“Love lasts 3 years” isn’t just the title of a book by Frédéric Beigbeder or the film based on it.
When someone says that love lasts three years (the rough equivalent of Anglo-Saxons’ concept of the “seven year itch”), it’s also a reference to a biochemical theory.
It seems that divorce most commonly happens after three years of living together. In biochemical terms, love is a combination of oxytocin, dopamine, prolactin, noradrenaline and luliberin. Intense feelings of happiness are released by phenethylamine (PEA), while tenderness is associated with endorphins.
So, that’s the biochemical aspect. But in reality, the real question is, how it is possible to love the same, single person, whereas we can have many friends throughout our life? 3 years of love and that’s it? How long does love last?
Why does love last 3 years?
It seems that, in order to have a life span that’s prolonged by 10 years, and to be in good health, you have to have around a dozen sexual relations a month. Okay, fine, but does love really last 3 years?
If we say that love lasts 3 years, it’s because of the signs given off by scents. Let’s look at a concrete example: My friend, if someone makes you smell the scent (of sweat or another body odor) of a man you’ve just met and fallen for, you’ll find something pleasing about it. But if you do the same experiment three years later, you’ll find something unpleasant about these smells. But why?
It’s physiological. Over time, pleasure hormones diminish. But don’t worry – you still have oxytocin, which is the attachment hormone. That means you have to stimulate this hormone. In order to do that, you have to banish the humdrum feeling of the routine from setting in by adding some creativity to your relationship. Be novel if you want more than 3 years of love.
So, in theory, love lasts 3 years, maybe less. But in practice, it’s different. It’s clear that the way you felt when you fell in love at the beginning of your relationship won’t remain intact over the years. But this doesn’t mean that a couple who’s been together for 3 years is sure to fail and fall out of love. No. Anyway, surely you know a couple who loves each other and that’s remained solid for many years. This may even be the case for you, and you’re only reading this because you’re in a rough patch (something normal for a relationship and generally when we talk about love).
You have to be aware of what defines and makes up love. Sex, a real bond, kindness, tenderness, etc. All of this can last for your entire life as long as it’s well maintained.
The key is to take real pleasure in sharing your life with your partner. There are and always will be rough patches in love. You have to know how to overcome them to make your relationship last and remain solid.
3 years of love and then…?
3 years of love and then you go on loving each other…or not…
Honestly, it all depends on the couple. Every love story is different and specific to each couple. There are far too many elements to consider when it comes to making a relationship last or go bust. The most important thing is to continue to discover and remain interested in each other.
But the most important part of that is to truly discover and know oneself. You have to discover and know both yourself and your partner. Why? Because all too often, we idealize the other person. Then, when we realize that this ideal doesn’t fit with who our partner is in reality, we take a big fall. 3 years of love can certainly go on.
You have to bear in mind that human beings exist to reproduce. So, when a man and a woman are attracted to each other, they experience a sort of addiction that makes them happy when they’re together and unhappy when they’re apart. I talked about scent a bit earlier. Well, scent subconsciously guides a man and a woman into becoming partners. Of course, it’s not just scents that guide us when it comes to love. Biologically speaking, every month a woman has an egg that’s waiting to be fertilized. When that’s accomplished, she’ll be completely devoted to the growth of a child for 9 months.
For a man, it’s different. Every day he produces millions of spermatozoids, and his objective is to use one to fertilize a woman’s egg. To put it clearly, a woman is going to seek out a partner who can go the distance when she’s pregnant and then to help raise the child who’ll be born. Naturally, she’s looking for a man who’s strong in every sense of the word and who can provide material resources. For a man, it’s a different story. He wants a woman who will carry his child and pass on his genes.
So, 3 years of love and then, the secret is to let go of dependency in order to give room to happiness in a relationship. This is the most important thing: that a man and a woman feel good together. This feeling can grow and be sustained in different ways: sharing things and doing activities together, talking to each other, laughing like kids, etc. You have to focus on the essential and have common values that will allow you to remain solid and on the same wavelength.
How long does love last?
It all depends on what you do with this love. The question “How long does love last?” doesn’t have a single, definitive answer. Love can last a lifetime or a few seconds. If love only lasts 3 years, then why are there still so many couples who’ve stayed together for much longer?
You can’t make yourself fall in love. On the other hand, you have to take care to ask your partner questions in order to really know them and not be content to simply live in the clouds. People always say that the first moments of a love story are the most beautiful and that after, it’s less wonderful. However, you have to keep your feet on the ground and not idealize your partner. So, in order to know how long love lasts between people, there is no exact response. There is no standard duration of love.
You could say that love lasts for 3 years because that’s the amount of time you need to have a child and for it to become autonomous. During this period, a person doesn’t pay attention to the faults of their partner because they often find them perfect. But after these 3 years, you see a lot more faults in the other person.
So yes, the love and passion at the start of a love affair will naturally end up losing their intensity. But those aren’t the only things that count when it comes to love, fortunately. You have to remember the pleasure of being with your partner and sharing things together, the desire to be together just the two of you, and succeed in understanding each other. The pleasure that you feel with your partner – that’s what will maintain your relationship as the years go by. Whatever challenges you face, if that pleasure is maintained, love can last a lot longer than 3 years, in a different way.
It’s important not to base your experience on fairytales because love has absolutely nothing to do with “they lived happily ever after.” Love is a lot more complex than that, and even if there are some times when everything seems perfect, it’s not a constant – and the fact that this is the case doesn’t stop you from loving each other for more than 3 years.
There are clear reasons to say that love lasts 3 years, but that doesn’t mean you have to go your separate ways after 3 years in a relationship. Every human being changes and evolves over the course of their life. You mustn’t have any illusions about or idealize your partner. You have to keep your feet on the ground and tell yourself that love has different phases.
The passion of the first days you were together won’t necessarily be eternal but there are other ways to make love last in a relationship. You have to maintain the pleasure that you experience when you’re together.
And there’s another important thing that we don’t talk about enough: egotism. In love, you have to be egotistical. In other words, you can’t force yourself to stay with someone if you don’t get any pleasure from being with them. You have to be egotistical for two things: loving yourself above all and loving to be with the other person. If each partner keeps this in mind, then love can last as long as you maintain it.
What do you think about all this? Do you believe that love only lasts 3 years? Have you felt a difference when you reached the three-year mark with a partner? Share your thoughts in the comments.