During romance phase, life is perfect for everyone. We’re on our best behavior, because we want to impress each other.
We begin the relationship thinking, “It makes me feel so good when you adore and appreciate me. So I’m going to show you only my very best.” But it can’t last. Eventually, we’ll think, “It’s difficult to keep this up. But if I show you all of me, your feelings for me might change.” And for the first time, we feel tension.
In the beginning, we’re willing to do almost anything to hold on to a new relationship. But if it’s based only on “best behaviors,” we’ll be surprised when we finally meet the rest of each other. Then we’ll say, “What happened to the perfect person I first met?” But that person was only visible through our romance filter.
THE WHOLE SELF
Showing only our good qualities, without revealing the rest of ourselves, can’t last, because it goes against our true nature. This is where integrity in communication comes in. Something inside us wants to be true to ourselves. And if we’re not doing that, we won’t feel good.
Then we’re likely to blame the other person. But the problem is not with discovering the hidden parts of him or her. The problem is that we’re hiding parts of who we truly are. And we won’t feel better until we correct that.
If we keep making what’s “wrong” with the relationship all about the other person, what used to be cute will become annoying. Small issues will turn into big problems. Hidden agendas will develop into power struggles. We’ll begin to think about splitting up. And if we stay together, it may be out of resignation. And in that case, we’re likely to spend a lot of time on autopilot, out of resentment.
No more feeling exclusive with each other. No more butterflies or rushes. No more joy.
BREAKUP OR BREAKTHROUGH
The transition from romance phase to stalemate, and on to breakup or breakthrough, can take days or decades. If we’re smart, we’ll go in fully aware, and we’ll stay focused on the goal, which is a healthy loving relationship.
Imagine knowing that it’s all right to be who we truly are. And imagine knowing that we’re in charge of how we feel, and then not holding others responsible for that anymore. And imagine being in a relationship with someone who’s doing the same!
As we practice feeling what we want to feel, the person who matches that will show up. It may be the person we’re already partnering with, or it may be a new relationship. But in order to create positive change for ourselves, we need to focus more energy on what we want than on what we don’t want. So how do we turn romance phase into true love?
BE TRUE TO SELF
We lose our integrity when we mean one thing and then say or do something else. And what we truly think and feel always reveals itself anyway, usually through our nonverbal signals, because it’s not possible to tell a lie without telling the truth at the same time. So we need to communicate what we mean, without justification or self-doubt.
BECOME A MATCH TO THE DESIRE
“I commit to expressing who I truly am – for me, rather than for someone else. And my (future) partner realizes who he or she truly is and is also comfortable expressing that. And when we meet up, we’ll recognize that in each other. And as we keep expressing honestly, we’ll grow together at the same pace.”
TRUST THE PROCESS
We find love by expressing love. And then we’re able to be authentic from the beginning of a relationship, because we’re not afraid to be vulnerable. We let the other person see all of who we are. And the reward is intimacy without doubt, which is the best kind of romance.
When who we are, and what we say and do, matches the intention of our hearts, our whole being sends a single message. And by taking this power into our own hands, any relationship can become what we want it to be. And all our relationships can be based on true love.
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Pic by Parisian artist, Jonathan Kluger