Friday, 8 September 2006

Romance - Best before 18 months

A conversation with a psychologist revealed to me that the ‘romantic’ phase of a relationship lasts only 18 months.

I was shocked!

I think I was more surprised that she had a definitive number at the ready rather than the idea that romance will dwindle off to after a short period of time.

18 months! I should have time stamped my relationship so that I know how much time I have left! I should be taking her out on more dates, spending more quality time! We should be doing this and that because the sky is going to fall on our 18th month!

Good things always come to an end

But the idea is not new to me. Everyone knows that the ‘honeymoon’ phase ends. The ‘happily-ever-after story’ is just a Hollywood ideology. Days of lovey-doveyness can’t go on forever. The primary reason? Our biochemistry.

When cupid strikes us, we fall under the influence of Phenylethlylamine (PEA). A neurotrasmitter that makes us go goo-goo gaa-gaa over that special someone. It tickles our brain and drives the Casanovas in all of us.

Makes us do silly things like write poems, make paper roses, stick love hearts in our cars and put wallpaper photos in our phones. Its effects could last from 3 months to 3 years, varying from person to person and (I believe) is influenced by how much chocolate one consumes.

‘you’ve changed’

Sadly after when the effects of PEA wane off, couples are faced with harsh reality of their partner. No longer are we blinded by trace amines. Instead we see ‘oh-so’ clearly their blemishes and annoying habits. Differences become more apparent. The strong driving forces that have kept you together are no longer there. Probability of breaking up? Higher than before.

You're on your own

Hopefully by that time you would have spent lots of time building a bond – one that goes beyond infatuation and hormonal fluctuations.

I’m thinking PEA is more a catalyst to something greater. It helps start off something from nothing and lets you form a bond like no other. Similar to a bond between children and their parents. Or the bond between a PlayStation2 controller and me. It should now be an inbuilt connection, natural and chemistry free. Because all that messiness (warmth love and happiness) shouldn’t ever have to depend on something temporary. It should be on something that lasts.


buuurp said...

i totally agree, now im more scared than ever in plunging in relationships. anyway nice post :D

Anonymous said...

I thought after the 3rd month the romance starts to fade. Hmmm...


sweetchic said...

very interesting post :)
i do wonder though, what do you mean you believe it depends on how much chocolate one consumes??

Will said...

odavoca boyrl,

everyone's in the same boat. I guess we just have to go with the flow.

yes - 3months to 3 years. The korean drama im watching said 2 years.

Chocolate has PEA. So maybe you can hold your PEA levels with chocky consumption. But im just guessing. :)