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Close your eyes and think back to the emotions you and your lover experienced at the beginning of your relationship. You could not keep your eyes off of each other, your bodies away from each other, your hearts and minds diverted from each other. You thought you had feelings for others in the past, but this was brand new, like nothing you’ve ever felt. Maybe your hearts melted as soon as your eyes met. Or perhaps it only tugged at the strings initially, and then enveloped you like a tidal wave as time went on. You were addicted to the inexplicable way he or she made you feel, and you over-indulged yourselves in each other as often as you possibly could. And you made the declaration, “This is it. I found the one I am going to spend the rest of my life with.” Because there was no doubt in your mind that what consumed you both was genuine, authentic love.
And then something changed. The connection that used to be effortless is suddenly laborious. With each conversation, you find more and more subjects you cannot see eye to eye on. The little habits you used to find so endearing are suddenly irritating. There is conflict, disagreements, arguments, BOREDOM. In the beginning you wondered how you ever lived without each other. But now? Now you’re questioning what drew you together in the first place. What happened?
You were in Puppy Love. And now the honeymoon is over.
I believe that, more than anything else, human emotions need balance. We can’t stay too high or too low forever. Too much of a good thing can eventually end up hurting us.
Puppy love is an Up. Being completely obsessed with the way your lover makes you feel is an Up. Absorbing every fiber of being into your new relationship is an Up. Losing yourself in the anticipation and exhilaration of this new and exciting thing is an Up. But eventually those feelings taper off, and sometimes even come to a complete halt. Why? Because what goes up must come down.
So you were soaring high in the clouds of puppy love, and now you’re descending back to earth. What happens next?
Well, it depends. If you entered this relationship without any expectations, without any plans to build a future, with a “let’s just go with the flow” kind of attitude, then keep flowing. And once you get bored, irritated, uninterested, or come to the realization that nothing of substance is really holding you together, then blow each other one last kiss and go your separate ways.
On the other hand, if at some point in the honeymoon phase you both came to a consensual agreement (verbal or emotional) that there is no one else in this world you want to be with for the rest of your lives, then it’s time to start building the foundation for a real, mature relationship that can survive the storms that life will undoubtedly bring.
During the honeymoon phase, your worldview has everything to do with the way your lover makes you feel, and nothing to do with why you feel the way you do. So as soon as the butterflies begin to fade, and the rose-colored lenses begin sliding down your nose, look into your partner’s eyes, and ask yourself these questions:
Why do I love you? What is it that draws me to you? Why do I want to spend the rest of my life with you?
There are no right or wrong answers here, but as your best girlfriend, I feel obligated to give you some advice. If your answer starts with anything in the neighborhood of:
Because you make me…
Because you do this for me…
Because you show me…
Because you give me…
Then you are on the wrong track.
“Why, my best girlfriend? Why am I on the wrong track?”
Because real, genuine, authentic, unshakable, irreplaceable, unmovable, TRUE love has absolutely nothing to do with what your partner does for you. Because TRUE love is one-hundred percent SELFLESS and two-hundred percent UNCONDITIONAL.
If everything you love about him derives from what he gives you, then what do you think will happen when he stops giving? If everything you love about her stems from the way she makes you feel, then what do you think will happen when she stops making you feel that way?
If the love from your partner is a result of what he does for you or the way she makes you feel, then you must understand that there will come a time when your lover will be unable or unwilling to give anymore.
So when you look into your partner’s eyes, the man or woman you’re convinced you want to spend the rest of your life with, ask yourself what it is that makes you want to be together forever.
And if both of your answers start with something along the lines of..
“Because I want to spend the rest of my life giving you…”
…then congratulations. You have taken the first significant step towards building a mature and successful relationship 🙂
Once again, I have so much more to say on the subject, but I’ll save it for future posts. In my next blog, I am going to briefly step away from In the Beginning, and share with you five things I have learned that can make (and keep) the man you love very happy. Until next time…
~Love and Happiness from your Best Girlfriend~