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Researchers Track the Temporary Nature of Infatuation

The New York Times reported on a major study that tracked 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over the course of 15 years. The article reported that "newlyweds enjoy a big happiness boost that lasts, on average, for just two years. Then the special joy wears off and they are back where they started, at least in terms of happiness." These findings have been confirmed by several more studies.

Christian author Gary Thomas illustrates these findings by using the image of an hourglass. Thomas says,

The moment you become smitten by someone—the second you find yourself deeply "in love"—is the moment that hourglass gets turned over. There is enough sand in that hourglass, on average, to last you about twelve to eighteen months. On occasion, the sand may trickle down a bit beyond that, up to about two years, but never by much and not with the same intensity. The average life span of an infatuation is almost always less than two years.
Yes, sexual chemistry and romantic attraction can remain [or be revived, but those romantic feelings will be revived, but they cease to be the main glue that holds a relationship together on a day-to-day basis. Feelings become "warm and dependable" more than "hot and excitable." God simply did not design our brains to sustain a lifelong infatuation.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Marriage; Dating; Premarital Counseling—This is a great example for the need to develop a long-term commitment in marriage. (2) God's Love; God, covenants of—This illustration could also be used to contrast our limited human love with God's everlasting covenant love—that is, God doesn't have an hourglass!

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