Love For The Long Run
Relationships—especially long-term intimate relationships—are important to your overall well-being.

By: Family - Relationships - 11/15/2018

Relationships—especially long-term intimate relationships—are important to your overall well-being. Think back to the beginning of your relationship: Was it filled with lots of passion and intensity? Does it still have those aspects? What does it mean if your relationship has changed? How do you keep them or get them back?

There's been a lot written about types of romantic love and how intimate relationships change over time. One theory describes two main types of love. Passionate love involves an intense feeling of longing for one another. Friendship-type love happens when you feel affection, tenderness, intimacy, and commitment to your partner. It doesn't have to include mutual attraction or sexual desire. Couples bonded by the second type often feel a deep mutual friendship, ease of companionship, and a sharing of common interests.

A common belief is that couples begin with passionate love which later morphs into friendship-type love. A transition like this is normal and can be healthy if it feels comfortable to both partners. A change from passionate love to friendship-type love doesn't indicate a loss of love, just an evolution of the relationship.

However, love that has intensity, interest, and passion can grow and flourish in a relationship over the long run as well. It is possible to be with your partner for a long time and still experience passion and emotional intimacy with him or her.

Both types of love, and all relationships, require attention and care. Tune in to your partner's needs: Is she or he satisfied with the amount of affection and intimacy you share? Does your partner feel a sense of companionship? Either type of love can be satisfying if both partners feel content and fulfilled. Focus (but don't fixate) on your partner. Foster affection, intimacy (both physical and emotional), and a deep bond.

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