From an early age and throughout our lives, we are taught to want to one day find true love. When you consider fairy tales we hear as children, love songs on the radio, and romantic comedies that rule the box office, it’s no wonder why we fall in love with the idea of falling in love. But as we often affectionately think of falling in love, we never consider staying in love. Many of us have often heard that relationships take work, but what many of us have rarely (if ever) heard that couples eventually fall out of love. But before you become disillusioned with the idea of lasting love, couples can re-create the feeling of new love with couples counseling Encino.
Wanting to merge with another person is a vital human instinct. Human bonds do not only exist as a mother and infant bond. Newly joined lovers become immersed in one another. But humans also possess an opposing human instinct: the need to remain an individual. You can see this instinct demonstrated as a child eventually pushes against their mother to become their own person. This instinct occurs again when we move away from our partner to rediscover our uniqueness.
Though the urge to merge is an instinct, no everyone feels it. It is not uncommon for an individual to experience an initial peak of ecstasy that rapidly depletes. Others enter a romance slowly, beginning with a friendship that steadily leads to an intimate relationship—that may or may not be spiced with passion. Some people choose a partner because they feel that it is time. They seek people with similarities to race, ethnicity, religion, class, education, or goals, all of which have little to do with falling in love.
The euphoria of new love can be attributed to biochemical changes that result in high levels of Phenethylamine (PEA), endorphins, and oxytocin. This love cocktail of chemicals can cause heightened pleasure, decrease pain, and promote bonding. Because this cocktail infuses euphoria and extraordinary energy, sleeping and nourishment seem unimportant to new lovers.
Falling in love is effortless, but remaining euphoric is not. Lasting love results from the work of two people. Over time, the efforts that each person contributes result in a strong, durable relationship.
The first step of working together is accepting that a relationship takes work. Being a couple is not a state of being, but a work in progress. So don’t ignore problems when they first come up. Work on them before any resentment develops.
To keep a relationship fresh, treat your partner like a date every day. Be aware of the little traits that attracted you begin with; don’t take them for granted.
Accepting that your partner will never change is another crucial step towards a long lasting relationship. Little imperfections will continue to wear you down over time if you are holding on to hope that your partner will abandon their behavior flaws.
Serious relationships are full of commitments, but there’s one more commitment to add to your list: growing together. Whether or not marriage is in your plans for the future, many people marry before establishing coherent views on many sensitive issues. Take classes on religion, child-rearing, finance, and other hot topics before conflicts pollute your relationship.
Part of maintaining a relationship is spending time together. This can include sharing one day off together per week. It might also involve unstructured time with your partner and talk about anything. Cuddling—or any other form of physical contact—is a refreshing way to strengthen your bond as the two of you dedicate your attention exclusively to each other.
A fun way to spend time together is to share a hobby. Although you do not have to share all of your hobbies, it is important to share a few of them when you consider how much of your free time is enjoyed doing hobbies. Watch movies. Play music together. Paint together. Participate in marathons. Run errands together on weekends instead of splitting them up. Sure, you will probably get them done in twice the time, but you are spending time with the person you love.
No matter the interest, share and engage in them together. If you and your partner do not have any shared hobbies, one of you must change your interest. If your partner wants to play golf every Saturday but you have no interest, think of all the time your partner will spend on the golf course. Those are hours of quality time wasted. Take up a new hobby with your partner. Even if it does not sound exciting, you might end up liking it. The point of sharing a hobby, however, is to spend quality time with your partner.
Admiring attractive people is normal, but desiring them comes with its costs. While it might be tempting to pursue a new, exciting, and attractive person, it is important to remember that the individual you are romanticizing has their own real set of flaws and baggage. The turbulence an affair brings to a relationship is not worth the pleasure. An affair is difficult for a relationship to recover from. Avoid the turmoil and be happy with the partner you chose.
Relationships have their highs and lows. Sometimes the lows are difficult to manage. But everything eventually passes. If you brave through the storm, the highs will return once again.
To combat the tough times of a relationship, there are certain skills to every couple needs to acquire: self-knowledge, communication skills—which are extremely valuable when fighting fair and distinguishing appropriate self-disclosure, understanding your partner’s methods of communication, and being generous, patient, and empathetic.
Finally, it is crucial to see a relationship counselor early and often. Couples counseling has a stigma of failure, but counseling should not be regarded as a failure. Instead, think of counseling as signing up for piano lessons or learning how to ballroom dance. If you cannot think of a compelling reason to go, consider how effectively you can work on your communication and problem-solving skills.
Falling out of love is part of the cycle of relationships, but with couples counseling Encino, Alice Dollinger can help you fall back in love.