STAGES 3 & 4: RULED BY HABITS*

PRIORITIES SHIFT AS THE CHEMISTRY SHIFTS

You’ll remember STAGE 1:  that delightful, world-by-the-tail 3 to 6 months, driven by PEA and Dopamine.

And STAGE 2:  Chemistry starts to settle, feel calmer, focus continues to be on the rockin’ things about your partner.  18 to 36 months.

In STAGE 3, we’re getting rather hum drum – ruled again by routines that had dimmed in importance through rose colored glasses.  The great sex happens less often, fire doesn’t come so easily.  You’re used to each other’s ways of greeting … or departing, of going on and on about their day … or hardly sharing a thing.  You know when they’ll awaken, what makes them laugh.  You know all their little expressions – the endearing ones and the … others ☺.  You can set your clock by their schedule … or they are predictably unpredictable.  No surprises.

You look at them differently.  Or, in the busyness of your schedule, maybe you don’t REALLY look at them.  It doesn’t feel bad – just not as juicy.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IS subtle at this point, as you slip into STAGE 4:

  1. The very nature of the falling in love experience feels so natural, so easy, that it lulls us into believing that all we have to do is roll with it.
  2. Therefore, when “rolling with it” gets dull, confusing, or just lost the magic, we start looking at what’s wrong with our partner.  His spontaneity … or her as the planner that we so admired is annoying.  Little quirks we thought were so cute/sweet/attractive, are distasteful, if not disgusting.
  3. All those sweet attentions that let you know she’s always thinking about you, the helpful things he did without your asking – have slipped into the recesses of your mind – OUT OF YOUR AWARENESS.
  4. You are in EXPECTATION, STAGE 4.  What’s truly disgusting, is that most of us never learn that the way to prevent this downward trajectory is SHOCKINGLY SIMPLE!

NEXT WEEK:  CHOICE POINT

DIG A HOLE? … OR BUILD A HIGH RISE?

* Adapted from Solutions by Leslie Cameron-Bandler

FALLING IN AND OUT OF LOVE* – FIRST AND SECOND STAGES

Understanding this process is critical support to engaging the tools and skills necessary to get what you want:  a thriving relationship.

Perhaps you’ve lived the MAGIC :

  • THIS COULD BE MY SOUL MATE!”
  • Talk, text, or be with him – He’s all I think about.
  • I have SOOO much energy around her.
  • We have so much in common!
  • When I’m with him, it’s like nothing else exists.  

IT’S SO MUCH FUN!

You feel so ALIVE!  You’ll do things you’d never before consider:

  • Taste strange foods
  • Call in sick to have a picnic
  • Stay up all night talking – and you still have energy for work or school the next day!!!

You insist it feels like you’ve known each other all your lives … you feel loved and respected for who you really are … never mind that this person couldn’t possibly know who you really are in 3 to 6 months.

Yes, that’s how long the Love Cocktail, as Pat Love, PhD, calls it lasts.  That funny feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re not in contact with your special person?  That’s withdrawal from the cocktail:  mostly Phenylethylamine (PEA) and Dopamine.

This big hit of the cocktail lasts 3-6 months.  That’s when you might say, “What on earth did I see in him/her?!”  OR, even with the fire dimmed, there’s enough good stuff to hold your interest…

STAGE 2 – APPRECIATION

If our STAGE 1 lenses are rose colored glasses, STAGE 2 has pink tinted lenses.  You’re still enthralled with your partner.  Your attention, more or less, is still on the things you really cherish – the thoughtful way he lets you know he’s thinking about you, the cool little things she does for you, the frequent connections:  affection, texts, emails, phone calls, initiating plans to be together, smiles, laughter, ….  You’re discovering each other’s foibles, annoying traits, things they talk about that you have NO interest in.  AND it still works, because your focus is still on the things that captured your attention – that made you decide that you want to spend time with this person – get to know him/her.

STAGE 3 is starting to creep in.  We’ll discuss this next week….

* Adapted from Solutions by Leslie Cameron-Bandler

TIL THEN, remember:

“The Greatest Gift We Give Ourselves and Each Other is the Quality of Our Attention!”   ~Richard Moss, M.D.

Welcome To My “Enough Already!” Blog!

If you are baffled about LOVE RELATIONSHIPS

If your relationships end after just weeks or months…

If your dating partner’s actions evolve to not making any sense…

If your partners seem to change personalities after 3-6 months, 12 months, 2 years…

If you find yourself caught in the same old pattern AGAIN!!! …

If you find the fire went out as fast as it started…

YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE!

In my 30 year career working with tons of couples as a Nurse-Psychotherapist, John Gottman’s and others’ research have revealed more and more about how relationships thrive vs. come apart.  Yet the divorce rate stays essentially the same.  ENOUGH ALREADY!

As I see once committed lovers at each others’ throats, blaming the other, or surviving in tense silence, I say ENOUGH ALREADY!

As I hear the stories of joy and hopefulness turn to disappointment, to questioning, to anger, to despair, I say ENOUGH ALREADY!

THIS JUST DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN!

And it starts with recognizing what’s right with the hardware you’ve been given, and then discovering, upgrading, and installing software needed to:

• Have fun dating with your eyes wide open.

•  Learn to think both individually and relationally.

•  Navigate differences.

•   Build an enduring relationship friendship.

•  Implement the true secret to life and relationship (YES!  THERE IS ONE!). 

I heartily invite you to join me HERE for this most important relationship conversation!