Editor's Note: A version of this article was originally published on NurturingMarriage.org. It has been reprinted here with permission.
"New love" — it's flaunted in sitcoms, popular books, movies and among celebrities we read about in magazines. We all know what it feels like. Butterflies, day dreams, a slight obsession with some new person... Feelings that take us back to our high school days.
New love = novelty. A novelty that is exciting, inviting and flirtatious.
But be careful not to get caught up longing for new love when deep and lasting love is sitting right next to you. For those who feel like the desire for new love forever tempts them, we have news for you: "married love" is way better than new love. Yes, married love is what "happily ever afters" are made of.
We see a dangerous pattern everywhere around us. It goes like this: marriage gets old, the novelty of our once "new love" wears off and we tire of our spouses. The grass looks greener on the other side. New love flirts with us, inviting us to revisit old feelings, to start a new adventure with a new person, to find greater happiness outside of marriage...
Please don't fall into the trap of thinking it can't get any better than "new love."
Those new love feelings don't last forever. They aren't intended to — that's why they're called new love. Rather, new love is intended to mature into something much, much better.
New love is meant to lead to deep and lasting love — the kind of love that can only be found in marriage, a love that remains loyal through thick and thin, a love that still creates butterflies, day dreams and an obsession with your one-and-only (but in a deeper and more meaningful way)!
The true love found in marriage is a deepening love, a love that grows and is nurtured with time and effort, a love that changes and matures as the days, weeks and years go by.
Deep love = true love. Deep love = mature love.
This kind of real love brings the greatest happiness, pleasure and fulfillment — more than we ever comprehended. It is a "time-tested, true through-and-through" kind of love. Yes, married love is deeper, more real, more fulfilling. It's certainly not boring love. It's the kind of love that fairy tales are made of.
As you're watching that romantic comedy or reading that romance novel, if you find the desire for new love sneaking in, think again. New love had its time and place. It brought you and your spouse together.
As your relationship has grown, your love has grown. As you got to know each other's thoughts, dreams, fears, strengths and weaknesses, some of the intrigue of new love may have worn off, but that certainly doesn't mean your flame has died down. It simply means your love has matured in meaningful ways. That is how love is meant to be — truly coming to know another person, sharing yourself and your life, wholly, with your special person.
New love worked its magic and invited deep, real, true love to blossom.
So, you see, new love is not true love. Married love is. Married love is the stuff "happily ever afters" are made of.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.