Does a Relationship Improve with Age? Wedding After 10 Years of Dating

This wedding was unique in that it was held at the bride’s parents’ home.  It was very intimate – only immediate family.  They had the ceremony in their back yard overlooking a lake.  It was a beautiful sunny day and the sun was sparkling off the water.

I was so taken by the vows that the couple exchanged.  They had written their own vows – and both were so honest and heartfelt.  This couple had been dating for 10 years prior to getting married.  This fact was so comforting to me – as it shows that true love and butterflies can still exist after years of knowing the other person inside and out.

I strongly feel that it is so easy to feel connected to one’s partner early on in the relationship, mainly because each person tends to agree with each other on almost everything.  It is easy to spot new couples in restaurants by the constant verbal exchange that bounces back and forth – I believe this is mainly due to the fact that new couples like the feeling of validating and being validated by their new partner.  This constant feeling of connectedness and feeling understood makes us feel warm and fuzzy – and we crave this “good” feeling.

According to psychologists in the Marriage and Family Therapy field, (which I received my Masters degree in), it is the ability to disagree and be true to oneself in the presence of another that defines true intimacy – and this type of intimacy is much more likely to be experienced later on in the relationship.  It is the vulnerability that one experiences when showing parts of oneself that may not be accepted by the partner, that establishes the differentiation necessary for experiencing true intimacy in a relationship.

The media teaches us that intimacy is the feeling of infatuation with our partner and feeling understood and validated by our partner.  In actuality, we must learn to self-validate while in the presence of our partner – at the risk of our partner not accepting our position.  This is extremely difficult to do – because it increases the feeling of anxiety and vulnerability, but this is the stuff of lasting marriages – according to the Marriage and Family Therapy school of thought.

When I saw this couple get married after 10 years of truly knowing each other, it gave me hope for lasting relationships – and how a relationship just gets better with age.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Great post Page. It’s cool that they dated for 10 years before they got married.

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