Edge of Everywhere

New Love: A Short Shelf Life (for sexual people)

Posted on: December 3, 2012

Hey everyone – it’s been ages since I last wrote a post, but I want to thank everyone who has subscribed, commented, or encouraged me to keep writing.

I stumbled upon the recent New York Times story New Love: A Short Shelf Life and found it interesting to read from an asexual perspective. The article concerns a study that found that “newlyweds enjoy a big happiness boost that lasts, on average, for just two years.” Why only two years?

“When love is new, we have the rare capacity to experience great happiness while being stuck in traffic or getting our teeth cleaned. We are in the throes of what researchers call passionate love, a state of intense longing, desire and attraction. In time, this love generally morphs into companionate love, a less impassioned blend of deep affection and connection.”

Although this may be a new study, it states in academic terms what our culture tells us over and over–that couples eventually lose the “spark” of passion that united them and eventually morph into sexless old people together, or otherwise end up cheating on each other or breaking up in the search to find that spark with someone else.

But what about those of us who never experience that spark in the first place, who only seek companionate love? Are we better off for not expecting that first brief phase and having to undergo the transition to the second?

Also, I always find it a bit baffling to hear it acknowledged that most relationships eventually (and according to this study, surprisingly quickly) end up being closer to the type we seek, and yet know that many people can’t get their head around the idea of asexuality. What’s so weird about wanting the deep affection and connection that characterize all long-term relationships, regardless of orientation, just without the intense longing, desire and attraction that fade quickly anyway?

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