Does Love Get Better As We Age?

Like a fine wine, does love age well? Or does time cause love to shrivel up and die?
thinking about the depths of strong love
Image Source: Pexels | Jasmine Carter

In my creative writing class, we read a short story titled "Astronomy 101" by Jane Delury. The story details the relationship between a husband and wife that have been married for a while, now raising children. At the beginning of the story, the wife reminds the husband of the time they were crazy in love. He once told her that he would give her the moon. The husband can't believe he would ever say that; it doesn't sound like him.

At the end of the story, the husband tries to tease the wife by claiming that he was probably just kidding when he told her that he would give her the moon. The wife doesn't even turn to look at him when she says "I don't care. I still want it."

The wife knows that her husband can't tangibly give her the moon. However, his statement implies that he would give her anything, a true statement of adoration and love. After years of marriage, their love changed, became more tame and comfortable. The husband still loves the wife and the wife knows that. I think she just wishes their love was as intense as when they were younger.

This story inspired me to think about how love transforms, for better or worse, as couples get older and they go through more stages of life together. It made me wonder: Does love age well? Or does it slowly fade into apathy, feeling nothing but indifference towards each other? 

how I've seen love either fade or vanish completely
Image Source: Pexels | Noelle Otto

My Observed Love Stories

In 2019, my grandparents (on my dad's side) separated after almost 50 years of marriage. The strange part is that no one saw it coming, or at least a lot of us didn't. One day everything seemed fine and then the next, my grandmother was living somewhere else with someone else. How did my grandparents' love change over that almost 50 years? Somewhere, it had to have faded.

Also in 2019, I saw my other set of grandparents (on my mom's side) kiss each other for the first time at their 50th wedding anniversary party. I've been alive for 21 of their 50 years married and I've never seen them kiss, not even hold hands. They sleep in separate rooms. At some point, their love became stagnant.

On the other hand, my parents seem to have rekindled their slightly dormant romance after raising my sister and me. They don't have kids to take care of that much anymore, so they've gone on more dates and such. Their love changed as they were bringing up children and it changed again after me and my sister moved out. My parents are just fine, happy, and in love. They've been married for 25 years.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for just over two and a half years. While we are in a comfortable state in the relationship, we are still crazy in love with each other. Our level of romance is just about the same as it was when we first started dating; we're just more comfortable with each other now. How will our love age? I hope it ages well.

This couple in the story has been married for at least 10 years, or long enough to have a couple of children that go to school. The wife mentioned that they used to be crazy in love and her husband offered her the moon. However, that isn't the case anymore. How did their love age? It seemed well at first, and then faded a bit over time.

so many possibilities for how love will change
Image Source: Pexels | cotton bro

The Probability of Love Aging Well

In the United States, roughly 43-46% of marriages end in divorce, as per the study by Robert Schoen and Vladimir Canudas-Romo in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The average period of divorce is about eight years after marriage. Additionally, these people are around 30 years old when they get divorced. These statistics are terrifying as it shows the low probability of love surviving in relationships.

While divorces happen for a variety of reasons, I believe the important underlying reason is that true love disappeared from these ended relationships. In these relationships, their love didn't age well.

If the odds seem to be against us, the next question is "What can I do to make my love with my partner age well?"

ways to show someone you love them
Image Source: Pexels | Josh Willink

How You Can Age Your Love Well

I think the main issue as to why love may not age well is because, after a while, couples stop making an effort in the relationship. Just because you're married doesn't mean you can stop doing all the romantic gestures and the like when you were dating. There is such a thing as getting too comfortable or indifferent in a relationship.

Being intentional, making an effort, demonstrating how much you love your partner is significant aspect of a healthy relationship. It doesn't have to be a grand spectacle, like literally giving someone the moon, but rather a sufficient way to show someone you love them. That is the secret to having a love that ages well. Intentionality.

Here are some ways to show someone you love them as your relationship grows older:

1. Learn your partner's love language and utilize that.

A love language is a specific way someone feels the most loved by others. There are five love languages: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, and receiving gifts. To find out your love language, you can take the Love Language Quiz.

My love language is quality time and my boyfriend's love language is physical touch. Every day, we try to show each other our love by either spending time together, watching a movie, cuddling, or holding hands. Doing this satisfies both of our love languages and we feel so much more loved by each other.

2. Keep going on dates regularly.

Dates don't always have to be going out to dinner or doing anything extravagant. Dates can also be ordering takeout and watching a movie in your pajamas, working on a craft together, going to the store together, or taking a walk in the park. As long as you are doing something together that you both enjoy, then consider it a date. It's a wonderful way for you to bond and enjoy each other's company a bit more intimately.

3. Communicate every detail and be expressive.

I will shout this from the rooftops if I need to: Communication is key. Ask your partner about their day, find out how they're doing mentally and physically, and listen to what they have to say. Proper communication shows that you care about the other person and their feelings. It makes them feel seen and heard by you.

4. Be intentional and upfront about what you want.

If you want to go on a date, then do it. If you feel like surprising your partner with a gift, then do it. Be upfront about what you want and do something to achieve that. You're choosing to do what's important to you. Make the effort. Love requires work and you need to be willing to put in that work to make love grow, to make love age well.

23 | uni graduate | aspiring author | overthinker | theatre kid

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