We are often told in movies and books about love that lasts forever. But is it true? Is there anything like everlasting love? Well, first things first, people have the right to believe anything they want to. Even if it’s something that may not be true. That’s how things work with humans. But if we investigate from a scientific perspective, love too has an expiry date. It’s the nature of our universe where nothing lasts forever.
How long love lasts?
Based on how our biological system and brain work, it has been estimated that love will last for a max period of around three years. To understand why this time limit, we have to look at the various stages of love. There are primarily four stages of love, as described below.
- Finding the right mate – Ever experienced why your mind is focused on a single person in a room full of people? Well, that’s nature guiding you to your most suitable partner. Subconsciously, our biological systems can identify genes that would produce the best offspring when combined with our own genes. So, while people believe this to be love, it is just nature trying to create healthy offspring.
- Falling in love – There’s a reason why it’s said ‘love is blind’. When you start experiencing feelings of love, the brain releases chemicals called monoamines. This is often intoxicating and people fail to see reality. It creates the intense passion that two people have for each other.
- Passion starts to recede – Overtime, couples may start to experience reduced intensity in their relationship. This happens in most cases, irrespective of how intense the relationship may have been at the beginning. This can be a challenging phase, as it would be a test for the relationship. To be with someone you no longer love can create significant issues.
- Introspection – In the fourth stage, couples need to decide how they want to take their relationship forward. Should they start looking for someone new? Will divorce be the right solution? Such questions are likely to pop-up in a relationship that’s in the fourth phase.
Why couples still stick together?
If love has expiry date, why don’t all couples separate? Well, there can be several reasons for it. People may become mature and realize that love was just a means to bring them together. They accept the fact that it was never meant to last forever. Some people might feel duped initially. But if they introspect, they will realize that it’s how nature works. And they can’t just complain because they did enjoy the experience as long as it was there. For couples that have this understanding, they can decide to stay together.
In other cases, things like children, societal pressure, financial dependencies, etc. may motivate couples to stay together. However, until couples understand the finer workings of love, things will never be smooth. Only when love’s role is properly understood can couples aim for a peaceful and longer lasting relationship.