Revitalizing Relationships by Janet Shlaes, Ph.D.
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
~ Sam Keen
The key to building successful long-term loving relationships is developing the habit of going back to the beginning. Let me explain…... Loving relationships commence with the phenomenon of limerence, commonly known as infatuation. This relationship stage is accompanied by intense psychological and physiological symptoms. A significant shift in your hormone levels occurs leading to both physical and psychological attraction, along with feelings of being magnetically drawn to the other person. This stage is also characterized by the idealization of the other person; you tend to experience their words and actions as endearing.
The infatuation stage, however, is a temporary one that gradually fades over time. As the fading occurs, many of the qualities that were initially appealing become irritating. Although the qualities remain the same, your responses and meaning you attach to the qualities changes. Many couples separate in the immediate post-limerence time period. The real work of deepening a relationship and developing a romantic friendship takes place as infatuation ends. Couples who commit to moving beyond the infatuation stage will experience the many benefits inherent in a long-term relationship. What empowers them to deepen their relationship is choosing to develop the habit of returning to the beginning. The process of returning to the beginning reminds you of your partner’s initial appeal and attraction. Intentionally developing this habit also serves to elicit your initial infatuation responses, along with the strengthening of your ability to experience each other as imperfectly perfect.
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