Added: Dugan Starbuck - Date: 20.10.2021 18:11 - Views: 23089 - Clicks: 1793
After a year punctuated by two frustratingly short visits, I quit my job in New York and moved to Barcelona with a plan to learn the language and a prayer that when she could actually understand me, she might love me. Falling in love was Sturm und Drang: euphoric at times, but also risky, fraught, and emotionally draining. The long-distance relationship before I moved to Spain was filled with agonizing phone calls, unintelligible letters, and constant misunderstandings. You might more accurately say that falling in love is the start-up cost for happiness—an exhilarating but stressful stage we have to endure to get to the relationships that actually fulfill us.
P assionate love —the period of falling in love—often hijacks our brains in a way that can cause elation or the depths of despair. Thrilling, yes, but it can hardly be thought of as bringing contentment; indeed, during some historical periods it has even been connected to suicide. Read: Love is medicine for fear. And yet, romantic love has been scientifically shown to be one of the best predictors of happiness.
But these habits pale in comparison with one big one: The most important predictors of late-life happiness are stable relationships—and, especially, a long romantic partnership. The healthiest participants at age 80 tend to have been most satisfied in their relationships at age This does not mean just sticking together legally: Research shows that being married only s for 2 percent of subjective well-being later in life.
I certainly did the first time I heard it, on the heels of the amateur romantic comedy I described above. Once and always my romantic love, she is also my best friend. Being rooted in friendship is the reason that companionate love creates true happiness.
Passionate love, which relies on attraction, does not typically last beyond the novelty of the relationship. Companionate love relies on its very familiarity. Read: What if friendship, not marriage, was at the center of life? They bring out the best in one another; they gently tease one another; they have fun together.
President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, famously had such a friendship. According to one story perhaps apocryphalwhen the president and first lady were touring a poultry farm, Mrs. Coolidge remarked to the farmer—loud enough for the president to hear—that it was amazing so many eggs were fertilized by just one rooster.
The farmer told her that the roosters did their jobs over and over again each day. The president, noting the remark, inquired whether the rooster serviced the same hen each time. No, the farmer told him, there were many hens for each rooster. The deep friendship of companionate love should not be exclusive, however.
Inresearchers at the University of Michigan found that married people aged 22 to 79 who said they had at least two close friends—meaning at least one besides their spouse—had higher levels of life satisfaction and self-esteem and lower levels of depression than spouses who did not have close friends outside their marriage. I t will be no surprise to you that while I love reading Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning on passionate love, my Spanish romance is best expressed by Miguel de Cervantes.
In Don QuixoteCervantes gives the hero this song about his beloved Dulcinea:. This conveys the intensity of passionate love perfectly. He is correct nonetheless. Read: How negativity can kill a relationship. All the data and studies aside, the best evidence I have about happiness and companionate love is my own life. Three decades and counting after tilting at the windmill of an unlikely romance, my Dulcinea accompanies me through good times and bad.
We share our joys, and tremble together in fear—fear that, for example, one of our three adult children might do something ridiculous, like run off to Europe chasing passionate love. We hope to enjoy plenty more decades of life in love and friendship together. And then hers, I pray, will be the face I see as I draw my last breath—her image one substance with my soul.
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The Type of Love That Makes People Happiest