I love you but I’m not IN LOVE with you….
I can’t count the number of times a couple has sat on my couch, in our Downers Grove, Il office, during the first session and one of the partners has said that sentence to the other person. It is a common phrase that people use to try and explain why they are no longer happy in a relationship. Unfortunately, all it highlights is a cultural misconception of romantic love and our desire for relationships to be easy.
A few weekends ago, my husband and I went to see a comedian. As part of his act, he talked about how couples need to stay together long enough to see the negative traits of their partners. He described people in the early stages of relationships as “junkies” who get addicted to their partners and spend the rest of the relationship looking for that next hit. Clearly his goal was to get laughs. What he didn’t realize was that he was actually fairly accurate in his description.
When you meet a new potential mate who you really click with, your brain releases a unique set of hormones that aren’t released at any other time. These hormones make you constantly think about this person, talk about them, want to be with them above all others. During this time you need less sleep, less food and feel energized. You are essentially addicted to this person.
This feeling is what we categorize as “In Love”. While it feels amazing, it can’t last forever. Within 2 years of a relationship starting the hormones fade out and the ‘high’ goes away. Now is the time that you see your partner’s positive and negative qualities. What many people don’t realize is the next stage of the relationship can be equally rewarding, it just takes more effort on both peoples parts to feel in love again. What research shows us is that most people don’t know what the right type of work to put into a relationship really is.
If you are finding yourself loving your partner but not feeling in love, call us so we can teach you the skills and tools you need to get that wonderful feeling back.