I was very physically attracted to my wife when I met her. I remained physically attracted to her for 14 years until her passing, though not nearly as strongly as I was when we met. My parents were married 51 years, and they were initially very physically attracted to one another. Among my friends, I have noted there seems to be a correlation between how attracted they initially were to one another, and how happy they are now (stronger the attraction, stronger the marriage is even when looks fade).
Now, of course we all know that looks fade with age, but I've often wondered if physical attraction can leave an afterglow that lasts long after physical attraction fades. So, my question to y'all is does physical attraction have a staying power all its own?
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Actually, there are tons of theories addressing your concern...
Purely scientific, but research indicates that once a couple has had sex, and specifically produced children, there is some mechanism in the brain that redefines the couple as... well... relatives. Not saying it is an insurmountable problem, or even that it is proven. But i have heard situations where that might explain some issues...
I've never been married, but i have done the romance dance a time or two. Longest serious relationship was four years, two of them actually. I stayed with both as long as i did because there was a physical chemistry between us, as in attraction. One ditched me to go on to college, the other i ditched because she was a chronic complainer. Either way, i never reached the procreation stage.
Some couples keep the momentum going by introducing 'lifestyle' changes. I don't judge this, and in fact one man i talked to had taken one of these to a deep and mutual level that seemed to enhance their relationship. Keep in mind, this was online, so there's lot i was not able to know and especially witness.
To answer your question overall... at 57 i've found that all of my interactions with women involve lifestage circumstances... aging parents, retirement, even change of residence. I can only transpose to say that, within marriage i'm thinking that ideally i would transition more into a state of mutual resolution of problems which might actually replace most of the physical. Supportive hugs, sure... going to sleep in each other's arms, probably. But in that latter case i can see it being a shared expression of nostalgia and contentment about all we had been through together over the years.0
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