How does a romantic relationship begin

Love and infatuation : Long partnership, long love: is that possible?

One might think that love is going under in today's times. Because combined with the freedom to be able to change partners frequently, it is becoming increasingly difficult in relationships to grow old with so-called “true love”. Singles often go looking for a partner in order to find love for life. Is there such a thing as true love that lasts forever? The majority of Germans answer this question with a “yes”.

According to a representative survey by GfK Marktforschung on behalf of the “Apotheken Umschau”, more than two thirds of Germans - 65.7 percent to be more precise - believe in “the one love that lasts a lifetime”. The reason for this optimistic result is apparently the positive experience with long-term relationships among the respondents' circle of friends. But what is love? What makes them different from being in love? And how do couples in long-term relationships keep their love fresh? You can find answers and more here.

How did the romantic love affair come about?

Even in ancient times, the idea of ​​love affairs fascinated poets and philosophers and it was thematized in literature and art. However, the meaning of the term “love” has changed over the centuries. Until the Middle Ages, the concept of love affairs often only existed outside of marriage. Since marriage was seen as a financial protection and community of convenience and primarily served the conception of children, love relationships could only be lived out covertly. It was not until after 1780 that the idea of ​​“love marriage” emerged in Romanticism, whereby love, partnership, sexuality and marriage can be compatible with one another.

In the present, love is understood to be the strongest feeling of affection that can exist between two people, which is preceded by being in love.

What is infatuation?

Whether you get to know your partner online or through a partner exchange, lovers often describe the feeling of being in love with the following sentences: “You float on cloud 7”, “Your heart is racing when you think of the other”, “You want to be with yours all the time Be a crush ”. From a psychological point of view, being in love defines the intense desire for another person. At the beginning, the appearance of the other person plays a central role, as it either attracts or repels you.

The Berlin psychologist Jürgen Voigt describes the feeling of being in love as follows: “To be in love” describes the wonderful feeling that floods us, paired with butterflies in the stomach, joie de vivre, exuberance and exuberance. You are very close to the feeling of 'happiness' and wear 'rose-colored glasses' which, at least in our imagination, make everything possible, make us infinitely confident, sometimes make us feel unconditional - and make us forget everything that is bad. "

How does infatuation come about? According to Voigt, the first optical impression is followed by “scanning” for matches. The motives for this are the needs that someone needs and that the potential partner expects. This can be, for example, sexuality, emotional understanding, security, financial security or an increase in self-worth. This process mostly happens unconsciously and is therefore often referred to as "chemistry". The more someone believes that their wishes and needs will be fulfilled by the potential partner, the more likely they are to fall in love.

When does being in love become love?

According to the Federal Statistical Office, more than a third of all marriages in Germany will divorce within the next 25 years. Nevertheless, the majority of Germans believe in love. Is love more than just a feeling of connection between two people? When can one speak of love?

According to the psychologist Miriam Junge from Berlin, there are many similarities between being in love and love, such as the strong affection for one another and the mutual joy of being together. She describes the feeling of love more calmly than that of being in love. While the lovers are permanently in a state of excitement and "intoxication" and are therefore under a high level of stress, which is often also characterized by physical sensations, such as palpitations, tingling and constant excitement, these aspects are less intense with "lovers" on.

"For many people, being in love is an initial phase that either turns into love or you discover that there are too few similarities," explains the psychologist. The body undergoes a process of transformation in which hormones play a decisive role. “The state of being in love and the great interplay of hormones in the body - the constant 'being electrified' - would be far too strenuous for the body in the long run. Therefore, the body associates the feeling of connection and closeness with the partner, which results in the possibility of a long-term bond and a love that goes with it ", says boy.

The deep bond and the feeling of togetherness between the couple - love - thus develops gradually.

Does everyday life destroy love in a partnership?

Many people believe that everyday life is a tough test for love. Take care of the job and the children and not give your partner the attention you paid at the beginning of the relationship when you were in love. One often hears from people in long-term partnerships that the romance subsides over time because one no longer cares about the partner. The partner's quirks also gradually come to light. All of these can leave a negative mark on love.

But everyday life can also be positive for the relationship. According to the psychologist Junge, everyday life strengthens the partnership and thus also love. “In a long-term relationship, both people trust each other and may pass this trust on to their children. The relationship thrives on knowing each other's special 'quirks'. It is not necessary to question what the partner needs and wants. You trust each other blindly. The weekend shopping in the supermarket or the feeling of being able to present yourself to your partner in sweatpants symbolizes a strong sign of trust "she explains. Couples do not have to worry that everyday life will weaken love just because over time they perceive themselves in a different picture.

Is there a recipe for long-lasting love?

How can you keep your love fresh despite everyday stress? It is hard work, the psychologists agree, but it is possible. One should always show one's affection. Signs of affection can be small gestures, for example a bouquet of flowers or a nice dinner in the partner's favorite restaurant. It is also important not to take the stress or bad mood out on your partner. Shared hobbies add momentum to the relationship, as you share positive experiences with each other.

But what if the couple have different interests? The psychologist Voigt has an answer to this: One should not try to resolve the contradictions within the relationship. “What people can live with one another, they should also live and share with one another. What they cannot live and share with one another, they should do with others, for example with friends. It doesn't make sense to agree on a film together when everyone actually wants to watch a different film. If you want to make a 'compromise', it is more that you take turns choosing the film ", explains Voigt.

The psychologist gives (married) couples another valuable tip on the way: “Anyone who has a life of their own, with which they are satisfied, that offers them fulfillment and satisfaction and who experiences love or relationship as the 'icing on the cake', as the 'icing on the cake', will be able to preserve love for a long time and keep it alive . Anyone who views a relationship as a necessary survival mechanism to give meaning to life is more likely to end up in addiction rather than love. Or always looking for a new love, ”he says.

There is no general recipe for love. You should cultivate your partnership and solve the small or large hurdles together. Then love can last a long time.

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