by Kassandra Lamb
Love, like cheese and wine, tends to get better with age, in a mellow kind of way. Oh yes, it can go in the direction of moldy or potentially turn into vinegar, but more often than not, it mellows into a very deep friendship.
My favorite model for understanding love (if one can ever understand love) comes from a psychologist named Robert Sternberg. He put a whole new twist on the concept of a love triangle.
First he distilled love down into three components: passion, intimacy and commitment. You might assume that these terms are self-explanatory, but when I was teaching psychology I was amazed at how many college students had never really thought about their definitions.
- Passion: physical attraction (this one is obvious)
- Intimacy: closeness through self-disclosure (sharing who you are, your feelings, your past, etc.)
- Commitment: making the effort to maintain the relationship
The ideal love, that’s strong enough to base a marriage on, is consummate love, according to Sternberg—a fairly equal balance between these three components. A triangle with equal sides.
So what happens when the relationship “ages?”
Often the passion slows down. (Why do you think we have all those ED medications out there?)
Even if there are no physical problems, our energy levels go down with age. The number of nights when one or both partners are too tired to even think about sex increases.
The passion rarely goes away completely, although it can, especially if there is some medical reason why the couple can’t have sex.
But even then, a relationship that had a strong base to begin with will usually still be deemed a happy one by the partners. Why?
Because the commitment and the intimacy have grown over the years. The couple knows each other, and trusts each other, like no one else does. And they have many years of shared experiences.
So the triangle has become skewed, with two long sides and one short one, but it’s still strong. Sometimes stronger than ever.
Aging and love mellowing are subplot themes in my new release, Book #9 in the Kate Huntington mysteries. The main character, who was in her 30’s when the series began, is now dealing with menopause and an angst-ridden pre-teen daughter.
But that doesn’t stop her from chasing down leads to unravel the latest mystery!
Official release day is this Saturday, 2/18, but it’s now available for preorder.
Just $1.99 during preorder and for 5 days after the release! (Goes up to $3.99 on 2/22)
ANXIETY ATTACK, A Kate Huntington Mystery, #9
When an operative working undercover for Kate Huntington’s husband is shot, the alleged shooter turns out to be one of Kate’s psychotherapy clients, a man suffering from severe social anxiety. P.I. Skip Canfield had doubts from the beginning about this case, a complicated one of top secret projects and industrial espionage. Now one of his best operatives, and a friend, is in the hospital fighting for his life.
Tensions build when Skip learns that Kate—who’s convinced her client is innocent and too emotionally fragile to survive in prison—has been checking out leads on her own. Then a suspicious suicide brings the case to a head. Is the shooter tying up loose ends? Almost too late, Skip realizes he may be one of those loose ends, and someone seems to have no qualms about destroying his agency or getting to him through his family.
Your thoughts on the mellowing of love with age?
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological suspense series, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.
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