The beginnings of a romance and relationship can be so beautiful! We’re carried away with love & attraction! The honeymoon stage is truly a gift to humankind. If we didn’t have it, we would never have coupledom, let alone join to create a family! The creative works of poets, philosophers, musicians and artists have been inspired by this ecstatic stage for thousands of years.
Alas, the relationship scientists show that, biologically, the honeymoon chemical cocktail that keeps this “high” going, so that we look past the differences and irritations, feeling immense attraction for one another, wanes over time.
Yet, that does not mean that couples can still deepen their love to withstand the waning of biology – and encourage their relationship to blossom and grow! In the twenty years I have worked with couples at all stages, I know that the highest percentage of breakups happen within the first six months two love birds join together. In addition to people just realizing they are fundamentally incompatible, my experience shows that the greatest reason for two love birds splitting is that these newly joined just did not have a foundation for their relationship to flourish.
What encompasses a healthy solid foundation for a relationship to be able to thrive?
Although I could write a voluminous book to answer that question, in the interest of keeping this to a brief article, I will just list a succinct version of the main components
1) Know Thyself! A strong romantic relationship is founded upon two strong individuals, which begins with each knowing their innermost selves – and respecting one’s own self and truth.
2) Share one’s truth! A deep connection is established beyond the physical/sexual connection when we can share with one another our deepest truth, our values, dreams and goals for our lives – and respectfully embrace such sharing from another, even when there appears to be a conflict in something of our own & our beloved’s.
3) Know our “pitfalls,” hurts, wounds and challenges and share these w/ one another. Alas, these are areas that we will never be able to hide fully – so, the most powerful way to deal with them is to own them with your beloved! For example, if you know you have had a tendency in the past to react offensively when you feel “wronged” in any way, then this would be something to acknowledge to yourself & your
4) Recognize the strengths and shared values & visions for your lives and the relationship. When a couple can identify the strengths of their budding relationship – as well as what they each share in their values & dreams – this creates a “glue” that be drawn upon whenever something is tough or differences arise. For example, both may value plenty of “down” time & want to commit to creating sufficient funds to always enjoy this in their lives and with each other – or each may value spirituality and want to incorporate spirituality into their partnership, or each may want to contribute to humanity in a significant way & do so as a couple.
5) Set aside a time to create some shared agreements for the relationship that will include honoring shared values, moving toward mutual relationship goals and how to “play fair” whenever there is some kind of break down or disagreement.
6) Shared agreements need to include the key practices to keep a relationship healthy and thriving. Just to name a few: regular intimate connection, deep listening, expression of appreciation & commitment to individual health and expansion.
7) “Playing fair” always needs to include having skills in respectful and open communication – and using these – to address differences or delicate areas that arise in the relationship and for each to be able to set healthy boundaries with one another.
As you can see, I could give a workshop (or several!) on each of these components of a foundation to lay for a relationship to continue to grow, expand and thrive. Take some time to think about these and what they mean for you and your relationship.
I’d love to get feedback! So, shoot me an email at: email@example.com