I have often seen a young couple head over heels in love. The bond between them seems unbreakable. The shows of affection are very visible, and the looks on their faces are of eternal bliss. Being older then these teens in love, I've also seen older couples in similar love. Some elderly couples cling on to each other as pillars of strength, showing a more different appreciation for each other. Often, a look at a moment in their lives depict that of ordinary routine. Talking, listening, and working together. The public shows of affection are less intimate, but warmer and more solid notions of an everlasting love for one another exist.
As this world gets faster, and at times, more shallow in ways, it makes me wonder...how do couples keep their love for each other going after the initial notions fleet?
I don't know the absolute answer, and I'd say there is no theory that blankets everyone's relationships. I'm going to say that it is a mixture of what occurs at the start of, as well as, throughout the years well into a relationship. I used to work as a videographer for many years, and while filming weddings, it was very common to choreograph these movies with a fairy tale come true theme. But as beautiful as the movie is, what comes in the years throughout marriage would be a testament to the realism of a couple's love.
By no means am I observing relationships with a pessimistic tone. On the contrary. I enjoy dissecting as many qualities of love as possible to find what is truest and most powerful in the nurturing of true love. I wonder at times...do the young "see" something so fascinating about love that the elders don't. Or conversely, do veteran couples enjoy the comfort of tried and true qualities of love in a relationship that younger lovers know not?
It seems the short term aspects of love are based initially on physical attraction and shortly thereafter, meaningful personality traits. What I believe often occurs, is when someone develops a desire for another person, they seem to go into a sort of "caution mode." One person will display their liking to the other person and oversee slight flaws that might normally upset the onlooker. One person "oversees" these flaws in order to get maximum proximity and intimacy with the other person. Then, years later, once a relationship gets more open and comfortable, these disliked traits are not as forgiven, and may lead to disputes or friction in the relationship. This begs the question: Is it more beneficial to be explicitly upfront early in a relationship to prevent surprises later on? Or does that run the risk of losing a relationship prematurely?
Obviously, in longer relationships, couples have come to know their lovers virtually inside out. By then, people have decided to either live with these differences, or end their relationships in order to find someone more "ideal".
So my discussion thus far leads me to state that relationships need different elements to begin and continue to survive. They are built on elements of attraction, understanding, honesty, trust, and sacrifice. If qualities like these, for example, are not upheld, it may cause a tear in the fabric of what bonds two people for many years. Hence, love is intertwined on a meaningfulness between what makes us desire one another, and what keeps our hearts feeling secure and content by the actions of the other.
Quite often, it is very normal for relationships to begin with a glimpse of beauty or the capture of a smooth, charismatic voice by the ear. Casting an appearance of beauty, strength or confidence can draw attraction. This phenomenon can be animalistic and traced back thousands of years to primitive origins. But there must be elements that work together for an ongoing length of time to perpetuate that primitive desire for unity.
That which separates the human need for a successful lifelong relationship as opposed to that of animals, is founded on the intellectual understands of trust and honesty. It sets the standard for character, which is a much valued quality between humans. Character defines who we are, and can be considered a building block for honesty and trust. These elements must continue to be perpetuated in a relationship to foster growth and happiness that can last a lifetime.
A relationship based on short-lived thrills and illusions can last no longer than that of our animal kingdom counterparts. They prance around in a confident display of colour or strength. This action may draw a mate. But the animal kingdom has in itself relationships of varying lengths which may or may not last substantial lengths of time. As for humans, the key to meaningful lasting relationships are not just visual elements, but also the elements found beyond the skin. Those qualities that secure perserverence, safety, and contentedness are crucial to success in a relationship. Everyone's view of what defines love will always be different.
Being a keeper at heart, I'd say that a strong ongoing blend of physical, emotional and intellectual efforts can foster a lifetime of meaningful happiness and success between two people.
With so much out there to look for, always ask yourself what are the three most important qualities to a long lasting relationship. The right answer will bring you the right relationship!