Love doesn’t last forever

February 15, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

The success or failure of relationships depends on how popular you and your partner are. Creative artistes, emotionally volatile and difficult to handle as they are, are more likely than others to jump into relationships. However, that’s not to say mere mortals are any less discerning or changeable as far as their love partners are concerned.
In fact, multiple lovers do seem built into the very human DNA. Or, so says the Coolidge Effect. When a male rat is dropped into a box with a female rat, there’s an initial frenzy of sex between them. After a while, the male tires and his libido drop. If a new female rat is brought in, the male rat’s libido rises again. You can keep repeating this process with new females and it keeps performing till it almost drops dead with sheer fatigue. Female rats too flirt more with unknown, rather than known rats.
This phenomenon, known as the Coolidge Effect, is true of all mammals. Yes, even humans. And, amongst humans, it certainly seems to be truer! Surveys claim love doesn’t last beyond three and a half years. That is the maximum time one can be “in love” with another person. So what if the object of love changes — so be it if that’s the only way to keep romance alive! After all, what is it that kills romance? Why is it that the moment a relationship settles into normal companionship, the excitement peters out?
Coolidge Effect says it all boils down to the fact that sex with a new partner raises the dopamine levels, to the Don Juan curse, which says men and women are wired to look for newer partners in the hope of improving their genetic success in future generations. However, my personal favourite is what Robert Johnson, in his book “We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love” says.
He explains that the sparks that romance or attraction arouse are actually a yearning for a spiritual connect that goes beyond physical. As we settle into relationships, we forget to connect in a spiritual manner with our regular partners; the daily rigmarole of life sees to that. And so, if we find other ways to achieve that spiritual connect, dramatic highs that are present in a new relationship would be ours in our stable relationship as well.

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