When lecturing on this I make a point to remind students that intimate love doesn't mechanistically decrease the way passionate love (honeymoon phase) does. Thus, as long as their communication doesn't wane or they stop opening up/ sharing with each other or fail to engage in basic micro-romantic actions together (e.g., holding hands, cuddling, seeing movies together, even just eating meals together), then their intimate love will remain unchanged or perhaps even increase. And intimate love is a key ingredient in companionate love - the love that defines long term couples.

Unfortunately, most of our rom-coms & Western sitcoms have created a myth of true love: the notion that real relationships are characterized by passionate love that never ends. This is possibly because most films end once couples really start their official or formal relationship, & 99% of them never have a sequal that shows the couple 5 or 10 years later. (Notable exceptions = 500 Days of Summer, This Is 40, La La Land)

🚀 Space Love 💘

As one of my late mentors once said, passionate love is the rocket that gets your ship into space, but it won't keep you in orbit. Once the rocket fuel & its flames of passion burn out & the rocket detaches from the spacecraft, companionate love is what you'll need to keep your (relation-) ship in orbit. If you haven't built that yet then your ship will 'break up' in the atmosphere as it comes crashing down.

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I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.

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