When the Gloss Comes Off
June 17, 2019
The heady first days and months of a relationship are wonderfully exciting. Your heart, mind and body are fully energized and engaged in this new loving experience. You can barely think of anything but your lover. You are so in love and you want the world to know it.
Then you begin to settle into a routine with your lover. Some of the excitement is still there, but the experience is not nearly as compelling as it was in your earliest days together. The relationship even starts to feel a bit ho-hum.
Why is that?
One reason for the change is that the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin, in full-flow during the early stages of the relationship, starts to taper off. That’s normal.
And another is that life happens – the day-to-day mundanities of paying bills, taking care of sick kids, hectic work schedules and so forth. Then the cracks begin to appear. Arguments and unmet and competing needs creep into the picture. That’s normal too.
Gradually, you notice the difference between who you thought your lover was in the beginning of your relationship and who they seem to be now. And so, you begin to wonder, “Have I changed or has my lover changed?”
So, as the gloss fades, you begin to question if this is really love or just an infatuation that has run its course. What you want is a return to that old totally-in-love feeling. So, you tell yourself that if you can’t get that feeling back, you’ll move on.
But, remember that gloss is a surface thing. So, before you bail, you could opt for an alternative and that is to go deeper.
What I mean by going deeper is to begin the work of building more substantial bonds with this lover of yours. In other words, creating the conditions for real intimacy to take root.
What is real intimacy? In my view:
♥ Real intimacy is based on more than physical attraction. It is based on mutual trust, appreciation and understanding. It grows from really getting to know someone and accepting them as they are – their good points and not so good points.
♥ Real intimacy grows out of shared values and a common vision for the life you wish to create together as a couple. To find out if you share the same values you need to get to know someone and you need to allow them to get to know you. I mean really get to know each other warts and all. In that way you’ll discover whether a common vision for your life together is possible. That’s where the next point comes in.
♥ Real intimacy is built on good communication. Good communication requires a safe space where you each can express your deepest feelings, desires and needs without fear of rejection, as well as your hopes and expectations of each other and the relationship.
Going deeper to create and strengthen the bond between you is the key to creating a loving connection that can stand the test of time.
And you might be surprised how sweet, how satisfying this more deeply anchored loving is. It’s in no way boring.
Of course, getting there requires mutual commitment, both to each other and the relationship. And sometimes it requires some professional help along the way.
So, are you up for the challenge?