Last night I read an interesting (albeit, somewhat long) article from 2000 about how the first two years of someone’s marriage predicts whether or not their marriage will last. For those who don’t want to read it, I’ll summarize it for you. It basically describes how nearly all married relationships break down into one of four categories: romantic love, practical love, disenchanted love, and passionate love (these are my names for the categories, not theirs. Article = A fine romance, mixed blessings, disaffected lovers, and disengaging duo.).
In romantic love, the relationship during the first two years is loving, but not overly passionate. It may get boring, but it can withstand the test of time. In practical love, there may be a lot of passion at the outset, but it may fade away until the couple basically stays together for logical reason…this doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhappy, however. For disenchanted lovers, they start with a passionate, fiery romance that fades into disenchantment with one another. These types of relationships typically end in divorce at some point after the two year mark. Lastly, there’s what I like to call passionate love. These people are either passionately loving each other, or hating each other. (Know anyone who’s been in a relationship like this, cuz I do!) If these people are crazy enough to get married, their relationship usually doesn’t see its second anniversary.
Now, my favorite part of the Psychology Today article is the quiz. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love taking magazine quizzes? It starts on page 3 of the article mentioned in the first paragraph, for those who are curious.
So, how do M and I rank? Well, apparently we have a nice, stable relationship. While we may be boring (and let me assure you, we are), our relationship should last, according to the quiz. Now, how reliable is this research? I really don’t know. It came from a researcher at the University of Texas, Austin, which I hear is a fairly decent research institution. Granted, not all research matches reality. However, I did find quite a bit of truth in the quiz’s assessment of my DH’s and my relationship.
For example, we’ve never been terribly passionate, even when we were hormonal teenagers–and I’m not just saying this because I know my ILs read this blog. We were friends long before we were a “couple,” so I think by that very nature we lack a lot of the fiery romance that’s written about in books and pop songs. But, we’re darn good companions to each other. We may be boring to other people (and even occasionally to ourselves), but we know how to be friends, and that’s an important key to any relationship.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re not married yet, don’t envision a wildly ardent romance…sometimes, a calm, if not somewhat uneventful relationship is the way to go.