I’m over on the ARRA blog, talking about love. https://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/guest-blogger-elsa-winckler-3/
My husband and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary this year. I adore him and I still get those stupid butterflies when I see him enter a room. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s always been an easy road. Life, as we know, is messy and when two stubborn people share a house sparks are bound to fly, especially when you add three stubborn kids to the mix.
In the midst of ‘doing’ life, we rarely think about why, despite the bumpy road, the many, many hills, the curve balls, the scorching winds, our marriages/relationships are actually working. I was recently asked to give a talk on love, life and marriage and was forced to sit down for a moment to think about the why.
How do two people, each with their own background, their own set of ‘rules’, their own way of doing things, their own belief system, their own idiosyncrasies, manage to stay together for 30, 40, 50 years or longer?
In Greek there are four words for love: storge, philia, eros and agapé. CS Lewis gave a series of talks about these words way back in 1958. Storge is the empathy bond (liking someone through the fondness of familiarity), philia is the love between friends, eros is the romantic love and agapé the unconditional ‘God’ love, the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances.
Eros is the love we as romance writers love to explore. The meet cute, the agony of not knowing why suddenly the whole world is upside down until our hero and heroine finally realise they’ve found ‘the one’, when they’ve fallen in love.
We are told the buzz eros creates only lasts twelve months (although I have to add here, I don’t quite agree), so there has to be more to the relationship than mere physical attraction for it to last over decades. Lewis describes it so beautifully: ‘Falling in love is something that happens to us, staying in love is something we do.’ And he goes on to explain: ‘Eros needs a nest of storge.’
I also came across an article by Liz Steelman titled 8 Secrets of Long-married Couples, in which she discusses the findings of the gerontologist, Karl Pillemer’s research. He interviewed 700 couples and asked them how they managed to stay married for 30, 40 and 50 years. Do go and read the article—interesting stuff.
What tickled me was the very first piece of advice—‘Don’t settle. Only get married if you’re in love. Like, butterflies in your stomach love.’ This is, of course, eros.
I love this, because I firmly believe if you marry the one who gives you butterflies, you have a great chance to be one of the lucky ones—you’ll have a lover who is not only your friend, but also your soul mate.
This is exactly the kind of love Dale Cavallo (An Impossible Attraction), David Cavallo (An Irresistible Temptation) and Darryn Cavallo (The Ultimate Surrender) are looking for. Not consciously, mind you. They’re much too in control of their feelings, too busy with the string of boutique hotels they own to admit what they really need.
They’re successful, passionate and they have the ability to love deeply, but they’re busy, they’re successful and when they need a woman, they never have a problem finding one. It is only when their brother Don marries Caitlin Sutherland that they meet the women who would bring them to their knees.
And I’d like to think these are relationships that will last—all the ingredients are there: storge, philia, eros and agapé.
Thanks to Tule Publishing for the re-release of these three stories. I hope you enjoy reading each brother’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.