Real Love Is Like A Greased Pig

August 10th, 2011

I recently read an article called “Love is Like a Greased Pig” by Mark Gungor. He says, “True love doesn’t follow you like a little puppy that is constantly there. It’s actually more like a greased pig! You have to chase after it and pursue it. You have to run it down and tackle it and when it gets away, you go after it one more time. You may finally get a hold of it for a while, but then the little rascal can slip away and you have to chase it down again.”

We’ve all heard stories and know people who have ended marriages because they felt like they had “fallen out of love.” Research indicates that this is one of the most common reasons people give for their divorce. While I do believe there is a possibility that feelings can change over time (and maybe it was an immature kind of love in the first place), I think that if the couple is truly committed and working for the good of the relationship it would be hard to suddenly stop loving the other.

Of course it also depends on your definition of love! To some, love means passion and euphoria, what the Greek philosophers called Eros. To others, love is companionship and friendship or Philia. But the love that can strengthen relationships when practiced is Agape or compassionate and charitable love. While both Eros and Philia have important places in relationships, when we strive to be more intentional in our love and compassionate towards our partner, real love is developed and can get you through the trials of everyday life.

Extensive research on the stages of marriage has shown that the initial feelings of euphoria (Eros) in relationships usually only lasts six months to two years. Once a couple hits that point when real life takes its toll on the relationship, their future can go one of two ways. They can choose to be more intentional or, as Gungor says, they assume they aren’t in love anymore since that buzz is gone and decide to be “true to their feelings” and leave. Gungor says in his article, “Of course our feelings change over time. There is no way that the initial euphoria can go on and on. It gives way to a deeper and more mature kind of love.”

You need to chase after love. Make your marriage and spouse your number one priority. Invest your time and energy into your spouse and in your relationship. Pay attention to each other, talk to each other, go on dates, and be intimate with one another (physically and emotionally).

I know from experience that life only gets harder and busier. Even though I’ve only been married for two years, I feel like it has been the busiest two years of my life! We both were going to school and working, had a baby, graduated from school, applied for graduate schools and started new jobs. But through it all we’ve tried to maintain some sort of balance with our responsibilities and our relationship. We may not be able to go on a lot of dates (which we are trying to remedy) but we make sure we sit down to dinner together every night and spend some time at night to enjoy each other’s company even if it’s just by cuddling up and sharing a bowl of ice cream (okay I really just eat it all). It was hard at first to realize we needed to try harder in our relationship, but I can tell you it’s made all the difference.

Gungor said you need to “go after it! Wrestle that greased pig to the ground and when it squirts out of your grasp and gets away, chase it down again. Realize that it is work and commitment that allows you to hold on to love… as greasy and slippery as it can be sometimes! Don’t let it just squeal and run away.”

I’m still young, but I suspect that over time—maybe a long time—maybe you don’t have to work quite so hard. That grease dissipates and gets old and less slippery, eventually making it easier to hold on to that pig.