WRAP UP: STAGES 5 & 6
Dig a hole … OR shore up the foundation to build a High Rise Relationship! YOUR CHOICE!
THE KEY: What are the cool things that your partner does/did that helped you feel special? FOCUS ON THOSE! That will also keep you doing what makes her feel special!
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS:
Disillusionment(STAGE 5): Falling in love felt SOOO natural. It feels like she made you love her. So now that loving has waned, the automatic, unconscious assumption is that she made you fall out of love. Stands to reason, right? All those irritating ways he has now … of course you will fall out of love. And … The waning of the Love Cocktail over 18 to 36 months contributes to the “inevitable” focus on his obnoxious joking(which was funny at the beginning), or her incessant texting (in which you exuberantly participated in the early months). You’re seeing him through different filters, both chemically and psychologically.
THE BAD NEWS: If you don’t interrupt this spiral, one or both of you will go “past threshold” (STAGE 6). One of those irritating, intolerable habits happens just ONE too many times, and you’re DONE! Your lenses turn black, filtering out why you are with this her in the first place. As you’re talking with him and your friends, you find yourself building evidence for why it can’t work, justifying why you need to break up. Maybe it does need to end. The sad thing is that you’re ending it without knowing whether she could have been a great partner for you. BUMMER!
THE GOOD NEWS: You can interrupt the spiral! Build a solid foundation by DECIDING TO PAY ATTENTION to the things about your partner that are really cool. Defy the chemistry. Defy our Homo Sapiens wired in focus on the negative. Bask in the cool things about her – list them – tell her. If there’s genuine potential, a trust takes root – unlike the blind trust that occurs in STAGE I. Now that you have a rooted belief that he has your best interests at heart, you can effectively address with each other the not so cool stuff. Then you will know that this is not a good fit … OR that you are on your way to constructing that beautiful, High Rise Relationship!
THE NEXT PHASE:
WHAT DOES A HIGH RISE RELATIONSHIP LOOK LIKE?
We each have an idea of what a troubled relationship looks like. And most of us don’t have great models of a healthy relationship. We need to know what we’re working towards to create that path.
We’ll start this discussion in 2 weeks. You likely noticed my use of 2 different metaphors – Roots and High Rise. We’ll make sense of that. ☺
As you are wondering where this unlikeable person was hiding when you were falling in love, you are sliding into the hole of Disillusionment, Stage 5. If the gray lenses through which you saw your partner in the Expectation Stage felt yucky, those charcoal gray lenses block your attention to the cool things you saw in the beginning. You are gaining momentum on this downward spiral as your focus “naturally” goes to the irritating things about your partner.
Two factors make this happen:
- Falling in love felt SOOO natural! It feels like she made you love her. So now that that loving has waned, the natural assumption is that she made you fall out of love. Stands to reason, right? All those irritating ways he has now … of course you will fall out of love. And …
The Dopamine and Phenylethylamine (Love Cocktail) wane over 18 to 36 months after that 3 to 6 month big hit (the rose colored glasses).
- THE BAD NEWS: If you don’t interrupt this spiral, one or both of you will go “past threshold” (Stage 6). One of those irritating, intolerable habits happens just ONE too many times, and your lenses turn black. You can’t remember at all why you are with this person. As you’re talking with him and your friends, you find yourself building evidence for why it can’t work, justifying why you need to break up. Maybe it does need to end. The sad thing is that you’re ending it without knowing whether he could have been a great partner for you.
THE GOOD NEWS: You can interrupt the spiral, so you can discover through CLEAR lenses if this is that great partner for you.
Shoring up the foundation by DECIDING TO PAY ATTENTION to the things about your partner that are really cool. If you allow your attention to go mainly to the disliked behaviors, you will never know if those dislikes could be successfully addressed to your satisfaction.
IDEALLY, you know to focus on those cool behaviors early in the relationship. You can more accurately recognize if the things you don’t like mean that the relationship cannot work for you long term.
BOTTOM LINE: It takes getting through the chemical crutch to know whether this is worthy of long term commitment. That is, can I keep myself in love with this person for the rest of my life?! 18 – 36 months after the rose-colored glasses. You could call it Divorce Prevention!
In 2 weeks we’ll begin to look at The Keys for Successful, Committed Relationship. The first topic: Is Communication the Key?
[The hard part is that the chemistry has lulled you into the unconscious belief that this should be easy, AND it requires a willingness to focus on your partner’s cool stuff. If you don’t, our wired in tendency to focus on the negative will take over]