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The author, Gary Chapman, based his theory that everyone has a primary love language that is, a category of behaviors that they most immediately associate with affection on his own observations as a counselor. Enumerated in the book and now well known to millions, the five love languages are quality time, physical touch, acts of service, giving and receiving gifts, and words of affirmation. Some would be jokes: Brunch is my love language. Downtempo experimental bass is my love language.
The president, noting the remark, inquired whether the rooster serviced the same hen each time. No, the farmer told him, there were many hens for each rooster. We hope to enjoy plenty more decades of life in love and friendship together. All the data and studies aside, the best evidence I have about happiness and companionate love is my own life.
The type of love that makes people happiest
According to one story perhaps apocryphalwhen the president and first lady were touring a poultry farm, Mrs. Coolidge remarked to the farmer—loud enough for the president to hear—that it was amazing so many eggs were fertilized by just one rooster. Being rooted in friendship is the reason that companionate love creates true happiness. Once and always my romantic love, she is also my best friend.
Three decades and counting after tilting at the windmill of an unlikely romance, my Dulcinea accompanies me through good times and bad. Read: How negativity can kill a relationship.
I certainly did the first time I heard it, on the heels of the amateur romantic comedy I described above. Falling in love was Sturm und Drang: euphoric at times, but also risky, fraught, and emotionally draining. In Subscribe. We share our joys, and tremble together in fear—fear that, for example, one of our three adult children might do something ridiculous, like run off to Europe chasing passionate love. The farmer told her that the roosters did their jobs over and over again each day.
I t will be no surprise to you that while I love reading Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning on passionate love, my Spanish romance is best expressed by Miguel de Cervantes. Inresearchers at the University of Michigan found that married people aged 22 to 79 who said they had at least two close friends—meaning at least one besides their spouse—had higher levels of life satisfaction and self-esteem and lower levels of depression than spouses who did not have close friends outside their marriage.
Popular Latest. The Atlantic Crossword. In Don QuixoteCervantes gives the hero this song about his beloved Dulcinea:. Read: Love is medicine for fear. And then hers, I pray, will be the face I see as I draw my last breath—her image one substance with my soul. President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, famously had such a friendship.
Read: What if friendship, not marriage, was at the center of life? This conveys the intensity of passionate love perfectly. The deep friendship of companionate love should not be exclusive, however. After a year punctuated by two frustratingly short visits, I quit my job in New York and moved to Barcelona with a plan to learn the language and a prayer that when she could actually understand me, she might love me. P assionate love —the period of falling in love—often hijacks our brains in a way that can cause elation or the depths of despair.
Passionate love, which relies on attraction, does not typically last beyond the novelty of the relationship. Thrilling, yes, but it can hardly be thought of as bringing contentment; indeed, during some historical periods it has even been connected to suicide.
It isn’t about your love language; it’s about your partner’s
And yet, romantic love has been scientifically shown to be one of the best predictors of happiness. But these habits pale in comparison with one big one: The most important predictors of late-life happiness are stable relationships—and, especially, a long romantic partnership. He is correct nonetheless. They bring out the best in one another; they gently tease one another; they have fun together. The healthiest participants at age 80 tend to have been most satisfied in their relationships at age This does not mean just sticking together legally: Research shows that being married only s for 2 percent of subjective well-being later in life.
Companionate love relies on its very familiarity. You might more accurately say that falling in love is the start-up cost for happiness—an exhilarating but stressful stage we have to endure to get to the relationships that actually fulfill us. The long-distance relationship before I moved to Spain was filled with agonizing phone calls, unintelligible letters, and constant misunderstandings.