Maybe I'm just being a pessimist but I'm going to have to agree with JRiver here. "Romantic" love does usually fade but it does leave us (hopefully) with that deep love that resides down in our guts and soul. It's those NRE endorphins that make "Romantic" love so important and notable. Movies and novels wouldn't be as exciting or interesting if the protagonists didn't experience that "romantic" love for our voyeuristic pleasures.
Now after we've settled into the deep love, things can happen that make those endorphins fire off again, that's the nature of endorphins after all. Then we get that wonderful feeling again.
So what is that deep gut/soul love that we feel after the butterflies start coming intermittently? Is that the Love that we always hear about and strive for or does it have another name?
I would love to have a friendship of the kind that XYZ mentions, "I want to spend the rest of my life with you, share every aspect of myself with you, compromise my wants and personality to suit yours and for you to do the same until a happy medium is reached, raise children with you, grow old with you, and sleep in your arms whenever I can"...although sleeping in their arms might be a bit of a stretch for me.
This just seems like the best and most fulfilling kind of friendship you can have. When we are little and we find that first "best friend", this is what we talk about (well I don't know what guys talk about but I think some of the other ladies might recall this), growing up together, getting married to the boy(s) we like at about the same time, living next door to each other, having our kids at the same time and going through life always there for each other...at least that's what I did and what I wanted.
Redsiren: You are right, conscious choices and actions are paramount in relationships and especially love of any kind. When we act only on our endorphins and carnal desires we can end up hurting others as well as ourselves.