We've all experienced it: the rush of new love, the passion, the infatuation. You want that person now and all the time.
It's Kismet! Or is it chemistry?
New love is passionate love, the love that comes like an emotional explosion when two new lovers collide. The beloved is new, exciting, fun to be with, and like no one you ever knew.
It's partly chemistry: When people enter into a physical and emotional relationship, the neurochemicals dopamine and oxytocin are mainlined to the brain.
We humans have evolved to be intrigued, infatuated, and fall in love, with novelty. That's where the chemistry comes in. Dopamine is what cause that wonderful high. Oxytocin is what binds lovers, and parents and babies, together. The mere contact of skin to skin sends this chemical rushing through the brain.
But, like any other drug high, it cannot not last forever. In fact, the period of Passionate Love seems to last about two years. Many couples think that this ending of the" new love" stage signals that they are incompatible and that boredom will last forever. At that point, it either converts into Companionate Love, or the relationship withers and ends.
The way to continue to stay in companionate love is through the use of surprise and variety. Couples who add those two ingredients to their physical and emotional life, can stay in love for a long time.
If you and your partner are experiencing "Love Fatigue," you might want to consider working with a Gottman Method Couples Therapist to put more variety and surprise into your relationship. There are many tools and techniques developed by John Gottman that can save your marriage and put it back on track.
For more on this subject, there is a fascinating article called New Love - A Short Shelf Life by Sonja Lyubomirsky in the New York Times.