My bestie Dan was scratching for brownie points recently when he posted me a lovely book called Conditions of Love by John Armstrong.
It's a sensational read that attempts to unwrap the truth behind that thing we all want: real romantic love. Mr Armstrong attempts to explain what right love really might be, and what wrong love probably is.
One thing he talks about is love in the after-glow. You know, the 'happily ever after' bit... the Forever. After all, who wants to catch love, only to see it flutter away and escape - or perhaps even more true - succumb to a sudden, violent death from our own smoking gun.
The problem with the after-glow is, it's really really hard to compare it to the actual glow: the early period of romance... the warm days of meeting someone, feeling your heart skip, opening up a butterfly farm inside your knowing gut, inviting new lips to rest upon yours for the first time... what I like to call the giddy Glow.
But the fundamental flaw in this God-given high is, How do we follow up? How do we live up to its defective expectation?
Mr Armstrong says that, unfortunately, when the early period of heated passion diminishes, it looks as if love is declining.
Now aint that just an unfair truth: The perceived "genuine period of love" has passed. They honeymoon is over. And then comes... what, exactly? Hopefully more love and happy days of course, but perhaps threatened by increased cases of irritation, the revealing of annoying habits, boredom, disillusionment, and - the worst culprit of all - repetition. No more surprises.
So, when things get hard and love is tested, we often turn to the physically and mentally impossible: we try to go back to the early days. To revive the giddy Glow in order to regain what has been "lost". And, as Mr Armstrong explains, not only is this tragically unachievable, but it bestows unnecessary elevation upon the beginning of a relationship, and thus, stabbing its future in the back.
We all want love that lasts, right? So, according to this view, what we really need to do is accept that love changes its looks with time. It develops wrinkles. It grows a little fatter. It loses its hair. We need to trust that the giddy Glow (no matter how pretty it may be) is not the benchmark - nor the ideal version of love. It's just a lovely little starting-point; an emotionally powerful kick-up-the-butt from nature to ensure things get going and our survival on earth is maintained.
But then, after nature's little "welcome to a new relationship" present - we're on our own. We then need to cultivate a mature attitude towards ever-lasting love, and trust that what comes next is the real test... that we don't need to pull out our gun and shoot, just because we suddenly find ourselves in the after-glow.