Love Is Hard Work

Question: What happens over time to a relationship?

Ted Fischer: I hope my wife doesn’t see this, but I -- there is some sort of chemistry with other individuals, of course, but again, I think, it’s not something fate puts upon us.  We create that.  We may be at a certain point in our lives where we really want to fall in love even if we don’t consciously realize that.  There are certainly fits that are better than others and some people like to partner with people who they fight with.  Some people like to partner with people who they never fight with.  There are all sorts of variations.  So I think there are better fits than others.  And sometimes people fall in love at first sight and marry, and make it work, and it works wonderfully.  But I don’t think it has to be that way.  I think that we can, again going back to this notion of that we make love, we make what we consider to be love as a society, but also as individuals, and we can make it work.  And in fact, I would say, I don’t know, I’m sort of going out on a limb here, but I would say that sort of the high divorce rate now and the transients of marriage or not even of marriage, long-term partnerships is partly due to where overly romantic notions of what love should be like.  Yeah, there are these moments of euphoria and hopefully they last longer than not.  But love is also really hard work.  It’s compromising.  It is creating this life together with another person.

The Vanderbilt anthropologist describes how ultimately chemistry might fade. But when that happens, compromises can keep a relationship going.

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