Falling in love is easy. It’s the staying in love part that is difficult. The emotions involved with falling in love can make you feel like you’re on top of the world. However, that giddy, heart-skipping-a-beat sort of love doesn’t last forever. Without taking steps to acquire a mature love, you can fall out of love just as easily as you fell in love.
Falling in Love
Falling in love is a passive experience that just happens naturally. You don’t need to put in any extra energy or effort. You can just idly get swept off your feet without having to do anything.
When you’re falling in love, emotions take over. In fact, many researchers have documented that when people are falling in love, their brain chemistry actually changes. It’s even been compared to the hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder.
When you’re falling in love, you need less sleep, your appetite changes and you have more energy. Showing affection for one another comes natural. It’s easy to have patience with your new love.
Conversation is exciting and giving of your time and energy doesn’t seem to take much effort because it’s what you want to do. When you’re apart you look forward to seeing one another again.
The feelings at that intensity usually don’t sustain themselves. Most studies say couples experience this magnetic attraction for a maximum of two years. Over time, the intensity of those “in love feelings” naturally begin to fade.
Falling out of Love
As the intensity of those feelings fade, couples can fall out of love. Just as falling in love is a passive experience, falling out of love can be passive as well. Do nothing to nurture your relationship and those feelings will subside. It’s sort of the natural progression.
Over time, you’ll feel less of a need to touch one another. Communicating with one another won’t be as exciting, fresh and new. Going on dates and spending quality time together might start to grow stale.
Couples who choose to do nothing about the fact that those intense feelings have subsided will likely be disappointed with their relationship. They’ll feel disengaged and not connected. They’ll likely experience boredom and loneliness.
It can cause many people to wonder, “Did I marry the right person?” Some people become tempted to find a new love so they can experience those intense emotions again. But, it won’t last forever, even with someone new.
Other people will stay in the marriage, because it’s the right thing to do. However, they might busy themselves with friends and family or even hobbies to try and fill the void in their life that was once filled by love’s intensity. Despite their attempts to fill this void, they won’t really feel satisfied.
Couples who say, “We just sort of fell out of love,” are right. If you don’t put any effort to make sure you stay connected, you won’t have a healthy relationship. However, you don’t have to be a victim in the process.
Once the romantic, intense “in love” feelings subside, you have a choice to engage in a more mature love that can be even deeper and more meaningful. Mature love offers couples a true life partner. It doesn’t have to be boring or stale. Instead, it’s what you make of it because it’s based more on how you behave, rather than simply how you feel.
- People who experience mature love don’t allow themselves to passively fall out of love. Instead, they take action.
- Choosing to take your relationship to the next level doesn’t come easy. It requires you to behave in a way that is contrary to your feelings at times. It takes hard work, dedication and commitment.
- Without the intense “in love” feelings, it’s not as easy to behave lovingly. However, mature love means that you’ll give to your spouse when you don’t feel like giving.
- It means you can set your feelings aside to do what is best for the relationship.
- People who experience mature love hug and kiss their partner regardless of whether or not it gives them butterflies in their stomach.
- They set aside time for the spouse even when they’ve got a hundred and one other things they could be doing.
- They are willing to set aside money to go on dates and to do the things they used to do when they were first falling in love, regardless of whether or not they feel like it.
- They make a conscious decision every day to behave lovingly toward their spouse.
- And they don’t keep score about who contributes the most to the relationship.
- Instead, they give willingly without becoming resentful about what they are or aren’t getting back.
- People who experience mature love don’t indulge themselves in thoughts that aren’t productive to the relationship.
- They don’t focus on thinking about how difficult the marriage is, how their spouse isn’t the same person they married or how much better life would be if they were with someone else.
- Instead, in mature love, people can think about the positive aspects of their relationship.
- They focus on looking at what they can do to make their spouse’s day a little better.
- They think about what they can contribute to the relationship.
- They also stay focused on making the best of what they have.
- They understand that this is the person they’ve chosen in life and that the relationship will be what they make of it.
- They understand that grass isn’t greener on the other side and it is less about who you marry and more about how you love the person that you’re married to.
Q: How would you define mature love? What do you think it takes to keep from falling out of love?