Our idea of love changes as we get older

Thursday June 17 2021
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By Bradford Kamuntu

The qualities we value in a partner often change as we grow older, if they do not then there is perhaps something to be worried about.

Romantic relationships and love have been described as universal, and both are associated with intense emotional experiences like increased energy, euphoria, obsessive thought/behaviour and feelings of dependency.

People often feel complete and whole whenever they are in love, but that feeling and your desires and requirements from love are usually different at 18, 25, 35 and 40.

We have been told that marriages that start when the parties involved are in their early 20s often end in divorce by the time the couple is in their early 30s.

That is perfectly normal as ideally both people would have grown and while many manage and grow in love an equal number of people grow apart instead.  Simply because of the fact that who you were at 24 is almost non-existent and is entirely different from who you are at 36.

I know what many of you are thinking, “my grandparents met at 18 and were married 70 years” or “my parents met at University and are still together today” this could be because they are part of the demographic that grew in love or simply stayed together for an array of reasons, chief of which being how divorce was frowned upon in their time, limited options, devotion to their children/family unit and the like.

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In the current times, things are extremely different, the generation we are in is more alert of the fact that love is not a stationary thing.

You do not fall in love and get stuck there (especially when it starts to affect your well-being) and was more and more millennials move into the third decade of their lives, the more this becomes apparent and we seek to explore what options we are able to grasp.

Many have criticised this generation as lazy, entitled, too hasty in our decision making (and while that may be true for some, it is not the case for all) those are some of the terms used to describe us simply because we do not align ourselves with the values of generations past.

We chose the path of objectivity and in turn are slaughtered for it in the court of public opinion.

It is easy for two people to enter a partnership driven by materialism and infatuation, not really taking into account what they genuinely value in a relationship and what their long term relationship goals are (which is fine because at the time they start dating that may not be what matters to them most).

In time one or both of these people will evolve and come to the realization that their partnership was entered with the wrong intentions even though at the time they totally made sense to them. They can either choose to work to meet each other where they are now or choose to part ways.

Love is full of ebbs and flows, your today may not necessarily represent your tomorrow and that is perfectly okay, your definition of love changing and subsequently causing you to fall out of love with someone is also in itself perfectly normal. It is time we stop subjecting ourselves to societal pressures that do not apply anymore and live more happy and authentic lives, by choosing which version of love is the best representation of us.

What matters. It is easy for two people to enter a partnership driven by materialism and infatuation, not really taking into account what they genuinely value in a relationship and what their long term relationship goals are (which is fine because at the time they start dating, that may not be what matters to them most).


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