This Is The Difference Between Love That Lasts A Lifetime & Love That Fades

by Annie Foskett

Love is elusive, whether you are looking for it, already in it, or writing about it (hi). While most things in life are definite — from infancy we learn what "hot" and "cold" are, and what "happy" and "sad" feel like — "love" is this ambiguous, intangible mass. What feels like "love" to me could feel like "lust" to you. It's not unlike the hackneyed question: "Do we both see the same color as blue?" And as for how to know if your love will last, who can really say?

There must be some sort of formula that leads to the kind of lasting love that that old couple in Titanic, who held hands and kissed in bed as the ship went down, had. (Yes, I'm aware that's a fictional movie, but I'll never stop crying about that scene.) In my own life, I've seen this kind of unrelenting love. I witnessed my dad as he took care of my mom tirelessly and with enormous pride during her final, incredibly difficult days as the enormous jerk that is breast cancer won out. While I don't know every detail of their relationship, overall, I would say there's no way that their love "faded" — and they met as teenagers.

On the other hand, the divorce rate is between 40 to 50 percent in the United States, so I know that everlasting love is not the rule at all. There is no relationship that has zero ebbs and flows, and there is certainly no relationship that has a Benjamin Button-eqsue syndrome for passion — as in, a couple that has passion that gets hotter every year. (Let me have that one? Also, what a strange movie.)

If you're into being clairvoyant, and want to know how you can determine if you and your partner's love will last or fade, I think the best answer I can give you is: time will tell. That said, I'm not an expert, so I spoke to renowned love architect (yes!) Kailen Rosenberg, founder of The Lodge Social Club, a members-only dating app that launched March 7. The Lodge is distinguished in that it offers a clearly defined code of ethics, and a three-step vetting verification process. So clearly, Rosenberg knows how to quantify relationships. I asked her to share how she felt one could tell if their love would last or fade. Here's what she had to say:

Relationships Are Not Synonymous With Love

“It’s important to distinguish between love, and a 'relationship', as they don't always necessarily go hand in hand," says Rosenberg. You can enter a relationship without necessarily being in love, and love can also outlast a relationship. "Love that is real many times outlasts a relationship," says Rosenberg. "Meaning, that 'real' love never dies, even if the relationship has come to an end." Very interesting... I would agree that there are first loves you might never get over, and love like my parents had and will always have. Love is in your gut.

Yes, Really, You'll Have A Gut Feeling

Turns out I wasn't off the mark with that last sentiment! When trying to determine whether your love will fade or last, trust your insides. “It always starts with intuition, that gut feeling from the get-go," explains Rosenberg. "If you don’t look for or acknowledge the signs that show such as a seeming disinterest, being disconnected and uninterested in what the other is doing in their life," then you might end up in a love that fades — mostly because it was never meant to be. I know far too many people who have stayed in relationships too long to prove something, or for fear of starting over.

But If You're Wondering Whether Your Love Will Fade, Consider Why

Rosenberg says that if you're wondering whether your love will last — or Googling this article — it's important to think about why you're attempting to predict your relationship's fate. "Being in a relationship and choosing the right partner is one of the most important decisions you'll make in your life," says Rosenberg. "It affects your job, happiness, health, self esteem, everything!" That said, she also explains that it is OK to question a relationship, and that doubts are completely normal. Again, "follow your gut and listen to your heart," she says.

The Right Love Will Last

At the end of the day, there's a clear bottom line: "If you have an alive cohesiveness within your relationship with your partner that is filled with healthy attachment, communication and respect, then it has a wonderful chance at lasting," says Rosenberg. And if you don't feel this way? That's OK too. You'll learn something from the relationship and get clearer on what you want in the future. "Don't hold on too tight," says Rosenberg. "Life is too short and precious not to experience the amazing joy that comes from the right partner and relationship." Can we engrave that somewhere? Get a Times Square billboard? It's OK to love someone forever, but it's also OK to have loved and lost. You'll know what's right.