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RedmannX5's avatar

Why does love diminish over time?

Asked by RedmannX5 (814points) April 9th, 2008 from iPhone

I’m talking about two people in a relationship, not love for children, etc. Is it boredom, is it the loss of lust? Is this the cause for affairs?

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23 Answers

ninjaxmarc's avatar

either the little things you dislike in the relationship pile up.
it gets too comfortable.
The want to venture out there and see what else, and just plain boredom, nothing new or no more excitement.

phoenyx's avatar

I love my wife more now than I did when we were dating. Love requires maintenance, active input, commitment.

Robby's avatar

Hmmm.. There are so many answers to this one. Relationships in the begining for some, might seem like love or attraction, only to actually turn out to be lust or a fast and temporarily fix for one’s self with out really knowing it. Sometimes two people in the begining think they have alot in common, only find out later that they have absolutely nothing in common. Hope that helped..

bulbatron9's avatar

Love never fails!

kevbo's avatar

We’re designed to be serially monogamous (or perhaps polyamorous) to ensure the greatest chances of spreading and mixing up the gene pool… and what Robby said.

mzgator's avatar

Staying in love with someone forever is a work in progress. The first step is true commitment on both sides. If you both love each other in the beginning, it is only the start of something beautiful and lasting. Make time always to show each other in some way that you are in love with them. Make a concentrated effort to not let your love and respect die or fade away. Try new things together. Explore the long life you will have together.

I have been married to my best friend and love of my life for sixteen years. Sure, they have been bad days and arguments, but our commitment to each other has remained so strong. Our commitment to our love, romance and marriage is the most important thing to us. That’s the key to making love last forever.

Think about this…what can you do today to show your spouse how much you love them? Do it!

trogdor_87's avatar

Some people just are not ment to be together, and this becomes more aparent over time. So the love fades.
But this is only true for people who mostly fall in lust, not love.

Bri_L's avatar

People change. Everyone does. Physically, chemically. Emotionally. Spiritually. It often changes into a different kind of love. Longevity can often breed over familiarity. Sometimes love isn’t gone it is just dormant. You need to purge and pick up.

gailcalled's avatar

I am doing this from memory, but I have seen studies that say the initial sexual raptures, irresistible urge to couple, heart-pounding obsession w. lover/ partner lasts about 36 months. Then as @mxgator so eloquently says, you have a new, calmer, and, one hopes, enduring relationship that includes all the other factors. That is not to say that the physical connection won’t stay wonderful; it will simply change.

So if you are looking for the lust only (as trogdor mentions) you will have to go from partner to partner indefinitely.

nikipedia's avatar

People seek novelty in everything.

cwilbur's avatar

Second what gailcalled says: a friend of mine (a fireman, go figure) refers to it as “flame love” and “ember love.” Flames are flashy and showy and impressive to look at, but don’t last; embers give off more heat, but aren’t as showy, and last for a long time. The trick to any relationship (and he’s in a very happy relationship) is to make the transition. This is not easy to do, and it’s one of the things marriage helps with: if you can’t leave the person, you have an incentive to make the transition work.

But all that said, people grow and change. If you’re growing together, odds are you can grow in the same direction, but if you aren’t paying attention, you’re very likely to grow apart. Love is a combination of emotion and conscious choice, and when it’s not working, the emotion is the first to go, followed by the conscious choice.

JMCSD's avatar

I must say I disagree with cwilbur. Marriage shouldn’t be an incentive to make things work, sure sometimes it can be one, but married or not, if the incentive for making things work is lost then even marriage, in my opinion, is pointless. Love just takes time and effort and two people that are meant for each. And I dont mean “destined”, but at least love each other in the first place.

Sean's avatar

It’s not just an adventure, it’s a job. My wife and I have been married for 23 years. It takes work. Yes, work. We did counseling a couple of times, when we needed it. We’ve gone to dance classes, hiking, biking, yoga, Mexico, Hawaii. Things that got us out of the house, away from the kids and reminded us that we wanted to be with each other.
If you love someone you keep working, you don’t give up. Bend. Adapt. Grow.

LunaFemme's avatar

Wow, these are great answers. I agree with much said, but of course will add my opinion. I believe in emotional manogomy not physical. As many have said the physical stuff fads with time. Therefore, it becomes important to make a good decision about who you partner with because much of loving someone is a choice. To make a good choice requires that you understand yourself well enough to know what is important to you, your values, core moral beliefs, etc. Then once you’ve chosen it’s the commitment to the relationship that is most important. So, be kind to your partner.

Please note—I’ve been divorced once & am on my second marriage. My opinion is probably flawed!

skfinkel's avatar

Relationships do take work, but there has to be a strong commitment in the first place. I don’t know if everyone is capable of “love.” A person who can love is someone who is willing to put another person before himself (herself) and that takes a level of maturity that probably only 50% of the population have (if that is still the divorce rate.) Actually, since one of a divorcing couple might be able to love, the number of people capable of a lasting relationship might be closer to 75%. But too bad if you hook up with one of those 25% who are not able to give and love.

skfinkel's avatar

And, I should add that I have many friends in long lasting relationships who seem to be enjoying each other more and more as they get older. It can be done!

cwilbur's avatar

@JMCSD: I’m not saying that marriage is the only incentive to make things work.

But consider this: suppose you’re in a relationship that’s making the transition from the flames phase to the embers phase. You meet another person that you make sparks with, and the transition from flames to embers is not going easily.

If you’re married, you have one more reason to stick around and make the transition work. If you’re not married, you have less of a stake in the transition, and less reason to stick around, even if you have strong feelings for the person.

I don’t believe in “the one” for each person. I believe there are many compatible others out there, and it’s just a matter of finding them—and when you’re in that transition phase it’s often easier to leave the person you’ve been with for 3–4 years and strike up a new relationship than it is to see the old one through. Marriage is one way of getting you through that transition.

jcs007's avatar

My current girlfriend said “I love you” to me first. I didn’t say it back to her right afterwards because I wasn’t ready. She had given it much thought beforehand. I let her know that I needed to think about it, too. She wasn’t mad or anything because I knew that if I said it, she would have wanted me to mean it.

I’ve been dating her since freshmen year of high school, and I love her more and more as each day passes. She was my first and has been my only girlfriend since. I eventually said it back to her, but dangit, I freakin’ meant it!

Love does not diminish over time. Weak relationships, in which people say they are in love with their partner, do diminish. Love shouldn’t be tossed around if you are trying to be sweet. You have to be sure and sincere when you say it: for the first time and every time thereafter.

lovelyy's avatar

I still believe in “death do us part”

scamp's avatar

@RedmannX5 When you first start to love someone there is an excitement in the newness of it. You get butterflies in your stomach and you think your love is simply perfect. You can’t seem to get enough of each other. As the relationship grows, you start to settle in and get comfortable with your love. Then you begin to notice little flaws in each other, which progresses sometimes to make you wonder why you thought that person was so special in the first place. It’s very common, and it happens to everyone over time. that doesn’t mean that the foundations of your love for that person have diminished, but that you are seeing the other person, and they you in a more realistic light. I like to call that the comfortable shoe stage.

When are shoes comfortable? When they are broken in. And what happens when your shoes are broken in? You start thinking about getting a new pair. That’s why people tend to stray. They crave all the excitement and polite attention they got when they first fell in love. The romantic in us all loves being in love for that reason. So as the others have said, it takes work and commitment to stay in a relationship long term,. Even tho the newness seems to have worn off, a deeper and richer love begins to take it’s place. And that is what makes it worth all the work.

buster's avatar

sometimes love is like a batch of sea monkeys and it dies.

forestGeek's avatar

I don’t feel that love diminishes over time, but that people change over time. What might seem like love diminishing, might just be people growing apart. I feel that the relationships that last a long time, are the ones where people accept this and grow and change together over time. This I feel can happen naturally, or through a little work, understanding and communication, things we all know are musts for a healthy relationship.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. The reason love faded if under 7 years it is due to lust, there was no deep rooted love to start off with. Many go through the motions for years because it is easier to believe and more convenient than to address the real reasons. If a longer marriage or union lost love it is because they avenues of communication shut down, or maybe just the lost of interest but they still love the person. You love what you love, if you love beef rib eye you will love it even if you ate some and got a stomach ache, you would not hate it and never eat it again, you would chalk it up to something added to it or it not being cooked right.

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