Dr. Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy (the approach I use), wrote in her book Hold Me Tight,
“Love has an immense ability to help heal the devastating wounds that life sometimes deals us. Love also enhances our sense of connection to the larger world. Loving responsiveness is the foundation of a truly compassionate, civilized society.”
We long to hold on to the romantic sentiments of the early days of our relationships. We begin these relationships with the highest hopes of finding true love and connection.
Then we find our person and experience delicious drunk-like feelings, we feel ‘completed’. It feels so good.
We long to hold onto this bliss, we naturally crave love and connection, and when we get a taste of it (especially the passion), we are drawn to it, we want it night and day.
But in this quest, we need clarification, we are trying to control the uncontrollable.
We know what we want. But we’re lost in a chemical soup our brain loves, dopamine and oxytocin. We’re drunk on love. As a result, we’re flying blind toward a place that could hurt, a collision course toward disappointment.
But the good news is that all is not lost. Nothing is wrong with this process. We are just on the predictable path from romantic to real love. Now, a real relationship can emerge.
The trick is to be aware. Without awareness, we are doomed to conclude that when the ecstatic and drug-like feelings are what we most want, the answer is to find a new partner who will bring back the magic as the sentiments in our current relationship change as they will.
But as the feelings change, we begin a real relationship, a place where wisdom, sacrifice, joy, and connection live. But so often, we don’t see the opportunity, the grass seems greener somewhere else, with someone else.
The irony is that we are face-to-face with someone we can truly learn to love and cherish and who will do the same for us. Now true and lasting love can emerge.
If you feel stuck in your relationship, please reach out, and we can discuss the benefits of couples counselling. I am seeing my clients face to face from my office in Hove and globally online.