Dr. Billy Kidd researched romantic relationships for 15 years. He held focus groups in various cities across the nation.
I'm a mental health expert. People often ask me, "Why did my feeling of being "in-love" end?" New brain research shows why. It is simple to understand.
What Happens During a Crazy-in-Love Romance
At the beginning of the 21st century, psychologists discovered that the obsessive thinking part of in-love, go-crazy romance lasts no longer than 18 months. During that phase of a relationship, individuals are constantly focused on their partners. This is because their brain and body chemistry changes. This is somewhat similar to an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What this means is one's brain and body chemistry causes a person to focus on one person out of all the available partners. This person is often called "The One."
Now a person does not have to ask if he or she thinks if they are in love, or what is love? A person is obsessed with this person. But everyone’s biological processes change and rebalance. That causes the feeling of obsessive, crazy-in-love passion to end. Then some partners move into the second phase of in-love romance. Others feel like their partner is suddenly a stranger.
The Second Phase of In-Love Romance
The second phase of in-love romance is where people sometimes get excited upon seeing their partners and about doing things together. Closeness can feel rewarding. But people are not constantly thinking about each other day and night unless it is a dysfunctional relationship.
What’s important to consider, here, is that some individuals do not move into the second phase of in-love romance. Instead, they sober up to the fact that their partners do not feel like best friends do. People often blame their partners for this change in how they feel. That is because they think that something must have changed in him or her. But no, that’s not it. The lover-at-a-loss person was just not ready for what can happen when he or she falls madly in love. So they never move to the second stage of being in love.
Sobering up to the fact that one is no longer totally crazy about someone is quite common. Scientists have shown that this is a natural biological process. What is going on is that some of the neurotransmitters that regulate the brain’s circuitry return to their pre-romantic state through a normal balancing process. This causes people to snap out of their in-love trance and stop having obsessive thoughts about their partners. They probably still get excited when they see them if they have a functional relationship. When that is the case the situation is much less stressful, especially if they have become best friends and feel like family in a good way.
Often, however, like Romeo and Juliet, people really expected to go goofy over each other forever. So when the crazy in-love feeling fades, they have no idea of how to develop a mature relationship or how to plan for the future together. Instead their biological processes are telling them to move more deeply into the relationship or to get out of it. Often partners focus on reasons to blame each other. That's when the arguments start.
By then, it’s too late to simply move on to being friends. That is because they probably never were real friends to begin with. They didn’t know each other long enough. Instead of admitting to their failure, people follow the script that they see role modeled on TV: Let’s fight!
Sound familiar? Sure, it happens every day. But instead of warning young individuals that this could happen, older adults and family members generally encourage partners to rush to the marriage altar. Individuals under this sort of family pressure get married without really knowing much about each other. People continue to do this despite the high divorce rate. They do not worry about not having a truly intimate relationship where partners honestly share their feelings. That’s because they are crazy in love. But when the crazy in-love feeling passes, the relationship becomes stressful.
Developing Friendship Is Key
Relationships do not become stressful because men and women have inborn communication problems. After all, they run corporations together without having a communication barrier. Rather, it is because the stress level is so high from this type of dysfunctional or codependent relationship that people get to a point where they are too burned out to talk. Under those conditions, they cannot move into the second stage of in-love romance, feeling rewarded sometimes when partners are together. This is the first factor of a lasting romantic relationship.
It may sound tough, but no one has to settle for a high-stress relationship. That is because these new scientific discoveries provide the tools that will allow partners to reframe their understanding of their romantic relationships. This knowledge will help a person to respond effectively to the various types of thoughts, feelings, and reactions that a person has with his or her partner. That, in turn, will allow one to communicate more effectively. But this requires an understanding of romantic love.
Remember, crazy love killed Romeo and Juliet. That was because they only had one of their five feelings of love engaged, the feeling of being obsessed about each other. Romeo and Juliet did not know each other long enough to become friends. Without all 5 ingredients, it feels like something is missing in a partnership.
Things are moving so fast these days there is little time and energy put into becoming best friends with your partner. This is one of the main reasons partners break up. If you want to move from crazy-in-love romance to the second stage of romance, you will need to work on being best friends with your partner. Studies show that long term relationship requires friendship between partners. Friendship is the key to moving from in-love crazy romance to the next step of creating a meaningful relationship.
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Dr Billy Kidd (author) from Sydney, Australia on February 13, 2018:
Absolutely! At some point in a lasting relationship a commitment to the relationship must be made by both partners.
Thank you for pointing this out. In some countries, many young adults have turned to their friends for moral support and do not commit to a relationship until they reach 30 years of age. I'm curious if this feature of modern life has affected young adults in Croatia.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 13, 2018:
Being in love is hard and crazy love is just that as you have explained. Interesting and informative. To love someone unconditionally is rare and true but not without a commitment.
Dr Billy Kidd (author) from Sydney, Australia on February 04, 2015:
Thanks toknowinfo for taking the time to read some of my stuff.
toknowinfo on February 04, 2015:
You write great hubs! Your information is straightforward and makes for easy reading. I enjoy reading your writing. It is nice to meet you on HubPages, and I will be visiting you often. Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome.