Being captured by love-bombing leads to a world of hurt down the road. See it early, and here's how.

Never mistake love-bombing for love!

Never mistake lust for love!

Great advice for dating! This episode, with Dr. Terri Orbuch, is SO important, especially when you're dating. And, even more especially if you're dating after leaving a difficult, or toxic, relationship. You need to know these distinctions so that you feel more confident in the dating scene.


Answers to...

  • How does science-based research into dating and love help?
  • Can you learn to trust after betrayal?
  • Is it true that the US has a very high divorce rate?
  • At what point in a relationship is divorced more likely to happen?
  • When excitement and passion decline, does that mean the relationship is in trouble?
  • What can couples do to reignite the passion?
  • What is the difference between love and lust?
  • How is love is different from love-bombing?

See Dr. Orbuch's info below.

Machine Transcript:

Dr. Shaler:           You may think you know how to tell the difference between love and lust and love bombing, but you may not. You may not be able to calibrate those things. Very important to know. Today's guest is not only a person with great relationship information as solutions, she's also a researcher and she has followed couples for years to see what's going on. You're going to find so much great stuff in this interview with dark dietary or book and I really invite you to listen in carefully to realize what the ingredients are that really are part of what we long for the love we long for that cannot be sustained with only love bombings. Stay tuned.

Dr. Shaler:           welcome to emotional savvy, the relationship help show I'm Dr. Rhoberta Shaler,  If you're ready to increase your confidence in conversations and conflict, deepen your self awareness, expand your connectedness and enrich your relationship with yourself and other humans you care about and even those you wish you didn't your in the right place. Enjoy today's episode

Dr. Shaler:           I’m so excited today. As I mentioned in the intro, my guest today is Dr. Terri Orbuch and she is someone I've waited to interview because she brings together some very important factors. Not only does she have experience in the therapeutic world, but she has experience as a researcher and we're going to find out why that is so important. So I want to tell you a little bit about my guest. Dr. Terry Orbuch is also known as “the love doctor.” She's an author, professor, speaker, and research scientist where science-based advice has helped thousands of people find and create the loving relationships they deserve. You feel like you deserve one. We're going to talk about that. She is the director of a landmark study funded by the national institutes of health that has been following the same couples for three decades. You imagine how much information she's glean, think of your own life in the last three decades and your relationships. She's the other of five simple steps to take your marriage from good to great and finding love again. Six simple steps to a new and happy relationship. Welcome to the program. Dr. Terry.

Dr. Terri:              Well, thank you for having me here. It's great to be here today.

Dr. Shaler:           I love the fact that you've been following these folks for 30 years. I wonder if they it, what did they say?

Dr. Terri:              You know, that's a really interesting question, Dr Roberta. I like to think that they like it because they're part of this great landmark study and so their experiences are really informing books and articles and practical kinds of implementations or interventions. They actually like it as well because they all get to tell their stories about their relationships that worked and didn't work.

Dr. Shaler:           so how many of these couples, what percentage I guess, of these couples are still together after 30 years?

Dr. Terri:              Well, I'm going to switch it just a little bit, Dr. Roberta and say that 46% have divorced over time. So if I have been following 373 couples now for over 30 years, I like to say that I've been following 746 individuals, about a half of whom are still married to one another and a half of whom are no longer married to one another. So again, in your study, we're kind of looking at that general statistic of the 50% divorce rate.

Dr. Shaler:           So maybe it's a little bit different in your case because there are 54% are still married, sounds like. But what do you attribute that divorce rate to?

Dr. Terri:              You mean in general or in my study? I think, by the way I should say that it's really important for us to understand that the divorce rates in the United States have been going down. So something has been influencing the decrease in divorce rates over time. I like to say that in the mid 1980s when the divorce rates were so high and they were 66% two out of three couples ended in divorce. That people had really high expectations about what they would get from this marriage and relationship and what they would get from their partner. And in fact, when we look at research, people thought they would find their best friend, the best partner, the best parent, the best in lover, the best provider, the best, best, best.

And when we have such high expectations, I think that no one ever can meet those expectations, dr Roberta. And what happens is, is that people just get frustrated and disappointed. And what I have found in my study is that when you have unrealistic expectations about your partner and a relationship and they're not met, you get frustrated and it eats away at the happiness. I can look at happiness over time and then it just gets, it gets lower and lower. When these expectations aren't met, when reality doesn't meet our should statements, we become unhappy. So where do these expectations come from? Somebody set these folks up to believe that this was supposed to be paradise and all rosy and wonderful and it any major bump

Dr. Shaler:           in the road was a cut and run opportunity. So what do you think set them up for these expectations?

Dr. Terri:              Well, I think our society as set these couples up and us, me included up for failure or in 90 I don't even want to say failure. Disappointment. And so when the media tells us that passion should be high, always in a relationship, and then when it's not, because it inevitably can't be, we get disappointed and frustrated and we take it out on our partner. Something's wrong with our partner. Something's wrong with our relationship, our religion, our family, soap operas, romance novels. I think they all set us up for these myths and unrealistic expectations.

Dr. Shaler:           Well, I certainly agree with that. I think that what you were just saying about culture and popular culture certainly does set us up for things. And in that situation, when somebody is set up for it, uh, their expectations are high, but Eroni is because it's not a real life and then they are immediately disappointed. Do you have any idea how many of them actually go for help? I mean, the Gartman study shows that people have a problem for six years before they go for help. But in that case, what we're speaking of, I think they often quit before six years. What's your experience?

Dr. Terri:              Well, in my study, the most common time to get divorced was between five and seven years. So it's, it's very similar to the Gottman's work, but few couples and few individuals reach out for relationship, help. Some of the individuals reached out for individual help because of depression, anxiety, some family issues, child parenting issues. But very few actually reached out for relationship help. And I asked that question all years of this study. I think it is changing though. Um, some people even said, which I was really happy about that they sought help from relationships, self help books. So even if you don't seek help from a person, a therapist, a counselor, a pastor, a minister, rabbi, you might seek help in different ways. And some of them could be anonymous because I think people feel like they can't admit that they need help. And, and my study really, dr Roberta was all about that. We all have times when we need help and when we can improve a relationship, our relationship, I mean who doesn't want and who doesn't deserve an exceptional relationship. And that takes tune-ups that takes improving and adding positivity consistently.

Dr. Shaler:           [inaudible] and a lot of that has to do with whether or not we're willing to tune up ourselves. Yes. You know, that's a big consideration because if I think I'm perfect in the other person is there on the line as to whether they're good enough, we're going to have a problem no matter what. So if I'm not in communication with my partner and pretty finite communication about shifts and changes in ideas and thoughts and considerations, then I can get drifting away from that partner quite a ways and I can get pretty close to the broad strokes of yes or no as opposed to what's okay and what's not okay and what we could do to fix that. Right? Yeah. It's, it's a big issue. So a question, um, these people that you've studied and the ones that are still married, what do you have them tell you are the reasons that their relationship stays? What, what is the percentage between it's a habit or I'm never going to get divorced and I'm still in love and everything is going well.

Dr. Terri:              Those are all really good questions and they're all such complex answers. But I think dr Roberta, that first, there's a group of couples who stay together and they're not happy, but they stay because of these moral and ethical reasons and, and, and that's probably what I would say a quarter of my couples that were not very happy, but we're seeing together because of these morals, EQ, the ethical issues or beliefs or ideas or things like that. Values. There's also another corridor that stayed together because they're worried about the consequences of leaving. They're worried about the effects of divorce on children or what will happen to the children. But they're also just as concerned about finances and what my parents will say, my friends will say, or just what will happen. Some of them even have businesses together and you know, what will be the outcome of a partnership, a romantic partnership that ends. But then there are 50% that are happily married together and some of these couples are always happy. Dr Roberta, you know, it seems that they were happy at the beginning, that honeymoon aura and they blip a little bit, but not very much. Some of them have high peaks and high lows and obstacles along the way. Hardships, challenges, small things that bother them and then other people continue to grow over time. And so I think about 50% are happily married over the 30 years.

Dr. Shaler:           So 50% of 50% who are still married are happy.

Dr. Terri:              But I like to say that, you know, I don't like to judge though dr Roberta, why people stay and why people leave. I may stay because I'm happy and I may leave because I'm not happy. But these people fitting so strongly connected to a partner just for a different reason.

[inaudible] and you know what? I like the idea that we recommit to being married every day. You know that? Yeah, there are ups and downs. He goes, there are times when I can barely stand you then I can hardly wait to see you. And that's the ebb and flow of a relationship. But if I ask myself the question every morning, do I still choose to be married to my partner? The answer is yes. Right, right. Or if the answer for you is no, then listen to that. Because that's something that you need to recommit to frequently. Now, maybe a daily basis is a bit much for some folks, but you know, how about in your mind that, you know, I'm choosing to be with this person. What am I putting into this? What am I, I'm in growing in this relationship? How am I, I encouraging my partner?

Dr. Shaler:           How am I feeling encouraged? What's the depth of my communication? How do we manage conflict? I mean, so many things to low and learn and grow into. So I want to ask some very specific questions. You know, you talk about in your research, the passion and excitement and it declines and you mentioned that earlier. So maybe physiologically from a body point of view and an endorphin point of view, we're not in the honeymoon Hayes, but passion and excitement can be rekindled. And I'm not thinking only sexually, although that's a big, not either. I'm not either, by the way. And I think we need to make that distinction because I would guess that you weren't either. That this is deep interest in our partner, deep interest in what we're creating together. Can you talk about that for a moment?

Dr. Terri:              Yes. Well, I think, um, first that we have been taught that passion is that physical, sexual arousal and that excitement equals that passionate love where you can't eat or sleep or do anything and that you're constantly even thinking about your partner when you go to work or the gym or the grocery store. One thing we know is that that passionate love, as you said to Roberta, that it does decline and it declines over about 18, 24 months of being with someone because that kind of arousal, that kind of love, that passionate love is fueled ignited by newness, by mystery and by arousal. But what happens over time when two people stay together is that they can form a different kind of love. And that's the companion at love. It's the love of friendship and intimacy, which is non-sexual. It's the love of support. It's the love of somebody being there when I need to lean on them because something wrong is going on or that they are celebrating with me as well when something good is happening.

Dr. Terri:              And when I asked the couples why they stay together, those that are happy, 50% of those that stay together that are happy, why are you still there? What's so wonderful about this marriage or this relationship? They say the companion at love, they say the friendship and the intimacy, but we know that that also can waiver. That also can decline. There are times where we mind read, we think we know our partner or we don't really care what they're doing. Or we get into what I call a relationship rut where it's the same old, same old, we're doing a pattern. Even my voice changes as I begin to talk about it. You know, it's the same old pattern, the same things. And what I have found is that even during those times, which you're going to have if you stay in that relationship, right? Roberta, that also leads to unhappiness. So we need to reignite the passionate love, but we also re we need to reignite the companion at love as well. Get us out of that relationship. Right?

Dr. Shaler:           [inaudible] and of course we're going to talk in a minute about how to do that. But you know this, we're talking about willingness here. You know, one of the things that I notice and, and like you have written books and have couples that I see around the world is, is that they, they get busy with life and they forget to focus on each other for at least part of the time. And so they've forgotten if they're raising children and having businesses and running lives and you know, all the things that people do from 25 to 50. Um, right. They have actually forgotten who that person is at the other end of the dining room table in meetings.

Dr. Shaler:           Exactly. Exactly. I like to say that they put their relationship on the back burner and they forget that it's still cooking over there and if they don't attend to it, it might burn. So we have to take it off of the back burner, like you just said and attend to it. Affirm our partner, tell them that we still choose them every single day and compliment and ask questions. All those things, Roberta, that we used to do when we first met our partner, we did, we asked questions, we said, Oh, I love, you know, your clothes, your hair, the way you speak. Tell me about your childhood. What's most important to you? What are you most proud of? And we forget to do that because it's over there on the back burner.

Dr. Shaler:           Well, and also I think that we get into a lull of sinking. We know. Yes, right? We've sort of got a conservation level of information about when we start extrapolating and making assumptions about it and we kind of think we know. And the fact is the person on the other side of the bed is actually growing and changing and responding and reacting to life. And you may not know unless you become curious how that may have changed or how it's affecting things and your willingness to be interested in that person, to just ask simple questions. Like I always tell my clients, Terry, don't ask, how was your day? Ask? How did you feel about your day? Right. You know?

Dr. Terri:              Yeah. I love that. Intimate in a little more deep or even um, something about their particular day. Like did you talk to your boss today or how did you feel when you talked to your boss today? Those are kinds of questions that show not only that you want more information but that you've listened in the past, you know, are you still stressed out about that new project that is due next week?

Dr. Shaler:           So these are like, Ooh, I know this your day to day. You know, I think about a couple that came to me, teary and just so that everybody has a, an idea of what we're talking about. And they came and they, they owned a business together and therefore children, they were in that sort of 30, 35 to 40 category and they desperately wanted their relationship to work. And so we were on the third session and I said, okay, the homework is now that you understand the need for communication and to reconnect with each other at this age and stage, the homework is to spend two 45 minute periods of time, no TV, no books with each other. Having a conversation maybe, you know, go in the hot tub, do whatever it is that you just sit down, you're fully aware and fully with each other since the, okay, we'll do that. So they came back the following week and I said, well, tell me what happened in those 45 minute periods and the one that did the other and said, who has time for that?

Dr. Shaler:           And I said, here's what I really said, Terry. I said, okay, um, you're excused. You can come back when you really want your relationship to me. And they were like, what? What are you firing us? I said, yes, I absolutely am. You fired yourself. You came here, told me you want your relationship to work. You can't find one and a half hours, 19 minutes out of 168 hours in a week. You can't find that to talk to each other. I'm going to believe your behavior, you know? Are you afraid to talk to each other? Is that what we need to find out here or I don't know how to ask questions as you said.

Dr. Terri:              I love that exercise. Roberta, one of the things that's very similar to what you just said that I found in my study is that those couples who practice what I call the 10 minute rule, and this is even probably more difficult than 45 minutes, twice in a week. It's every single day talking to your partner for at least 10 minutes about something other than these four topics, work, family or children. Who's going to do what around the house or your relationship. And I would add number five - money.

Dr. Shaler:           Okay. Money. That's a good one. I like that too. I would add that too. Good one point. But you know, a lot of couples say, when I share that, just like what you gave as an example, say I don't know what else we can talk about. I have forgotten that we could talk about something other than those four or five topics.

So, okay, maybe we've got some people's attention now and they realize, Oh, I haven't really been communicating with my partner. Um, I'm making assumptions about my partner that they're there same as they were last year. And I, I'm awakening to that idea. So what really specific strategies can you offer for reigniting the passion?

Dr. Terri:              Yes, it's all about change, Roberta, because we've gotten into a routine, a habitual set of patterns, we need to gently, I say gently because it's not a huge big change. It's gently rock our relationship. And there are three ways, specific ways, strategies that we can do it to reignite the passion. And it's all about what created the passion to begin with. So the first thing is do a new or novel activity with your partner. And that can be anything new. It can be a new restaurant, a new vacation spot, or you can take a class, learn how to dance salsa, dance together or ski together or swim together or speak a new language or go to a book club together. Any new or novel activity will reignite your passion. It's like that. Wow, that was fun. Kind of moment. Second, it's you want to do a surprising activity with your partner.

Dr. Terri:              Anything, again, that shakes your relationship just a little bit. And so that can be asking questions where you don't know the answer, where you're like, surprise. I didn't know my partner had a dog when they were growing up. We've talked about all these topics totally new or in the future. I asked my partner what they would like to be doing five years from now. I thought they would say travel and what they really said is start a new occupy patient. I'm surprised one of the wives in my study took her husband on a treasure hunt across the city and he found little clues in different spots at these different places or restaurants and then they ended up at a restaurant and he said in the interview with his wife that he, that he was feeling such passionate love because he was surprised. It was mysterious and he didn't know what they were doing.

Dr. Terri:              The last strategy is to do what I call an arousal producing activity and it's clean so nobody has to stop listening. It's what we know is that science shows that if you do an activity with your partner that produces an adrenaline rush that produces arousal, like exercise with your partner, watch a scary movie, go to a comedy club, go to an amusement park and ride a roller coaster. Any activity that produces that adrenaline or a Rosal, as long as you are with your partner, the arousal or adrenaline can get transferred to your partner and can ignite passionate love. We sort of miss a tribute or miss, blame our arousal to our partner or our relationship. Simple ways to ignite the passion.

Dr. Shaler:           Great. Those are great. But I think you just said something really worth spending the last few minutes together on, which is that we blame our partner for the lack of spark. Yes. And the question always is, maybe you should ask the person in the mirror what they're doing to contribute to this ignition process.

Dr. Terri:              So true. We often say, my partner's not doing something to me or my partner should be doing this. So I feel this way. Right. And, and I have women, especially all the time. Well, Evie would just talk to me more. I would feel sexual desire. I would feel more passion. Right. And instead, as you said, I think it's so true. Dr Berta, look within yourself. What are you doing to improve to enhance this relationship and what can you talk to yourself about in terms of how you can change your feelings, experiences or behavior to help the relationship? Yeah.

Dr. Shaler:           Wow. This is great stuff. I hope you're enjoying this. This is Dr. Terry Orbuch. You could find her at Dr. Terry, the love dr com. That's D R T E R, R. I T. H E, love dr com. And you want to get her books? You want to listen to what she has to say because imagine 30 years of following people through their relationship. I hope you come back another day. I think we could have a really great conversation just focused on the last five years of the 30 years these people have been married. I would love that changes, doesn't it? I mean the aging process in the body, the changes in our work status, changes in financial status. Um, the ability to do things we couldn't do before and also the downsides, you know, someone may be loses some aspects of physical health or you know, all of those things, parent becomes ill.

Dr. Shaler:           Yes. And um, all of those things in the latter years of a marriage I think are really significant now that you know, people that you've studied have been together for 30 years. That's amazing. Thank you. I would love to come back and talk about relationships as they develop an age and as we develop age and change as well. Thank you. Oh yes, that would be lovely. So my guest today has been dark dietary or book finder at Dr. Terry, D. R. T. E. R. R. I love dr com. You know, you can always find me@transformingrelationship.com. If you wanted to talk to me personally, go to be a client.com and be sure to listen to this a couple of times because you knew that list that Dr. Terry gave you of the three things that you can do to ignite it. You might want to listen to that a couple of times. That's really worth doing. So join us next time on transforming relationship with emotional savvy. I'm dr British sailor. I'm so glad you're here. Treat yourself well. Do you know why? Because you matter. Talk soon.

Dr. Shaler:           Thanks for being here for today's episode of emotional savvy. If you want to deepen your emotional savvy, make shifts in your relationships and enjoy life and relationships more, work with me, dr Roberta Shaler. Get my books and join my courses or work with me directly. You can do that by visiting for relationship help.com for relationship H E L lp.com and subscribe to tips for relationships. Now, don't miss a thing. Be empowered this week with more emotional savvy


GUEST: DR. TERRI ORBUCH - DrTerriTheLoveDoctor.com

Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka The Love Doctor®) is a world-renowned relationship expert, author, speaker, professor, research professor, marriage and family therapist and media personality, whose practical science-based advice has helped thousands of people find and create the loving relationships they deserve.

Dr. Terri Orbuch earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined the faculty at Oakland University in 1998 and is now a Distinguished Professor of Sociology. She is also a research professor at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, and the director of a landmark research project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she has been following the same couples for almost 3 decades. It is the longest-running study of married couples ever conducted in the United States.

In addition, she is a certified marriage and family therapist (MFT) who has worked with individuals and couples for thirty years. She also does dating and relationship coaching with people across the world. She is well respected as a researcher and professor in the scientific world, and is also known by TV, radio, and online fans as The Love Doctor®, a popular relationship expert and advisor.

Dr. Orbuch is widely published in scientific journals and the author of five relationship books, including “5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great,” and “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship.” Her website is: DrTerriTheLoveDoctor.com

About Dr. Terri

• Featured in national outlets such as, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Bride, O, Good Housekeeping, WebMD, USA Today, Self, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, TIME magazine and more…

• Appeared on The Today Show, MSNBC, The Katie Couric Show, ESPN, HuffPost Live, CNN, and more…

• Her relationship segments are aired weekly on Fox-2 Detroit Morning News (2005 – present)

• National public television special (PBS), “Secrets from The Love Doctor”

• 2,200,000+ views on her TEDx talk: Lust vs. Love; https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=466&v=Siru3n3zIbM

• 2 best-selling books: “5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great” and “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship”

• 5 Simple Steps #1 best seller in Amazon for: (a) Marriage and Long-Term Relationships, (b) Marriage and Adult Relationships, & (c) Self Help Relationships

• Hosts an Empower Radio weekly program called “The Love Doctor is IN.” Archived on iTunes, Stitcher and iHeart Radio



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