The High of Falling in Love
Remember back to those days when you first started falling for your spouse? Those days when you spent every second you could with the one you love?
Somehow, when you fall in love, everything else becomes less important. School and work obligations shift to the background, and the love of your life becomes your everything.
Why is that?
As couples begin to fall in love they experience an initial “chemical high.” According to Dr. Pat Mumby “Falling in love causes our body to release a flood of feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions.”
You remember those days right? Sweaty palms, a racing heart, and when you were apart (which wasn’t that often) your thoughts were still centered on your guy (or your girl).
These chemicals (dopamine, adrenaline, oxytocin, norepinephrine) are actually quite useful in helping us fall in love as well as helping us desire to progress to courtship and marriage.
But what happens when the chemical-levels drop?
This “high” doesn’t last though. After a few months, our body’s chemical levels return to a more normal level.
While it may at first seem disappointing, this return to normal is actually a really good thing. Without it, most of us would have gotten fired or failed our classes! The “love high” can be fun, but it is difficult to live a productive life in that chemically altered state.
But does our love fade when this “high” is gone?
Well, it depends!
There are plenty of neglected marriages which leave both individuals riddled with hurt, disappointment, bitterness and anger.
On the other hand, when couples choose to continue to prioritize their marriage (long after the initial “high”), then this relationship can become better than ever! A prioritized marriage can be even deeper and sweeter than anything you felt during that “chemical high” you experienced at the beginning of your romance.
The Intentional Marriage
Before you were married, you were likely very intentional about spending time with your significant other. Sure, the “chemical high” helped, but by choosing to prioritize your relationship, you grew closer and had an ever increasing amount of love for each other.
However, according to William J. Doherty, PhD:
"When we get married and especially after we have children, this reverses. Other things – the children, our work, our hobbies, even our religious involvement – become central and the marriage recedes to the background and only receives our attention when something is wrong."
Does this describe your marriage?
I hope not . . . but it might.
I have seen countless couples (even marriages between two wonderful people) who allow their relationship to fall into the background.
Time to Recommit!
If your marriage is currently in the background, will you decide today to recommit to your sweetheart? Will you decide to prioritize him (or her) above all others?
Commit to prioritize your sweetheart about your career!
Commit to prioritize your sweetheart above your hobbies!
And, yes, even commit to prioritize your sweetheart above your children!
When describing this type of a marriage, Dr. Doherty noted that the happiest of couples have an absolute commitment towards each other and their marriage. He noted that happily married couples make these type of vows to each other:
- “Nothing will break us up.”
- “We will fight through whatever obstacles get in our way.”
- “We will renovate our marriage if the current version gets stale.”
- “If we fight too much or too poorly we will learn to fight better.”
- “If sex is no longer good we will find a way to make it good again.”
- “We will accept each other's weaknesses that can't be fixed.”
- “We will take care of each other in our old age.”
He then concludes that in these happiest couples, these commitments aren’t simply made one time but are renewed over and over throughout a lifetime.
Do you want more ideas on how to reignite your romance, strengthen your relationship, and have the type of marriage that makes your children nauseous and your neighbors jealous?
If so, check out Dr. Rob’s eBook 3 Things You Can Do Today to Have a Ridiculously Happy Marriage. Your sweetheart will be glad you did!