I recently stumbled onto a great article titled “The Difference Between Loving Someone and Being ‘In Love’” that was featured in About.com’s dating segment. In this piece, the author described being in love as the euphoric feelings we experience during the honeymoon phase of a relationship. As time passes in the relationship she believes we often evolve into simply loving our partners – a quieter, more contented state without the extreme highs and lows encountered at the start of a new relationship.
The author accurately notes that to some people, once this “high” is no longer present each day, it can be misinterpreted as falling out of love. For some, they may flee the relationship in search of finding that euphoria again – needing it like a drug. She believes, and I agree, that this could be the cause of many failed relationships. Once the rush has passed, it can signify to an individual that the love has passed as well.
I would like to take her ideas a step further. I believe that she is accurate, but that this issue is one that modern society has brought upon itself. Certainly infidelity or unhealthy relationships have existed throughout time, but this topic isn’t really about that in my opinion. I feel that today we are a thrill seeking, narcissistic society – running so fast that once the brakes are applied, we believe something is wrong.
Look at our elderly population at present. So many couples stayed together for the long haul. They experienced the highs and lows of life together. They raised a family, watched their children grow, welcomed their grandchildren with open arms and grieved deeply when their life partner, their one true love, passed away. They lived in simpler times. Though there were struggles and hardships, their relationship’s firm foundation got them through.
Today there is the “it’s all about me” attitude prevalent throughout society, coupled with the constant running to meet deadlines. Family has taken a back seat as we climb the corporate ladder, go into debt to buy fast toys and gadgets, spend little time at home and more at the office or engaging in our hobbies. It’s almost as if our current society is having a mid-life crisis that starts at adolescence and ends at our last breath. We’re constantly talking and moving – facebook, twitter, texting – as we race through our lives.
In this way, as the author suggested, it makes sense why so many relationships never make it and many couples end up in divorce court – needing the constant rush of being “in love.” But I am taking it further by suggesting it goes beyond just “some” individuals needing the rush – our society as a whole needs the rush.
It would make sense in these modern times that a quieter, more stable home life could be interpreted as a negative situation or a partnership doomed to fail, once the strong feelings of being “in love” start to settle. Though it is hard to track statistically, how many relationships break up after the honeymoon phase, before ever even making it down the aisle? We already know the staggering percentage of marriages that end in divorce. I believe that as long as our society continues on the fast track, the percentage of healthy relationships that make it over time will continue to decline. Currently, it seems to me that our society equates slowing down with “something’s wrong.”
Have I got this wrong? What’s your take on the issue?