Did you hear about this couple who was obsessively in love, had intense sex and a lot of romance even after 10 years of marriage and living together?
Yeah, me neither!
Some of you will probably be screeching in front of the screen saying how “IT IS NOT LIKE THAT” and perhaps you’re right Karen, but if you feel offended, then I guess deep down you know that the shoe fits, hey!
Here is another article showing you what happens in real life (not in Disney) with people and their dilemmas which make their lives miserable. It breaks my heart to see some of you torturing yourselves, not knowing what choice to make, and when you make a choice you feel one of the two emotions: guilt OR disappointment. Great way to beat yourself up! You always lose. I will explain it here for all of you because this topic comes up way too often, from men AND women and yet it still remains a taboo. The following is partly romantic, partly disappointing, but definitely heartbreaking. That’s what makes it beautiful!
When it comes to being in a relationship, according to social psychology, we are more likely to mate with people who share the same interests and background we do, statistically speaking at least. We are also more likely to date people within the same age range and those who are geographically nearest to us. We might fall in love, (or so we think) but when the relationship becomes more serious, it is usually for rational reasons. The other person is bringing something to the table that might allow us to fulfill our human desires and goals, such as having a “secure” relationship, having a family, and/or other practical reasons.
With time then, we develop something called attachment and habit, which is basically still a form of love, but not the infatuation, exciting feeling that one might feel in the beginning of a relationship…or during a forbidden affair. It becomes a rational type of love. There are of course couples who were madly in love in the beginning but even IF, you meet someone, date them, and fall madly in love with them, this type of feeling is going to drop significantly once you move to the relationship stage.
Now you might wonder and ask why this happens? Why can’t we stay in the infatuated stage for longer?
The first reason is that with time, and by getting more and more familiar with the other person, the mystery starts to fade. Your partner has flaws just like any other human being and this crushes the fantasy you fell for in the beginning. Read article …if you are looking for a long-term relationship here
Your partner has now become more available, they’re always there, but we humans, love scarcity. Chasing, having, and getting what is scarce is the reason we still have crime and wars in our society; in a settled relationship you lose this sense of scarcity due to availability and too much exposure. Too much exposure to an object (or person) no matter how awing it is, will numb us.
Mystery is fading because their behavior is now predictable, they stop being surprising, because just like you they often feel they don’t need to seduce you anymore. Becoming familiar with someone can be comfortable, but familiarity breeds contempt, and guess what one of the four leading reasons for divorce is? CONTEMPT!!! (Werrbach, 2018)
We stay in these relationships because although the partner has some flaws, we are able to overlook what we see as shortcomings. We stay in the relationship because we have invested time, money, and emotions,… you know the sunk cost fallacy in economics.
We stay because we are attached and the illusion of security has settled. We stay because we can count on the other person. If a settled relationship were to be a car, it would probably be a Volvo. It is safe, secure, nice, has the necessary options, plain but you can count on it, it probably smells like fresh linen too, comfy, … and that’s as far as it gets you, which can be an awesome thing.
*the Volvo XC90 representing here a settled relationship
What is different when it comes to being passionately in love, it’s the different world we enter where the sensations are too strong, we become more alert, our senses are heightened, and all of a sudden the world seems to be a beautiful place. It’s like being high without even taking any drugs. Nothing matters anymore; our object of desire has gotten our full attention, we have become addicted. Everything goes fast giving us a sense of freedom and excitement. Our rationality has dropped to zero. Our mind is now blank, which is also what makes it magical.
While passionately in love, we get the sense of scarcity that we humans crave so much. There is mystery about this person that we do not fully know. We don’t know what their interests or their reactions are, and that’s when our brains go into overdrive. We have never seen them at their worst, something that happens in a long-term relationship. Mystery has always been known to be a lethal weapon when it comes to seduction. Being passionately in love is that shiny object that we do not see all the time, but that is so much desired. Often the “shiny object” will offer something that we haven’t yet had, it will offer something we don’t have or get, and something we want to bet, no matter how much we fret.
In passionate love, similarities are no longer important; it doesn’t matter if the other person has the same background or the same socio-economic level we do, nor does it matter if they have different plans for the future. Since we’re on the topic of cars, when it comes to being passionately in love, that’s a whole different model and engine.
If being passionately in love were to be a car, it would be a Lamborghini.
*the Lamborghini Aventador representing here passionate love
This type of sensation will not last very long if we settle in a relationship with our object of desire (as we already mentioned above). It will then morph into attachment or habit, and will start to become a Volvo. The only way to make such sensations last is to avoid repeated and prolonged exposure. To keep the mystery and the sense of possibility…the possibility that one day we might own it, or what would have been if….what would have happened if we had gone further and made the Lamborghini our everyday car? But one can never own sensations, for they are fleeting; one can only experience and enjoy them.
That’s also why people who own a Lamborghini usually keep it for special occasions; they don’t want to get desensitized by what it has to offer. Owners of this type of car truly are in love with their toy, just like a person can be deeply infatuated with another person. You will however rarely see a person owning a Lamborghini using it every day to go to work, to go grocery shopping, or to pick the kids up from school. This isn’t exactly the safest car nor is it crafted for everyday activities. It offers speed, adventure, and dream…just like passionate love. If the Volvo smells like fresh linen, the Lamborghini smells like incense, woods, a warm sunset…like a 1001 nights tale.
God forbid if you are in a committed relationship and come into contact with the “shiny object”. Obsession here I come!
Since one person cannot fulfill ALL of our desires, just like one car cannot provide all of our needs, the Lamborghini will always catch our attention, because the sensation it provides is priceless… it’s coveted by many, but few get to experience it and even when experienced, it’s short-lived, increasing the scarcity and its value. The Lamborghini is something we crave while the Volvo is something we settle for. And that is the most important difference between passionate love and a long-term relationship; what we settle for and what we crave.
Both are quality cars nevertheless, they just offer different experiences.
So the final question from most of you is and will be: how the hell do I reconcile both, Kim? Why not have both of these? Can I engage in “socially unacceptable” (whatever the hell that means) behavior in order to have both of these worlds? You cannot have both of these in one person, just like you cannot have a Lamborghini and a Volvo in one car… unless you create a concept car…Volverghini maybe? Sounds cool?
Ultimately you will be the one who takes the decision…will you stay with the Volvo or will you try to have short but intense rides with the Lamborghini, no matter how long it lasts? Or will you be able to afford both?
I will not encourage you to buy, lease, or rent a Lamborghini, but nor will I discourage you to get your hands on one if you get the chance.
All I want, is for all of you to be happy; live your life the way you want it, and live it unapologetically, because this dream we call life is shorter than you think. You might drop dead tomorrow.
As for my personal answer to your questions, I don’t really have one, for the simple fact that I do not know!
I have however learnt some things throughout my experiences in life and I can only talk about what I know. They say it is always spicier to conclude something with a quote, and since I don’t have a better quote that I have created myself, I will borrow one from a movie:
Werrbach, M. (2018, July 08). Predicting Divorce: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Retrieved March 15, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/predicting-divorce-the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalpyse/