Love is one of those abstract concepts that is so subjective, it causes many people confusion. There is a hierarchy of feelings, from crushes to infatuation to true love, but how do you know where you stand? Long-lasting relationships are based on mature love; this is the type of love that can weather any storm and for that reason is common in successful marriages.
In mature love, two people are together because they want to be together and not because they need to be with one another. Signs of mature love include acceptance, emotional support, commitment, calmness, respect, caring, kindness, friendship, and consideration.
Scientific research proves that the brain activity of couples in mature relationships is very similar to the brain activity of those newly in love. Love also involves numerous chemicals in our body and brain, including hormones and neurotransmitters that make up that recognizable feeling. Science shows that love can and does last! We compiled some wisdom found in literature to support the facts.
- "Love is a moment and a lifetime. It is looking at him across a room and feeling that if I don't spend the rest of my life with him, I'll have missed the boat. Love is working together, laughing together, growing together. It is respect for each other and the people each cares about, however difficult it is sometimes to like his kinfolk or his friends. Love is wanting to shout from the rooftops the successes, little and big of one another. Love is wanting to wipe away the tears when failure comes. Love is liking the feel of each other. It is wanting to have children together because they are the exclamation point of love. Love is laughter, especially in the middle of a quarrel." – Liz Carpenter in Getting Better All the Time.
- "Someone else's love story is never going to be yours. True love is woven out of honoring and understanding each other's unique gifts, vulnerabilities, and eccentricities." – Dr. John Gottman of The Gottman Institute on Facebook, July 2013.
- "What feels a lot like love in the cocaine-rush phase does not compare to the love that couples may enjoy in the final phase of an exceptional marriage. If you doubt that this is true, consider the difference between the giddy feelings of being in love with someone you've known for a short time and the feelings of love you would have for someone who has been your journeying partner for the past 60 years of your life—the person who has been by your side through thick and thin, who has believed in you and invested in you." – Shauna Springer, Ph.D in "Soul Mates Do Exist - Just Not in The Way We Usually Think" on PsychologyToday.com, July 2012.
- "Kathy Freston, author of The One: Finding Soul Mate Love and Making It Last, says the clearest sign you're in the right relationship is that 'you like who you're becoming when you're with this person.' So in the end, it's all about finding your best self, not losing yourself in another. About finding someone you like yourself with, not someone to save you from yourself." Arianna Huffington in On Becoming Fearless ... in Love, Work, and Life, 2006
- “Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.” Erich Fromm, psychologist, and philosopher in The Art of Loving, 1956
Most of us strive to find this kind of love in our lives. You do not find it without taking an emotional risk with someone. Mature love makes us feel safe, nurtured and cherished by another person. Knowing that there is someone you can count on in all of the ups and downs of like is a great feeling.