Have you ever noticed that fairy tales and romantic comedies typically end right when the couple gets together? Is it because it’s easier to say “happily ever after” than it is to show it? According to American and European researchers, “…ever after” isn’t that long at all. They tracked 1,761 people who got married and stayed together for 15 years. What they discovered was that newlywed bliss lasted for approximately two years. Two years of a boost in happiness. Roses smell sweeter. Stars shine brighter. Even traffic doesn’t seem as bothersome if they are thinking about their beloved. After that, it was just business as usual. Traffic was traffic again.
The reason cited for the diminishing passion may seem surprising. You have chosen the person you know and love more than any other – the person that understands you and can maybe even finish your sentences. It’s a deeper love than you’ve ever known. There’s a comfort in that. All of these are good things, but they’re also slightly to blame. In getting to know your spouse, there is less that you don’t know. Life becomes less like the latest blockbuster movie and more like an old favorite that you know word-for-word. And the carnal part of you craves the excitement of surprise. Some even mistake the need for surprise for the need for variety. And then they stray, thinking that the new relationship can bring something the old one cannot anymore.
But if the new-and-exciting is what’s missing, then that’s all you need to add. Plan activities that neither one of you has ever done before (that both of you are interested in doing). Allow yourself to explore a hobby or take a class that intrigues you. As you grow, individually and together, you create an atmosphere for your relationship to morph into whatever the next stage is for you. And with each new stage, there is a potential for new wave of passion.