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Screen grab from “Settle Down” by Kimbra. Kimbra/YouTube


Why does love lose its intensity over time? appeared as a question on Quora. Below we are republishing an answer from Chloe Shani Malveaux, one of Quora’s top writers.

There is a scientific basis for this perception that love is less intense over time. It is because relationships shift from passionate love to long term attachment. Literally if you looked at a picture of your love the first week in the relationship, and then a picture of them 10 years later, you may still love them, but different parts of the brain are being activated and responding depending on where you are in the relationship with that person.

Brain scans have been compared those who were dating for a week to couples who have been together for a year, and they found that the couples who had been together for a year had more activity in the area of the brain associated with long-term attachment.

Infatuation love fades, it is supposed to, but what it also does is it gives the initial push to spend as much time with that person to be able to develop long term attachment to that person by the time the infatuation fades. This is a point where some relationships fail, when the infatuation fades but the attachment never stuck. And people get bored and unsatisfied in the relationship, wondering why they were with the person in the first place. They realize that they no longer love this person anymore because the infatuation love has faded and the long term attachment love never took its place.

Couple Talking on Bench
Flickr / mrhayata


But I can see another reason why some relationships fail at this stage is due to our cultural perceptions that infatuation love is true love and it should remain consistent throughout the relationship. That if infatuation love ever wanes then it is an indicator that true love is waning, and therefore the relationship is failing.

In the media, we constantly associate love with infatuation love, since most movies and stories really only cover the beginning of relationships, but when they look at older relationships where the couples are still in love, it seems to imply that it is the same exact infatuation love just diminished in intensity.

Sadly, too many people associate infatuation love as the real deal, when it is only transient. So when people compare their younger relationships to older long term relationships, it isn’t like comparing the same things just with two different intensities, it is like comparing apples and oranges.

As reported by Business Insider