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March 20, 2013

Truly, Madly, Deeply

The lyrics of this song by Savage Garden describe the way many people feel at the beginning of a romantic relationship. Call it falling in love. Call it infatuation. Call it the honeymoon phase. It is an exhilarating time when we believe without any doubt that our partner is perfect, that we can fill each other's every need, that the power of our love makes anything possible, and that we will always be as passionate and devoted as we are right this minute.


As exciting and pleasurable as it is, infatuation is temporary, and it is not a good predictor of a relationship's long-term success. According to researcher Pat Love, societies that view infatuation as the most important criterion for marriage have the highest divorce rates. It is only when we get past this euphoric state that real love can begin.

Sometimes the end of infatuation also leads to the end of the relationship. This may be for good reasons, since people often find that their chemical attraction blinded them to serious problems that make this an inappropriate match. In other cases, people who have the potential to form a lasting relationship break up when the infatuation ends because they are intensely attached to unrealistic expectations and now feel bitterly disappointed.

When a couple stays together post-infatuation, they have the opportunity to make the transition into the next phase of their relationship, in which love deepens as they discover who they really are. They need to be more practical, to make adjustments, to compromise.

The initial excitement will not last forever. But the romance can continue when we remember what infatuation taught us about nurturing love: make the relationship a priority, laugh and play together, express sexuality, be verbally and physically affectionate, give each other the benefit of the doubt, support each other and face the world as a team.
 

2 fabulous comments:

  1. Oh Rosemary! I love this post! I can't play the video in the coffee shop, but I am sure I can imagine the words. I'm sure it's like the phrase I can't believe I uttered when CJ and I were first dating. "Wild horses couldn't drag me away." Yes, I said that. It only took me 5 seconds (or less) to turn red and wonder if he would run scared into the forest never to return again.

    Luckily, our love is long past that infatuation stage, but I find myself returning to it when I fall in love over and over again with him each day.

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  2. This post, Rosemary, is a fat and hot and extremely energizing! Thanks from the bottom of our Hoombahs for this!

    After the WOO-freakin-HOO era of a relationship, I think we can have micro-bursts of that stuff, but stability must take the fore. Perhaps counter-intuitively, stability leads to more crazy romance stuff later on because we feel comfy and safe and take some FUN risks.

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