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Imagine you see a beautiful bouquet of roses. They are striking, taking your breath away. You draw closer, and with each fine detail of color, fragrance, and texture you become more enchanted. Not caring about the price, they become yours. Your happiness is real, but after bringing them home, you get distracted by a pile of work, dirty dishes, and Instagram alerts calling your name. Instead of trimming, watering, and placing the bouquet in a vase, you leave them on the counter. By the time you remember them, they are wilted, limp, and unattractive.
How did your powerful infatuation sag into complacency? Romantic love is more intoxicating than the rich beauty of roses. In a fifth-of-a-second glance at a potential mate, the brain feels a thrill. A neurological cocktail of adrenaline, dopamine , and oxytocin floods the head and lights up the eyes. It is powerful and exciting, and makes us act with abandon, as it did for one giddy fifth grader whose love note names changed went viral:. Dear Lexi. Your eyes remind me of the evening sky. I love how you play Zelda even when people think it's weird.
If you liked me it would be my first ever victory. Love Jake. The holiday is named for St. Valentine who, as legend reports, was a priest in third century Rome. At that time, the emperor made a decree that young men should remain single to focus on their military pursuits. Valentine defied the emperor by marrying young lovers in secret. Eventually, he was found out and put to death. We revere his legacy now by grabbing and gifting plastic-wrapped flowers.
But flowers, like passion, can wilt. Fortunately, there is more to love than the fires of passion. Love in its complete form has two parts: passion and friendship. Love often begins with excitement, but it is maintained by being planted in a stable bond. In the brain, these two states light up in different but overlapping areas. Early excitement activates in the brain as desire, ecstasy, and goal-directed pursuit. Many relationships go cold because one or both of these sides of love are neglected.
This happened with married clients I will call Victor and Vicky. They were in a rut. Victor had been downsized and was working a low-paying temp job, and they were behind on their mortgage. Victor and Vicky were frustrated with their son and each other.
They had lost the silly humor and close relationship they once enjoyed, and now mostly passed grumbling in the night. When I asked what types of fun they used to have, they described going to social gaming groups and playing as a couple. Part of their challenge was to schedule a time to talk, have fun, and cuddle. They worked on using supportive words rather than grunts or nods. Just being nice is connected to being passionate. Another study found that for both husbands and wives, the biggest factor in how satisfied they felt about the sex , romance, and passion in their relationship was the quality of their friendship.
Passion and friendship are related, and both can be strengthened. Victor and Vicky recommitted to a once-a-week date, pulled out their Monopoly board, and got their work schedules in sync. This increased the quality and quantity of their time together, and they once again felt close. How is your relationship doing? Is it rooted in a rich friendship? Are you feeling passion? It may need some tender loving care. A relationship that is nourished with love will stay fresh and alive for a lifetime.
This blog originally appeared on the Institute for Family Studies. Jason Whiting, Ph. Jason Whiting Ph. Love, Lies and Conflict. Relationships True Love Is Passion, Rooted in Friendship Lasting love includes the zeal of a fifth grader and the maturity of a friend. Posted February 14, Share. References Gottman, J. The Marriage Clinic. About the Author. Online: www. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help.
Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting. View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Back Magazine. July Who Is the True You? Back Today. Essential Re.Friendship romance passion
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True Love is Passion Rooted in Friendship