Did you know that the average lifespan of the “falling in love” or the “emotional obsession” stage of a relationship is only two years long?
This was news to me after hearing Dr. Gary Chapman speak at the Hearts at Home conference, an expo for over 4,000 moms, a couple weeks ago.
He and author Lysa Terkeurst, were the keynote speakers for the weekend, and I came away with so many useful tools to help me as a new mom, and surprisingly, much insightful information for my marriage too.
The first session I sat in, Dr. Chapman reviewed The 5 Love Languages with us. I was happy to get a refresher since it had been several years since I had read his book and taken the love language profile at the end.
Dr. Chapman began his message discussing three ways our society uses the word “love”:
- Falling in love
- Love as an attitude
- Love as an emotional need
He opened up point number one with the statement that the “average lifespan of the ‘falling in love’ stage is two years” (Hearts at Home notes, March 14, 2015).
Through humorous stories from his experiences and from his patients whom he counseled over the years, he helped me reminisce of when my husband and I first met. Although he had the audience, (including me) laughing, tears began to well-up in my eyes as he explained why so many marriages don’t last because the ending of “the tingles,” as he called them. Because so many men and women’s idea of love is based on a feeling, they are left severely disappointed when that feeling wears off, and they are questioning if they ever loved this person that had them so head-over-heels.
Dr. Chapman’s point highlighted the possible reason behind most adulterous relationships, empty marriages, and divorce.
Hearing this, I began to apply it to my relationship history with my husband. I believe our “tingles” lasted longer than two years because of our circumstances:
- We dated for two months before he proposed and we were very busy with the wedding planning for a year.
- He was in and out of town a lot for work our first year of marriage, so we very rarely saw each other.
- From the second-third year of marriage, he worked three jobs so that we could get out of credit card debt. Another year went by where we couldn’t spend as much time together.
- We started the journey of starting our family in the fourth year of our marriage, so the process brought us even closer.
We are now in our fifth year of marriage and are learning the ropes as new parents. Together we have entered one of the most challenging seasons we have ever had to face in our marriage. We are finding weaknesses in our relationship that we didn’t know existed. I can tell you honestly, my friends, the tingles have officially worn off.
The reason I sat in tears as Dr. Chapman continued his teaching was because I didn’t want to see my marriage become empty or broken. This was the first time I realized that I couldn’t just ride the emotional high of love any longer; I had to become intentional about speaking my husband’s love language and filling his “love tank.”
No, I couldn’t just drift along in the sea of love with my mate. We had to learn how to row this marriage boat together, and I had to learn how to paddle my oar.
The first way I am going to do this is re-take The 5 Love Languages profile and encourage my husband to do the same. Once we both have completed the assessment, I’m going to review and study my husband’s results and write down practical ways that I can begin to fill his love tank using his love language(s).
I invite you to join me on this journey I’m going to call the “Love Language Experiment.”
For the sake of this experiment, I’m going to record my efforts and will be posting an update at least once a month so you can keep up-to-date on how things are going.
If we want to see improvement and revival in our marriages, we have to get intentional.
That’s exactly what my husband and I are going to do.
I challenge and encourage those of you who are married, to try out the experiment yourself.
Even if you think you know your spouse’s love language, try taking the quiz again with him/her. You may be surprised to see the results if it has been a few years!
Here we go!
If you would like to take The 5 Love Languages® quiz, click HERE for the link!
Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo