Are we in control of love?

Science knows that about love

The reality is: a wedding does not mean that the partner remains loyal. Divorce rates have increased rapidly in the western world since the 1970s. Every second marriage is now divorced. This also has to do with the fact that people are more independent today and that common role models and family images are obsolete. Today people no longer live together because they have to for economic reasons, but because they want to live together with the other person. If only for a few years.

Personal past plays a role

Many couples, however, often seem to fail to admit their problems or too late. Depending on the surveys and surveys, it can take an average of six years before couples get professional help and, for example, turn to a couples therapist. By then, it may be too late to find each other again.

How long a marriage lasts also seems to have a lot to do with personal history. Children of divorce have become acquainted with certain social behavior patterns and are also divorced more often than the average. So not only control over happiness and attachment hormones is decisive for the success of a relationship, learning, memory and behavior also play a role. After all: the psychologists are sure that there is room for maneuver. Children of divorce can do it better than their parents, but they have to question themselves and their ideas.

A decision will have to be made after a few years

Researchers repeatedly come across couples who speak of a fresh love even decades later. They appear to be immune to the Coolidge Effect. This describes how the initial state of intoxication evaporates and after about four years the partners suddenly have to cope with a hormonal and neurobiological emptiness. The dopamine has vanished, the euphoria has long since disappeared, instead everyday life dominates and the question, for example, of why the empty toilet roll is still in the holder.

Love takes patience

Instead of dopamine, it is mainly the hormone that is playing after a few months Oxytocin a bigger role. It conveys security and trust, reduces stress, exertion and aggression. These are the benefits of a long-term relationship. But: Many people often cannot cope with the change from passionate encounters to intimate togetherness. The lack of initial fire only leaves a void for them.

According to scientists and therapists, love is often one thing above all else: work. A happy relationship is not fixed from the start and is indestructible afterwards. Rather, each partner has to invest a lot in order to maintain romantic and passionate feelings, affection and emotional warmth for years.

The mathematician John Gottman tried to put the principle of love into numbers - sober science for the most emotional subject. At the end of his studies, he came up with the ratio 5: 1, which should promise success for couples. If couples rated five times more moments positively than negatively, then they were happy - and stayed that way.

Variety and adrenaline can strengthen relationships

It seems that the way in which we work together matters, and this is also the conclusion reached by other scientists. As soon as partners make fun of each other in a negative way, no longer take each other seriously and start lying, the love begins to evaporate.

Openness and trust, even in difficult times, seem to strengthen relationships. The love researcher Helen Fisher also has a very practical tip for couples: They should break out of their everyday lives, throw their routines overboard every now and then and experience new and exciting things together. Even when getting to know each other, the following applies: the more excitement and adrenaline there is in this situation, the more attractive the people find themselves.

Most couples repress problems

Even after years and decades, this can continue to weld couples together. A shared experience can help them not to lose each other or to drift apart. Couples should still pay attention to freedom. Experiencing every moment, every activity only with your partner, can also make you unhappy in the long run.

Butterflies in the stomach disappeared at some point. In the wild, species like the painted lady survive for around a year. Researchers estimate that it usually only lasts one year "in the stomach" of lovers, up to a maximum of three. At the latest when the symptoms of falling in love subside, the first doubts arise. But those who only mourn the early days become victims of their expectations. Researchers explain that falling in love is decreasing by the fact that the brain gets used to the initial exceptional states and the body becomes receptive to chemical stimuli of attachment instead of stimuli of attraction.