What to do when passion is gone, or what are the different phases of love
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Each couple during their life together inevitably goes through different stages of the relationship: at the very beginning of the novel, the man and woman are completely absorbed by each other, then the relationship becomes deeper and sex becomes more familiar.
And then changes are more often pleasing than upsetting partners: with the birth of children, both the rhythm and the quality of intimacy change. After all, there is no particular need to look for and try something new - both spouses already know each other perfectly, know how to deliver pleasure to a partner, but at the same time everyone is enthusiastic about experiments, natural pauses, and a more measured rhythm of sexual life - too quite calmly. But the children are growing up, becoming independent. And it would seem that the couple again has the opportunity to return to romance and new scenarios.
But, it turns out, now something has changed: loving spouses fall into the trap of habit and routine, the passion that has subsided over the long years of marriage together raises only doubts about their own attractiveness and prospects for relationships. What to do? Urgent resuscitation measures - let's say discuss the situation with my husband and add romantic evenings to your schedule? Sign up for erotic massage courses, master exotic sexual techniques, lose weight or radically change your image? Or maybe the marriage has outlived itself and it's just time to go in search of a new partner? Or - another option - simply put up: people live without hormones that are raging in the blood, is it enough that they are good friends and they are comfortable with each other? No matter how strange it may sound, the latter is closest to the truth, you just need to correctly place the emphasis.
Three in one
“For a start, it would be nice to find out what exactly passion is and what place it takes in partnerships,” says the therapist and sexologist, Ph.D. Larisa Stark. - There are many theories that dissemble the union of a man and a woman, and I would like to focus on one of them - namely, on the three-component concept of love proposed by the American psychologist Robert Sternberg. He identifies three main components of the relationship - this is passion, intimacy and devotion. The first component is, in fact, a powerful energy-motivation that encourages us to get closer to another person as soon as possible, makes us want to constantly see him, hear, touch and, of course, have sex with him. This is an impulsive, explosive force, in some ways it is similar to madness, it is about feeling that they say "I'm going crazy from you."
Intimacy is our need for human warmth, emotional closeness, confidential communication, this desire to share our deepest experiences with our partners. And finally, loyalty is a conscious decision of two adults to remain faithful to each other, to develop and maintain their relationship under any circumstances - and in sorrow, and joy, and in illness, and in health. ”
If all three components are available, we can talk about perfect love. The lucky ones who were visited by this fabulous feeling, of course, go through all the crises that any family has to face, but they cope relatively easily. After five, ten, and even fifteen years of marriage, their sexual relations remain at their best, and none of the partners have a desire to “get impressions” on the side. The idea that with someone else life could become more comfortable, rich and vibrant does not occur to anyone. “This is the ideal love that everyone is waiting for and looking for,” says the expert. “But, unfortunately, it is rare, but remains unchanged - even less so.”
The vast majority of couples eventually come to the form of relationships, also described by Sternberg, - the psychologist called it “love-friendship”. These relations are based on intimacy and devotion, in other words, the couple’s mutual interest in each other, respect, support, recognition of each other’s worth and desire to continue to stay together - perhaps to the very end.
“Passion necessarily passes, this is normal and, you can say, it is even necessary in order to form truly close relationships,” says Dr. Stark. - After all, unrestrained physical attraction is always blind: by and large, it does not matter to us what kind of person is next, only our own ardent desire to possess it matters. Meanwhile, true love implies, first of all, recognition and acceptance of the partner’s personality. You are confident in your feelings, you think that it is with this person that you want to go hand in hand through life, it is his inner world that is interesting to you, you have similar goals and values, have a common history and achievements, it is with him you want to raise children, decide general financial tasks and so on. ” Couples in which relationships naturally evolved to “love-friendship” have every chance of living with each other until old age.
It turns out that, putting an equal sign between the dying passion and the approaching collapse of family life, we simply replace concepts - and sound the alarm completely in vain. “Which, of course, does not mean at all that the couple should give up on the intimate side of their lives. Not at all - you can and should work on it, says the sexologist. “But this will not be“ the return of past passion ”, the hormonal violence that people experienced at the very beginning, but the development and deepening of relevant relationships, which is much more important and correct.”
By the way, the results of a number of studies on sexuality confirm this point. So, one of them claims that people who are married have more sexual contact than those who are still in search or in an open relationship. And one more thing suggests that a high level of oxytocin, the “hormone of attachment,” improves the quality of sexual life: warm and trusting relationships lead to harmony in bed. It turns out that the better you understand your desires and are ready for dialogue with your “second half”, the higher the chance that a familiar and measured sexual life will continue to give you both great joy. How sex improves after giving birth. What are the formulas of love
Psychologist Robert Sternberg described five more types of love - depending on which particular components of the relationship are available.
Intimacy = sympathy
A very warm relationship, which, however, does not imply either long-term obligations or physical attraction to each other. By and large, this is a friendship that can last for years.
Passion = love
As a rule, when we speak of a “extinct spark”, we have in mind precisely this type (or relatively short stage) of relations: butterflies in the stomach, irresistible attraction, hormonal explosion - and no prose of life like mortgages, queues in kindergartens and the need to accept a partner like that what he is, and not the way we want to see him.
Devotion = empty love
Sternberg did not give the most flattering name to unions that are created for completely rational reasons, for example, material ones. Surprisingly, such relationships still have chances to move to a qualitatively different level over time.
Passion + intimacy = romantic love
In this combination, everything seems to be fine, except for one thing: romantic love does not make obligations.
Passion + devotion = fatal love
This is the case when people marry according to “hot great love”, without giving either themselves or their partner time to figure out who is in front of them and whether they really need to go through life hand in hand. Very often, such a marriage ends in a quick divorce due to the emergence of “irreconcilable contradictions” sooner or later.