Being “In Love”
Many couples start out feeling that they are totally “in love” with each other. They are attracted to each other. They feel excited, full of lust and passion. This condition is practically euphoric, spiritual, and very pleasurable. The production of dopamine and other “happy” hormones is so high and intoxicating that these lovebirds hardly need to sleep or eat. Even co-workers and friends can see their “love glow”. During this stage many lovers spend all of their time together, or at least thinking of each other. They tend to lose sight of their job, school, family, and long-term friends.
Obviously, these lovers have high expectations for their relationship satisfaction over time. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to hold onto that level of excitement forever. What is supposed to happen in a long term relationship is that the attraction and excitement shifts into a comfort, attachment, and commitment. This is needed to successfully move into the next phase of married life and raising a family.
The Pros and Cons of a Comfortable Relationship
While commitment, trust, and emotional intimacy create the basis of a happy long term relationship, they can actually be an obstacle to healthy sexual excitement, or eroticism. For some people, security, commitment, and predictability do not evoke passion, and could even be thought of as sexually boring or a turn-off.
While the happy couple “matures”, their future becomes intertwined with each other. Both partners tend to lose a little, or a lot, of themselves as separate individuals and begin to experience themselves almost exclusively as a couple. Their high level of intimacy wanes as does their level of separateness and individuality.
In general, people want to feel desired by their lover and want to desire (be attracted to) them. These feelings of desire and desirability, attraction and positive anticipation, contribute to the feeling of “being in love”. Affairs are often exciting because of the secrecy and a sense of feeling desired. Sex in long term relationships are often seen as boring because of their inevitable predictability.
Marriage is a Paradox
Marriage is a paradox; on the one hand two people become one (symbiotic), and on the other hand human nature often resists that losing one’s sense of “self”. This struggle for closeness and intimacy versus excitement and adventure is a never ending journey. The challenge in a long term relationship is to find ways to keep the “in love” and excited feelings alive, while maintaining the integrity of a secure and committed relationship. Having discussions that strike to the heart of these issues is what we practice.
We have successfully worked with thousands of couples on their emotional and sexual intimacy issues. Through a thorough examination and clarification of your relationship goals we can help you to re-kindle your love life.
Better Than a Year of Therapy
We have often heard from clients, many of whom themselves are therapists, that our 3-day program is worth more than a year of 45-minute weekly therapy sessions. Come experience what many other couples have found to be a more satisfying, comfortable, private, cost effective, and time-efficient way to nourish or heal your relationship.