassioned dating but also for those who were in a serious and committed relationship prior to hearing the wedding bells. Marriage still, even in these modern times, makes a difference in the way people perceive each other and their lives. Many couples who were in a relationship for years and were living together before they got married still report that becoming Mr. and Mrs. brought about changes in their self-image and, importantly, in their relationship.
What awaits us on the road ahead
The first stages of a love last, according to experts, up to a maximum of three years. Infatuation just cannot last longer than that unless it is artificially maintained by either a long-distance relationship or, more detrimentally, by uncertainty and insecurity of one or both partners. Nonetheless, at some point, these emotions need to adapt to a more profound, although possibly less exciting love in marriage. This love is based on shared values, on mutual plans and willingness to commit to the future together, on trust and genuine intimacy, one in which we are seen as we truly are, rather than playing games of seduction and self-promotion, as we often do during the courtship period. In marriage, love is often sacrifice, and it is often baring the weaknesses of our life partner, understanding them even when we might be hurt by what they are doing. In marriage, love is a complete and overall feeling that serves as the very foundation of yours and the lives of generations to come. As such, it is less exciting than infatuation, but that much more valuable.