Sunday, January 04, 2009

You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling...

I read the following article today:

Take heart, scientists have discovered that people can have a love that lasts a lifetime.

Using brain scans, researchers at Stony Brook University in New York have discovered a small number of couples respond with as much passion after 20 years together as most people only do during the early throes of romance, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The researchers scanned the brains of couples together for 20 years and compared them with results from new lovers, the Sunday Times said.

About 10 percent of the mature couples had the same chemical reactions when shown photographs of their loved ones as those just starting out.

Previous research has suggested that the first stages of romantic love fade within 15 months and after 10 years it has gone completely, the newspaper said.

"The findings go against the traditional view of romance -- that it drops off sharply in the first decade -- but we are sure it's real," said Arthur Aron, a psychologist at Stony Brook, told the Sunday Times.
In my circle of friends and well, into my acquaintances, I think I know two couples that fall into the category of "love of a lifetime." They still hold hands, always speak fondly of each other and talk with giddiness when seeing their spouse after a period of separation.

What I really want to know is what is it that they have that 90% of other couples don't? Have they faced serious tragedy in their lives? Do they live life in the slow lane versus the fast lane? Do they have spiritual lives? Or, have they reached a point where they have forgotten themselves and focus solely on their spouse and his or her needs? Is it all about when they first met - their maturity level, etc? Is there a point of no return - meaning, if you "lost that loving feeling," can you ever get it back?

I am sure there is book out there in the published world that examines such relationships. If so, can someone please tell me what it is? Or, if you are one of the lucky 10%, would you please let me know?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to finally get to your blog...good stuff! Nic here...

I am only in year 10 of my longest relationship (still first decade): Albert. I'm not proud to say we've been together that long, but it's time for me to live with integrity.

I don't know if our living situation allows for comparison, but our key has been NOT living together, for one. Partly he is torture to live with, and he loses respect for women when they move in. But secondly, he is my ideal specimen of manliness. No feelings of comfort or "best friends" have overshadowed how scarily sexy he is to me. When I'm with him I barely see him because I mostly feel his energy. To have him love me and call me his bestfriend seems like the answer to my eternal question: "how will i ever stay interested in one person long term?"
What we've taught each other about self-love and forgiveness and unconditional love places him as my most important relationship ever.

We don't get giddy or sweet talk, because he is way too chock full of testosterone. We just feel like we can tell each other everything, and then enjoy soaking up the chemistry flying between us like we are from another world.
Hopefully the 10% of luckies are feeling that also.
Then there's no expectations or disappointments with us because we know each other's limits so well. (I'd never ask, When will I see you again? or Will you call me tomorrow?)
I don't know anyone else who lives like this though.