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Real Love Comes After ‘Being in Love’

In the novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (written in 1994) an older man named Dr. Iannis tells his daughter about his love for his late wife. He says that at first love “erupts like a volcano” but then it subsides. “And when it subsides,” he continues, “you have to make a decision. Do you want real love or just being ‘in love?’”

Then he gives this definition for true marital love: “[Real] love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away … Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches, we found we were one tree and not two.”

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