What is the purpose of romantic love

The evolution of romantic love

Last update: August 21, 2020

According to anthropologist Helen Fisher, people are born to love. Right or not, this intense and complex emotion is also the source of our existence. Love is what inspires us to be creative. On the other hand, it also causes a lot of grief. So if you understand the development of romantic love, you will be able to delve deeper into your own essence.

If we say now that “love is everything” some readers would probably look rather skeptical. As a society, we tend to be a little cynical. Nonetheless, this feeling, this living, revolutionary influence from a biological or even anthropological point of view has enabled us to make it happen as a species. Because love doesn't just connect couples.Their purpose is not only to father children and thus to preserve their own species.

“Passion is the fastest that evolves and the fastest that fades. The intimacy develops more slowly and the commitment even more gradually. "

Robert Sternberg

Affection is the basis of cooperation. It motivates us to take care of another person. Love stimulates us and reduces our anxiety and stress. It calms fears and awakens our creative side. That is why it is so important to understand their evolution. If you can grasp the evolution of romantic love, you can also see how each stage in your relationship has its own advantages, function, and transcendence. We invite you to do this.

The evolution of romantic love - a variable yet solid substance

Gerald Hüther, neurobiologist and professor of neurobiology at the University of Göttingen (Germany), defined some interesting reformulations regarding human evolution. According to Hüther, the science of evolution has so far emphasized the aspect of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. For Dr. Hüther is what has really advanced us as a species, but nothing more than the delicate, albeit incredibly firm “glue of love”.

Nevertheless, we all know that love is a “substance” that we cannot see under the microscope. But not only that, it does not last forever and it rarely appears several times in the same form or in the same state. There are obstacles, disappointments, challenges. As for Helen Fisher, nothing is more important to Gerald Hüther than understanding the evolution of romantic love. Understanding the characteristics of each phase will help prepare you for the inevitable ups and downs. Let us now see what these phases are.

Intense infatuation

This is the level we like the most. Falling in love is an awakening full of secrets, fantasies and discovery. During this phase we experience an explosive cocktail of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and norepinephrine. In this phase everything is very intense. Emotions are overwhelming and nothing in your mind has higher priority than that one special person.

The well-known psychologist John Gottman describes this phase in his book Principia Amoris: The New Sience of Love (in German: The principle of love: the new view of love, not yet available in German). He says that this first level of love defines what we know as "deeply in love". It is a state of absolute grace that is characterized by euphoria and overwhelming joy.

Romantic love or connection

After the wild time of being in love, we reach another level. At this stage in the development of romantic love, both partners begin to have doubts: Is what we started the same for you as it was for me? Will you always be with me Can I trust you?

These kinds of questions and doubts give way to another phase: that of romantic love. The passion is still there, but now we also have fear, worries and most of all the need for transcendence. More than anything, we want to bond with the one we love. This is one of the most beautiful phases of a relationship, like setting off on a journey. The obsession from the phase of intense infatuation disappears and a real feeling of trust arises.

On the other hand, at this stage, it is common for problems to arise. We want to strengthen our connection with the other person. As a result, we need to get to know each other better and overcome differences. It's like a dance where each partner has to watch their steps without disturbing the other person. At this stage, empathy, reciprocity, caring, and tolerance are paramount.

If we can solve all of these problems effectively and with intelligence, we will have the maturity to move on to the next phases.

Mature love - the bond of loyalty

There are no reliable estimates of how long romantic love can last. Some people say it's never more than five years. However, Helen Fisher states in an article that between 30 and 40% of older couples say they are still living in this phase. If the romance does not dissolve, it guarantees a very happy bond.

Even so, John Gottman emphasizes the importance of working on mature love. He believes it is about building a solid mutual commitment. We need to view the other person as our best friend and teammate and deeply value them. Each of the partners must be tender with the other and maintain a strong and understanding emotional bond. All of this will enrich the lives of both partners equally.

In summary, it can be said that something should now be clear about the evolution of romantic love: It is not the time that determines when each phase will take place and be completed.Love and its changes do not follow any rules. Achieving stability and committed, loyal, and enriching happiness takes a great deal of effort. If you want to make this effort, know: you have to be a handyman, smooth the rough edges and fix what breaks. You have to be encouraging and understanding. Know how to listen and teach your heart to understand and comfort.

This is a complex journey there is no doubt about it. But love is an adventure that deserves a lot of joy and not sadness.

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