Much has been said about how the intensity of romance and love dwindles with time between a couple, but not many have sat down to consider the way the human mind interprets love over time. Some, still in a frantic struggle to maintain a 1-year relationship, are amazed by couples who have remained married for up to 50 years. There must be something the long termers are doing right and something the strugglers are getting wrong.
To maintain a long-term relationship with the same intensity of love as when the romance started requires it being cultivated and nurtured carefully. The dynamics of love is very much similar to how crops are maintained to outgrow other herbs in a plantation. If you planted a crop on tilled soil, and you did not nurture it with manure as well as weed it constantly, your crop would soon be choked, lose its shine and eventually die.
The fantastical type of love usually being shown on our various screens and sung to us in love songs are beautiful but they constantly paint love as never failing and all sweet on a romantic journey. In fact, love is often a series of meanders which two humans sincerely interact with. It is a language many times unspoken but so full of sparks that we often lose our minds in that moment.
Now, losing one’s mind and losing touch with reality is the more frequent thing people do when they genuinely fall in love. They do believe that that peak feeling of loving someone genuinely never dwindles, and so, at any sign of cracks on the wall, they tend to think it has all been a lie from the beginning.
In ordinary terms, the love feeling is naturally not present in any human until they see another human who they feel like clinging to for myriad reasons. It is in this same manner that that feeling can change if one of the couples keep showing signs not deserving of such love anymore, and the other party begins to roll back their love. This is what happens when that feeling is not nurtured by the parties in love.
A psychology professor once claimed that if you are in love with someone, you won’t be interested in someone else; and that if you are interested in someone else then you were never really in love. While this is a sweeping over-generalisation of the love issue, it only serves to paint the entire human mind as incompetent of distinguishing whatever it wants at any point in time.
The in-love feeling dies down after a while the same way the mind/brain tires out when it has acquired a craving. It could be a craving for food, or a drug, or a lifestyle- love could be made to work this way too.
At a point in the lifetime of a relationship, a partner will meet at least someone better than their partner, but it is the intentionality of willing to stay in what s/he has been a part of that makes romantic relationships last longer. That is the investment angle. This is the part where we make a personal effort and a decision to stick with our partner irrespective of other attractive options.
As much as the creation of the concept of love and loving started from our minds, adding more fuel to keep the passion torch aflame takes a personal effort. It is intentional. It is deliberate.
If we humans were to be left to the uncertain volatility of what the mind dictates, we would never have had stable relationships. If we had not been forced into making commitments of loving somebody unconditionally with matrimonial vows, we would have normally been jumping in and out of relationships with anyone we wanted.
This is why, at the end of the day, when our resolve of making a romantic guesswork comes to pass, we see that romance is a choice. It is not the presence of one chemical neither is it by the workings of astrological suggestions. Our romantic intensity should rather be a lifelong choice held together by commitment.