True Love Is About Friendship, Not Passion

 In the event that a mystical genie gave you three wishes, what would they be?

If I could only "waste" a wish on something other than wealth and immortality, it would be this chart.

This chart comes from Jonathan Haidt's (a famous psychologist) book, The Happiness Hypothesis, and it makes one basic claim:

True and enduring love is founded on friendship, not desire.

There are two types of love present in any romantic partnership: sexual attraction and platonic friendship.

Emotional ups and downs are what make love so exciting. To put it simply, the medicine is to blame. It's the rush of adrenaline. There are nervous flutters in your tummy. Those first flutters of attraction are characterized by feelings of infatuation, yearning, and even sexual chemistry.

It's an experience shared by us all. When we first laid eyes on them, we were immediately taken with them. Our attention was riveted on them. This whole experience was like a fairy tale. We prayed each kiss could continue forever, we hoped we wouldn't ever have to eat again, and we never wanted them to leave our sides.

Well, obviously nothing ever works out. We humans tend to act in predictable ways. Like any other pleasure, though, we eventually become accustomed to it, and as such, romance reaches its pinnacle early in life and then rapidly declines.

It's just not intended to stay forever sometimes. However, most of the time, we mistake the decline of romantic relationships for a deficiency of genuine affection. Passion may visit your door less frequently as your relationship matures, but if you've ever talked to an elderly married couple, you may have gotten the notion that this is quite normal.

The graph confirms what we always knew to be true: love may smolder over the course of a lifetime, but it is incapable of dying. Instead, the flame gradually dims. Buying flowers is never wasted money. An impromptu makeout session is guaranteed to be a good time. However, you've gone days without food. Perhaps it would be best if it weren't spoken too often.

True love between friends or romantic partners is unbreakable. Simply said, it's faith. Favour, tenderness, and attention. The safety net that will never let you down in a crunch. True love lasts because of a devotion to a companion.

I wish I could claim that everyone has experienced this, but the truth is that many of us haven't, at least not in romantic relationships. Believe me, there were plenty of years where I didn't. Having a close buddy from when you were little is important. A parent who treats you like a brother or a sister who treats you like a daughter. True friendship looks like that. That kind of affection is called "companionship."

The development of companionate love takes much longer than that of its more intense sister. Gradually but gradually, it increases year after year. Our friendship becomes stronger when we see and encourage one another's efforts to face and conquer challenges, to develop and learn, and to improve as people.

When we give up, it's usually because we've given up too soon, not like in romance when things just naturally fade away. This isn't given any consideration. Trust is not like credit in our culture. When faced with adversity, we have a tendency to misread, take things personally, and flee. Maybe, if we stayed put, our connections would grow exponentially, exactly as in that graph.

When you're really smitten with someone, it's hard to keep all this in mind. On a third date, when the person you're seeing looks so handsome, you probably aren't thinking about hospital visits, dog sitting, and board games. Keep in mind that this is crucial. Friendships are more durable than good looks.

In 1899, Lillian Marie Bounds entered the world. When she was 26 years old, she tied the knot. After three years of her husband's sketching and cartooning obsession, she gave him some advice: "Don't call your latest character Mortimer. Mortimer gives off such a gloomy vibe. You should call him Mickey.

Her husband thankfully took her advice, and on that same day, Mickey Mouse entered the world. Although Walt Disney did not create the genie, the success of Aladdin is much to thank for making our wonderful buddy known all over the world.

So, dear genie, please display Jonathan Haidt's graph globally and ensure its comprehension by everybody. The best love relationships are built on a firm foundation of both desire and friendship, with a small focus on friendship. Make sure others understand this so that we can stop mistaking the two.

Like any fire, passion burns brightly and intensely at first, but it always dies down to a faint glow in the end. After it goes out, only a gentle light will remain.

Friendship is like a climbing vine; it's tender and flimsy at first, but eventually it becomes a sturdy and impenetrable support system, a safety net for anybody who stumbles.

Every day, someone blows a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by, for example, taking their closest friend for granted or kissing someone who may be their forever partner for the last time.

I've spent a lot of time on the wrong end of this line, and it's been my own fault in many cases, but I'd do it all over again if it meant spreading the genie's message:

Love that lasts is built on friendship, not sexual attraction.

Lillian was asked how she felt about her marriage to Walt when she was in her 90s. She said, "We shared a wonderful, exciting life, and we loved every minute of it." "He was a great husband, and an even better father and grandfather to our family."

There's a chance they wouldn't both grant my first wish, but I'd like to imagine they would. They were married for 41 years before Walt passed away in 1966.

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