The Novelty Wore Off Baby: The Reason Why Most Relationships Don't Last
1 + 1 = YOU!
Believe it or not there are only two reason why people enter romantic relationships with each other (unless you live in a country where marriages are arranged). Sex or love, every relationship that was ever started can be traced back to sex or love as a point of origin. Are you interested yet? If so keep reading, trust me, I'm just getting started.
Humans are mammals, and just like other mammals we have a biological need to reproduce that cannot be suppressed or repressed. In other words we all get horny and there's nothing you can do about it. This forces us to want sex. For some people this want turns into a need, depending on other psychological and physical factors.
Love is correlated. Love is one of those words that are hard to explain. One person will describe it one way, one person will describe it another, but no matter the definition I find that one element always remains, everyone incorporates 'companionship' into there description of love. What's the point? No matter what the loneliest person in the world tells you, they do not want to be alone. Maybe sometimes, but not all the time, and certainly not forever. Let's look at these two more closely.
I Love Sex
I Need Love
What is love? Before I get to the point of my story, I must first define the most important characteristics of the stars. Love can be used in many different ways, for example:
1. I love pizza - This means that i really like the way this food tastes and I can enjoy eating it almost every day without getting sick of it. Notice I said "almost" everyday.
2. I love my mother - This means that I have a deep-seated appreciation and connection for and to the person who brought me into this world and provided food and shelter for me until I could do so for myself. Now in comparison to pizza, this kind of love is not the same. This definition of love is focused on strong feelings for another person instead of an object but, contrary to whatever Freud says, I am not in love with my mother and there are no suppressed romantic feelings about her ( I like some of Freud's theories but the guy's a little freaky sometimes if you ask me).
3. I love my ex-girlfriend - This is the love we need for this story. This means that no matter how hard I try, whenever I think about her, see or hear her name, or see or hear her voice my mind and body has an immediate reaction that I can only describe as happiness and sadness combined. Yes this is the one we need.
The feeling that I just described as love for my ex is a feeling that many people have felt before, and I can tell you from experience it feels good. While it's fresh it feels good. In my opinion I think when the novelty of being in love wears off the relationship starts to go downhill. It's like having a new toy as kid. At first you love the toy and you play with it all the time. Eventually you either get tired of playing with that toy or you get a new toy and kind of forget about that old toy.
Maybe Freud was on to something, it seems like our adult life is always leading us in retrospect back to our childhood. I wonder if that toy metaphor correlates into longer relationships. For example, do children who stuck with one toy for a longer time end up staying in adult relationships longer? Things that make you go hmmm.
Let's Talk about Sex Baby
No need for an explanation here. Everyone knows what sex is, even if they've never had it. Everyone has had a sexual feeling within them, most people act on them some don't, but we all have them. If you have ever participated in sex (especially good sex), you can understand why it is everywhere. The saying; "sex sells," is unopposed because of it's power over the human mind and body is unmatched.
Just look at all of the politicians, movie stars, athletes, millionaires, billionaires, teachers, preachers, oh my. Everyday we hear about someone who is rich, famous, educated, or all of the above, getting into trouble due to their inability to control a sexual need. Why do you think prostitution is called the "oldest profession?"
There you have it, love or sex, sex or love, you order the pair, maybe it's both, either way these are the two main components needed to start a relationship. People who get into relationships are looking to fufill a want or need for sex, love, or a combination of the two. They want to satisfy their natural urge to reproduce, they want to feel good, they want to have a companion, and they don't want to be alone.
But now we have to find out what ends relationships, how do we do that? Well it's kind of complicated, even though I kind of explained that love thing, it's still standing there staring me down. Now I have to question my own answers. Anything less would be uncivilized.
Let's look at it like this. Maybe I didn't really love my ex. Maybe I just liked having sex with her or being around her. Maybe I got use to being with one person and my complacency mirrored the feeling of love. There's an old saying that goes "relationships end the same way they begin." So, according to this theory, if you and your mate started off hot and heavy and quickly turned your 'magnetism' into a relationship, then it will end the same way.
Hot, heavy, and quick. It seems like too many people turn sexual flings and desperation for love into instant relationships before giving their feelings a chance to blossom. When you go that route you are skipping the beginning, starting in the middle and sabotaging the end. It's like coming into a movie 1 hour in. Even if you end up liking the movie you still have to see it again to fill in the parts that you missed. Too bad you can't watch your relationship from the beginning after it's started.
Finding out if you were actually in love is only one advisory of relationships. You also have to fight against opportunity and temptation.
How Much Do I Love Thee?
Let Me Count The Ways...
Men and women alike go through these situations, though men have a harder time dealing with it. You get into a relationship and all of a sudden everyone wants to flirt with you. Chris Rock said it best, " A man is only as faithful as his options," or something like that. When you're in a new relationship men or women who have never approached you before now have no problem making it clear that they want you.
At first it's flattering but then you start to get frustrated and ask yourself why these people never came out of the woodwork before. But you don't let this affect you because you're in love. You brush off any thoughts of these other people and let everyone know you are taken, but what happens when the arguments start in the relationship. These flattering friends now turn into hungry vultures preying on the smell of trouble in paradise.
Yes you may love your mate but, remember that toy metaphor from earlier? What happens when the new toys starts calling you? Looking all shiny and new, you tell yourself, "I'll just touch it and see how it feels, its so shiny." Next it's, "I'll just play with it once." Before you know it you forget the other toy is even in the "crib" anymore. (Crib=Urban slang for home)
Yes you still love your mate but, you two are not talking or spending time with each other like you use to, in addition to that...your not having sex. On the other hand you have the opportunity to play with this shiny new toy. You try not to think about it but everywhere you go you see sex.
On TV, in the movies, on billboards, in magazines, walking down the street in a short skirt or a tight muscle shirt, even rubbing up against you at work in a tight space. You start to convince yourself that you deserve better for yourself, you start to tell yourself that your mate is insufficient and one of these new fans can take their place easily.
Before you know it, just like a switch turns off a light, your love for that person has changed. Even if the light has a delayed reaction it eventually turns off, you might not even realized that you flipped the switch until the light goes off. But it ain't as easy as it sounds. Real love is like the memory in a computer, you can attempt to delete all the files but they remain in storage. The only way to completely erase them from your internal memory is to hire an expert to do it for you.
It's Not You It's Me
A text, a call, a tweet, or a face to face meeting. Whatever the process is, it's over. After everything is said and done you will either blame each other or blame yourself, but the truth is...it's neither of yours fault. It's like someone pulled the trigger and your both trying to find out who was holding the gun. If your relationship is over it just means that you were not good for each other. Our society has us spoiled when it comes to finding a significant other.
For everyone that you lose there are hundredths more out there for you, you just have to find them or circle around their wounded carcass like the vultures I described before. In an ironic twist relationships have become like job searches.
With so many applicants in the market looking for work a boss can now take his or her time hand picking the right applicant to fill the open position. Unfortunately, while your pondering an offer to a person who seems like a steal for the money your offering, you are overlooking an applicant who may be less qualified but more suited for the job.
I wanted to end this hub with that last sentence, but then I thought about the metaphor I was using and I came up with this old saying that pertains to work at a job; "if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself." It seems like relationships are more complex than I thought.