What Is the Ideal Love in a Long-Term Relationship?

After a couple has been together for a year or two, what should the ideal relationship look like? Research has suggested that the first stages of romantic love fade away in approximately 15 months. However, brain scan researchers at Stony Brook University in New York have discovered that 10% of mature couples (couples that have been together for 20 years) had the same chemical reactions when shown pictures of their loved one as couples in the early throes of romance. That’s exciting news because it indicates that couples don’t have to settle for a relationship of convenience.

Do you believe that love just happens to you and it’s out of your control? Or do you believe love is an ever-changing emotion that requires constant input and care? Do you believe long-term intimate love can come from creating an environment where the two of you love each other, almost as much as a couple in the middle of a new romantic relationship?

In case you forgot what a new romantic relationship looks like, here’s a reminder. When people first fall in love, they feel their mate is unique and focus on their positive qualities rather than their negative traits. Couples in romantic love rearrange their daily priorities to make their partner a priority. They frequently think of their beloved and think about positive things they had done together. In a new relationship, couples feel a sense of empathy towards each other and a willingness to make sacrifices for each other. Couples in a new relationship crave an emotional union. Notice I said an emotional union not a physical union. In one survey, 58% of men and 72% women disagreed with this statement: “The best thing about love is sex.”

Most people crave some aspect of romantic love in their long-term relationships. Many relationships succumb to a long, slow, downward slide. Intimate love in a long-term relationship requires frequent attention and care. In a busy world it’s easy to forget what is the most important to us.

What things have you done to move in the direction of your ideal long-term relationship?

My Man Training is a simple way to build in regular care and attention for your relationship.