Making Love Last


Falling in love never grows old. Regardless of your age, a new romance softens the hardest of hearts and awakens long lost regions of the soul.

Clinical psychologist and couples therapist Ayala Pines reflects on the significance love plays in our lives:

Does romantic love ever become a lower priority for people?

I don’t think so. Romantic love is especially important for men and women in midlife. A number of women in their fifties find the great love of their lives. Forty- and fifty-year-old men are connecting to the female side of their personalities and long for greater intimacy with their partners. Even if your sex drive goes down (due to a decline in sex hormones), there is no reason why romantic love should have a lower priority at this age.

How can a couple rekindle a relationship?

When the love in a relationship dies completely, no amount of rekindling will help. But if a few embers are still smoldering, try and inject some adrenaline (the elixir of love) into the relationship by taking a trip abroad, hiking, taking a dance class or going on a spiritual retreat. Couples therapy can also help.

Why do you feel one of the best opportunities for personal growth is within the context of a romantic relationship?

We’ve all been in situations where the things that attract us most in the beginning of a relationship become a great source of stress later on. She loved his sense of humor but later complains they can’t hold a serious conversation, or he was attracted to her sensitivity but complains later that she is too sensitive. If you can control your urge to withdraw when things get tough — a great challenge and opportunity for growth — you can give each other what you need most (or complete the unfinished emotional business of your childhood), and also grow in the direction you need as an individual.

When the love in a relationship dies completely, no amount of rekindling will help. But if a few embers are still smoldering, try and inject some adrenaline (the elixir of love) into the relationship by taking a trip abroad, hiking, taking a dance class or going on a spiritual retreat. Couples therapy can also help.

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