Is Love Fleeting? How To Make It Last
Updated February 24, 2020
Reviewer Lauren Guilbeault
Writer Colleen Houck has said, "Love is fleeting. It's a brief spark that flares in the heavens, bursting forth in a cascade of glory only to be snuffed out in the darkness of space." Does that have you feeling discouraged? You've probably heard the saying that "love is fleeting" before, but is it true?
Is Love Fleeting?
There is no doubt about the fact that love is a complicated thing. People have different ideas about love. Some think that somewhere out there is a soul mate for them. One right person that they need to find. Others believe love is too big of a risk to take. The ideas that people have about love are all over the place.
But, is love fleeting? Science says it's not. Researchers were trying to find out if love could last and if people could really still be just as in love with their partner decades into the relationship. The study looked at scans of the brains of couples that have been in love for an average of 21 years and those that fell in love within the last year. The scans looked similar.
If this is true, then you may be wondering why so many people say love is fleeting. And, you may be wondering why the divorce rate is so high. It's not uncommon to hear that a couple has split up because they aren't "in love" with each other anymore.
Love Changes Over Time
One of the reasons why people think that they aren't in love anymore is because love changes over time. The feelings that are there in the beginning stages don't last forever.
When you are first in love everything seems right with the world. You don't see any of the imperfections in the other person and think that you have found the perfect one for you. You enjoy spending every minute that you can with them, and you think about them when you're not together. You're willing to do things that you don't enjoy just so you can spend time with that person. You get excited at the mention of their name and put a lot of effort into being the person that you think they want in their life. And this feels amazing.
But once the newness of a relationship wears off, love starts to change. You start to see the things in that person that bother you a little. You may start to disagree more. And, you don't feel the same spark every time you see them across the room.
If you're unfamiliar with the different stages of love, it's easy to think that this change in feelings means that you're no longer in love. You may think that if you love someone whose feelings are always going to be there just like they were in the beginning. Popular movies like romantic comedies add to this belief. But in reality, love changes over time.
While the newness might wear off, if you stick with it, it grows into something much deeper and more sustaining. It's unrealistic to think that you can go through your entire life at the level that your relationship is in those early days.
So What Does That Mean For Love?
If you want to have a long-lasting relationship, it means that you need to get familiar with how to make the relationship last once the puppy love stage wears off. You need to be able to recognize when this happens and realize that it doesn't mean that your relationship needs to end, but simply that it's changing and that doesn't have to be a bad thing.
While you might miss some of the excitement that you felt in those early days, a new level of comfort, trust, and security shows up when you move further along in the stages of love. So instead of thinking that love is fleeting and giving up on your relationship, here are some things that you can do to make love last.
Choose Your Partner Daily
And no, this doesn't mean choose a different person each day. It means that you need to choose the partner that you are with day after day after day.
Love might partly be a feeling, but it's also a choice. You can choose to love someone even when those initial feelings have worn off. There are some days when you may be angry at each other and you may not feel all the warm and fuzzy feelings of love, but it doesn't mean that you can't choose to act in love towards that person.
Do What You Did In The Beginning
One of the ways that you can choose to love your partner as the relationship progresses is to continue to do the things that you did in the beginning phases of your relationship. Chances are, you were willing to go places you wouldn't choose to go, eat things you wouldn't choose to eat, and participate in things that you normally don't like, just to show the person that you cared about them.
As the newness of relationships wears off, it's not uncommon for people to stop doing these things for their partner. Once you feel like you have succeeded in winning over the person, it's easy to fall into complacency in your relationship. However, choosing to do these things continually can go a long way in keeping love in your relationship.
Protect Your Relationship
People don't plan on being unfaithful in their relationships for the most part, but it happens far too often because people are not protecting their relationship the way that they need to. Be cautious of the time that you spend with other people and make sure that you are always keeping your significant other first. Make it known that you are in a relationship and therefore not looking for anything else.
Don't Play The Comparison Game
This can go a few ways in a relationship. The first is not to compare what you're doing with what the other person is doing. It's easy to think that you'll do something for them when they do something for you, but this doesn't work in helping a relationship to succeed. If you want to make love last then take responsibility for any action that you can, and don't compare what you do with what your significant other does for you.
The other comparison game that you need to stay out of when you're in a relationship is comparing your relationship to someone else's. It's easy to see what someone else's significant other is doing for them and feel envious. While it may look like the grass is greener on the other side, it's usually not. Every relationship has its own troubles and struggles. If a relationship looks like it is happier than yours or more passionate than yours, it's most likely that the people are investing in it more than you are.
Choose Your Thoughts And Words Carefully
Your thoughts are crucial in life. What you allow yourself to think about is eventually going to impact the things that you say and the things that you do. If you are constantly feeling sorry for yourself or knocking down your significant other in your head, it's eventually going to show through.
Instead of focusing on the things that they do wrong or the things that you don't like, choose to focus on the positive. There are plenty of things that they could be focusing on negatively about you as well, but neither one of you should want to do that to the other.
Don't Hold Grudges
You're going to have arguments and disagreements in your relationship. That's perfectly normal and it's okay. But it's not okay to hold grudges in your relationship. This is going to get in the way of happiness and love every single time. It's important that you learn how to forgive your partner and also how to ask for forgiveness.
Go To Couples' Therapy
You may feel that couples' therapy is the last-ditch effort for many people, but it doesn't have to be that way. You don't have to be on the brink of splitting up in order to go to couples' therapy.
Experienced therapists are able to help you redefine and keep love in your relationship. They are able to help you learn important skills and strategies that will allow your relationship to succeed long-term. They will be able to help both you and your partner identify areas in yourself that need to be dealt with and learn what the root causes are of the issues in your relationship.
Once you know what the root cause is, you know what to start addressing in order to have a successful relationship. If your relationship is struggling or if you're wondering if you're really in love with your partner still, don't delay in getting the help that you need. The sooner you act the more effective your counseling can be. However, if you keep putting it off you may allow problems to compound making it more difficult to improve your relationship once you decide to take the step to go to counseling.
Relationships aren't easy. But love is only fleeting if you allow it to be.