Many relationships undoubtedly begin with romantic gestures. However, gestures don't equate to love. Once the romance dies down and the members of the relationship have settled into a groove, the romance usually fades away. Companionate love is tied with the earlier stages of a relationship and slightly more so in long-term relationships. Between partners, it shows the presence of a calm, friendship-like bond successful in maintaining satisfaction beyond the first stages of a relationship. Passionate love, more-so referred to as romantic love, only shows better satisfaction between couples during the early stages of a relationship. Brain scans of spouses with a long-term relationship, and a short-term one indicated that fear and anxiety was low between long-term spouses as they did not fear separation. The older spouses were comfortable in each other's company, while feelings of anxiety and fear were active in the newly smitten couple.  Romantic love is not real because many long-term relationships last without romance as couples don't need romantic love in maintaining satisfaction and attraction towards each other.
Romantic love lasts past the earlier stages of a relationship. According to a study, romantic partners of 21 years show the same brain activity as partners who had just fallen in love. This study reveals that romance lasts in relationships and remains effective through the love of a long-term relationship.