Pursuing Real Love

by Gary Chapman, best-selling author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

We can recognize the in-love experience for what it was – a temporary emotional high – and now pursue “real love” with our spouse. That kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional.

It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth. Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct.

That is good news to the married couple who have lost all of their “in-love” feelings. If love is a choice, then they have the capacity to love after the “in-love” obsession has died and they have returned to the real world. That kind of love begins with an attitude – a way of thinking. Love is the attitude that says, “I am married to you, and I choose to look out for your interests.” Then the one who chooses to love will find appropriate ways to express that decision.


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