Is infatuation needed for a long-term successful relationship/marriage?

Is the “spark” or “infatuation” (sometimes called limerence) needed? I was just broken up with by my girlfriend who I was infatuated with, but I know these feelings wear off and fade after a while. I’ve only been in relationships where these feelings were present. Any advice/knowledge on this?
 
I think it depends. Sometimes the limerence is an effect of your partner having some of the elements of your broken childhood making you attracted and addicted to her. If so, that is not great, the shit show follwing might be useful for your healing those wounds afterwards, but not great for a stable relationship. If you both fell for each other because you both were whole, you both allowed each other to see each other truthfully and you still went through the limerence phase then that’s great.

If you had parents who made you whole, then no worries. If not, you might need to do some work. If you know you have issues, then be careful with trusting your feelings and focus on red flags that other men warn you about rather than going by attraction. If you have done your work, screened for red flags etc then go ahead and enjoy that limerence!
 
I think it depends. Sometimes the limerence is an effect of your partner having some of the elements of your broken childhood making you attracted and addicted to her. If so, that is not great, the shit show follwing might be useful for your healing those wounds afterwards, but not great for a stable relationship. If you both fell for each other because you both were whole, you both allowed each other to see each other truthfully and you still went through the limerence phase then that’s great.

If you had parents who made you whole, then no worries. If not, you might need to do some work. If you know you have issues, then be careful with trusting your feelings and focus on red flags that other men warn you about rather than going by attraction. If you have done your work, screened for red flags etc then go ahead and enjoy that limerence!
This all makes sense. It’s hard to tell if it’s unresolved work on my side because I thought that I was whole prior to my relationship with her. I could be wrong about that though. But, I’m wondering two things based on what you say here:

1.) If I am whole, then is limerence needed for a healthy relationship?
2.) Is a partner that has had trauma that they do not want to work on in therapy to recover, a red flag?
 

stugatz

Pelican
Great thread.

It certainly wasn't required in the past, it seems like people tended to marry because they wanted access to sex (and because they wanted to continue their bloodline) so the need to find someone who really drives you wild wasn't as focused on. I don't know how common something like arranged marriages were for laymen in the West.

I want someone who I have a limerence for, and who is extremely attracted to me in return. This is because it's the norm nowadays, though, and maybe we'll get to a point where my grandchildren will feel differently and just want to pop out babies.
 
Great thread.

It certainly wasn't required in the past, it seems like people tended to marry because they wanted access to sex (and because they wanted to continue their bloodline) so the need to find someone who really drives you wild wasn't as focused on. I don't know how common something like arranged marriages were for laymen in the West.

I want someone who I have a limerence for, and who is extremely attracted to me in return. This is because it's the norm nowadays, though, and maybe we'll get to a point where my grandchildren will feel differently and just want to pop out babies.
Yeah, that makes sense. It’s definetly my preference as well. Although, looking back in history, it does seem that it wasn’t considered very important due to differing norms and lifespans even.
I ask this because I have a very attractive woman who is my friend who I just don’t have the “spark” for some reason even though she’s really kind, great, and definitely a 8/10 at least looks wise.
 

stugatz

Pelican
I know the feeling, I've had that happen to me before. Sometimes you just don't feel it with someone even if they're objectively attractive, and you rack your brain trying to figure out why that is.
 

stugatz

Pelican
Such a weird feeling, haha... do you think it can come with time?
Have you dated her? Maybe try it out and see if some kind of rapport builds? It would help if you have similar interests on top of having similar values.

Usually though, no, if you get an initial feeling of there being no spark, it's just inherent. (Not every situation is alike, though.)
 
Have you dated her? Maybe try it out and see if some kind of rapport builds? It would help if you have similar interests on top of having similar values.

Usually though, no, if you get an initial feeling of there being no spark, it's just inherent. (Not every situation is alike, though.)
Went on 2 dates last year. We have some similar interests (politics, music, etc.).

But, yeah, worst comes to worst then I'll have a good friend. Definitely trying to be honest and live with integrity through this. I get what you're saying though. Can't force things like this.

Part of me thinks that the spark happens from "what feels familiar" when one is younger... family of origin stuff. But, what do you think about that?
 
You should be physically attracted to your spouse. However, "infatuation" is not really necessary. That's more of an excessive emotional response that will fade over time.
Yeah, I know it will fade over time. I just haven't ever been in a relationship long enough for that to wear off if that makes sense. So I have no idea what the experience is like. I'm definitely physically attracted to the person I'm thinking about when I post this, but, the spark isn't there weirdly enough. What is your experience regarding this?
 

stugatz

Pelican
Went on 2 dates last year. We have some similar interests (politics, music, etc.).

But, yeah, worst comes to worst then I'll have a good friend. Definitely trying to be honest and live with integrity through this. I get what you're saying though. Can't force things like this.

Part of me thinks that the spark happens from "what feels familiar" when one is younger... family of origin stuff. But, what do you think about that?
I can tell you that if you have an attractive platonic female friend you’re not really attracted to, there are no negatives there. I never minded having female friends over the years just as long as there were no feelings (because you can’t exactly suppress that).

Not to sound shallow here, but she probably has attractive female friends you’ll meet if you end up hanging out enough. You can maybe introduce her to some guy friends of yours.
 
I can tell you that if you have an attractive platonic female friend you’re not really attracted to, there are no negatives there. I never minded having female friends over the years just as long as there were no feelings (because you can’t exactly suppress that).

Not to sound shallow here, but she probably has attractive female friends you’ll meet if you end up hanging out enough. You can maybe introduce her to some guy friends of yours.
Yeah, exactly. We can help each other out!
 
This all makes sense. It’s hard to tell if it’s unresolved work on my side because I thought that I was whole prior to my relationship with her. I could be wrong about that though. But, I’m wondering two things based on what you say here:

1.) If I am whole, then is limerence needed for a healthy relationship?
2.) Is a partner that has had trauma that they do not want to work on in therapy to recover, a red flag?
1. It’s not needed. But if you or your partner have trauma and are unable to feel limerence with a normal healthy partner that is a red flag.
2. It’s a red flag. It should make you pause, slow down, be observant, inquire gently and read between lines etc. It should also make you think about yourself, why you are attracted to women with trauma, why they are attracted to you etc. But then nobody is perfect and neither are we, if they were perfect they probably would not want us. Just figure out how bad it is, what can be done about it, if it still is worth it. My GFs dad left the family when she was young, that’s a pretty red flag and she has daddy issues. But she is great in many other ways and knowing about her issues I can avoid taking her trauma events personally while she is doing the healing with me.
 
1. It’s not needed. But if you or your partner have trauma and are unable to feel limerence with a normal healthy partner that is a red flag.
2. It’s a red flag. It should make you pause, slow down, be observant, inquire gently and read between lines etc. It should also make you think about yourself, why you are attracted to women with trauma, why they are attracted to you etc. But then nobody is perfect and neither are we, if they were perfect they probably would not want us. Just figure out how bad it is, what can be done about it, if it still is worth it. My GFs dad left the family when she was young, that’s a pretty red flag and she has daddy issues. But she is great in many other ways and knowing about her issues I can avoid taking her trauma events personally while she is doing the healing with me.
1.) Yeah, that's a good point. It's reciprocal after all. I need to keep on doing my own work.
2.) It was really bad (rape). An unwillingness to work on it too. That's on my other recent post though. - That's great that she was willing to do the work with you. That's a blessing. I think those are good questions you mention though. I'll have to do some more introspection on them. Thanks for bringing them up.
 

kamoz

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Why do you say that?

Sparks are great. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying sparks greater than I could imagine in the past. But the relationship didn’t last long. Sparks aren’t sustainable.

When choosing your wife it is very much an objective decision, like buying a house. Yes emotion is involved obviously, but not the infatuation you speak of. She must be someone you can live with comfortably day to day and enjoy being with. Infatuation blinds you from determining this. Simple test when analyzing a girl - take away the horniness and see what’s left. A lot of times the answer is “not much” for a girl you’re infatuated with.

Beyond this if you’re unsure about someone just remember that only God can find you a wife and when you know you’ll know.
 

NickK

Woodpecker
I always thought infatuation is a temporary mental sickness. I had it in the distant past.
When it wears off, you cannot believe the things you did while under the influence of this dangerous drug.

Now, I see it as a necessary evil, IF it leads to marriage. If the couple marries while still under the spell, then it's served its purpose.
But everyone postpones marriage nowadays and they seek out the next partner with whom to experience the same feeling.
 

Waverer

Robin
It lasts about two years or less so clearly no successful marriage was built on it.

I think a lot of people reject good matches and end up spinsters, or destroy good marriages, by chasing that Disney spark.
 
Top