This emotion is so intense that it is called “true love” and deemed the only reason to marry or to stay married to another. There is a bizarre lack of knowledge as to what causes intense feelings between two people-a profound ignorance!
She loved him so much when she married him eight years ago. Because of the intense feelings he had for her he knew that keeping his vows to her would be easy. He felt he would always love her. Now, they are they getting a divorce. He says he no longer feels the way he used to. She says the same thing. Neither one seems to have a clear answer why but they both realize that their love has “died!” Some statistics say that romantic love only lasts on average three or so years.
If only they had a sign “Abandon reason all ye who enter here” over the door of the divorce courts of our country!
What we need to make a relationship work is a thorough understanding of how our emotions work-why intensity does not guarantee longevity. David Burns in his best selling book “Feeling Good” (1980) notes that emotions follow thoughts like baby ducks follow their mother. However, just because they follow there mother does not mean the mother knows where she is going. As Jesus inferred thoughts produce emotions. Therefore, if we are gong to understand the romantic love emotion, we had better understand the “thinking” behind it. Romantic love is caused by an evaluation of the loved one. It is the result of a person telling themselves over and over how wonderful the traits of the other person (real or imagined) are. The negative traits are ignored. It is a conditional love. It exists all too often because one or both parties believe that the other is nearly perfect.