As Lieberman beforehand talked about, dopamine is what provides us ardour. Passionate love, specifically, is a dopaminergic expertise. It’s a beautiful factor, but it surely doesn’t final eternally—and that’s OK. “On common, it lasts about 12 months, after which it doesn’t matter what we do, it begins to fade,” Lieberman says. “Lots of people make the error of complicated the tip of passionate love with the tip of the connection, they usually say, ‘Oh my God, I’ve fallen out of affection with this individual. I want to search out another person.’” Then they hop aboard what’s referred to as the “hedonic treadmill,” the place they’re consistently looking for passionate love.
“That is not a recipe for happiness,” provides Lieberman. See, passionate love doesn’t precisely fade. It simply transforms into one thing else: companionate love. “It is not a dopaminergic thrill of pleasure and anticipation,” says Lieberman. “It is extra of a right here and now phenomenon of achievement, satisfaction, and contentment. It is simply that deep feeling of being blissful and content material with somebody whose life is intertwined with your personal, and that they’ve all the time obtained your again. And in some methods, that is a extra satisfying form of love than the [intensity] of passionate love.”
Understanding how passionate love shifts over time is essential for a wholesome, profitable relationship; on the flip-side, all the time chasing the dopamine that comes with passionate love gained’t end in true companionship.