Why Mature Love is Rarer than Lust

Have you ever wondered why you don’t get the butterflies and sweaty palms from your significant other anymore? Do you fear that it means you aren’t attracted to them any longer?

Young Love

During freshman year, I saw this handsome, brown-haired guy.

He was not only cute, but he could make me laugh. My stomach felt like I was on an endless roller coaster ride. I was on cloud nine when he talked to me. Everything was going right in my world, and I had ultra-focus on him. All day long I was locked in a perpetual daydream; starring him and me.

Remember the butterflies and the sweaty palms you’d get around your crush the first few weeks? Your mind was stuck on this person; nothing else really mattered.

This new infatuation could have looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame and had the breath of a dragon, but somehow your mind overlooked all these qualities and focused only on all the wonderful, positive things.

Many call this “puppy love” or infatuation; it is a fleeting feeling. Studies say it only lasts 18 months to 3 years.

Puppy Love Characteristics:

  • Spend all your time together (aka clingy)
  • Your phone becomes a new bodily appendage (aka codependent)
  • You share things that you wouldn’t with your gynecologist
  • Intense and quick feelings
  • Selfishness (we want what makes us happy)

We get stuck on the lack of these feelings, don’t we?

We think something is wrong with us- or our relationship- when we aren’t feeling it in our stomachs, or our hands don’t get sweaty.

Now, I’m not saying that your spouse can’t give you those feelings, but generally, they don’t last all day for weeks on end. (If they do, what’s your secret?)

 What happened to all those feelings?

Someone once said, “where puppy love ends, the relationship begins.”

Why Mature Love is Rarer than Lust. Infatuation. Real Love. Marriage. Stability. God's example of love.


Wrong Expectations

I don’t know about you, but my expectations were all wrong. I’ve felt guilt and shame because, the majority of the time, I don’t have the butterflies. As a result, I thought something was wrong with me or my relationship.

What I’ve realized is: my relationship is so much better than puppy love. My relationship is mature and weathered. I don’t need to impress my husband any longer; he knows the real me.

Even on days when I do something dumb and hurtful.

What Love Is:

  • Strong foundation that happens gradually
  • Trust
  • Commitment
  • Deepening emotional bond
  • Care about the desires and well-being of the other person
  • Stable (it doesn’t come and go)
  • Forgiveness
  • Embraces the quirks and oddities of the other person
  • Encourages the other person to be the person they want to be

Isn’t this what we desire in our hearts? A stable, never-ending sweet spot which embraces us in our good and bad days.

God’s Love Is the Role Model

God’s devotion for us is all of this and more. He is our model of love for the significant other in our life.

Mature love moves us to fight and fix rather than forget and fail.

Why Mature Love is Rarer than Lust. Infatuation. Real Love. Marriage. Stability. God's example of love.


When we understand and accept God’s tenderness for us, we can then delight in our spouses in the way God designed us to.

Loving our spouses is loving Jesus.

(Matthew 25:40, NLT).

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[a] you were doing it to me!’

Why Mature Love is More Rare than Lust. Infatuation. Real Love. Marriage. Stability. God's example of love.This post is shared here.



17 thoughts on “Why Mature Love is Rarer than Lust

  1. Spot on Julie. Thanks for this wisdom. Especially this “my relationship is so much better than puppy love”- even if we have those days and moments still, some of the most precious moments are where mature love is lived out, like fighting FOR each other when we argue and turning to the Lord together even when we’re having difficulty. Love this!

  2. “When we understand and accept God’s tenderness for us, we can then delight in our spouses in the way God designed us to.” I think you are right on! You’ve written such a good article here and I think I might show it to my son and his girlfriend. It may be just the wisdom they need at this point in their relationship.

    Blessings to you, Julie! Have a great weekend. I happen to be your neighbor this week at #FreshMarketFriday!

  3. Wonderful words! You are so right, that everything flows out of His Love for us. When we are confident of being loved by Him, then we can embrace others with a real, self-sacrificing kind of love.

    1. Jerrelea- yes, God directs us to live and love well! We need an intimate relationship with Him before we can live or love well!

  4. Great post, Julie. Those early days of doe-eyed affection were fun, but I like how you point out that where that end relationship ends. I wouldn’t trade the deep, trial worn, proven love and friendship that my husband and I have after 18 years for all those bells and whistles. Though, bells and whistles can still be fun. 😉

    1. Tiffany- yes the bells and whistles can be fun, but this is more stable and comfortable. We’re celebrating 18 years this year too.!
      Blessings to you!

  5. We do need to always work with the right expectations when possible, yes! Unrealistic expectations can mess up many relationships. Thanks for the encouragement to not confuse lust and love. You speak truth, Julie.

  6. When my husband and I talk about the early months of our relationship, we agree that neither one of us ‘knew anything’! We know so much more after 20 years and our love has deepened and matured. We’ve gotten to the ‘good stuff’. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *