Saturday, February 14, 2015

How to fall in love with your other half all over again! It may be Valentine's Day but is your relationship in danger of losing its pizzazz?

In this new series, marriage expert ANDREW G. MARSHALL shows you how to get the fires burning again.


Today, I'll be tackling the problem that's at the root of all the unhappiness I see. We know how love starts, but have only a hazy idea of what to expect next, so we don't know how to cope as our relationship inevitably changes and evolves.
Understand this process — and the state of health of your own relationship right now — and you can fall back in love all over again.

SIX STAGES OF LOVE

Relationships go through six specific stages and understanding them is key, because if love is to last, it needs something different at each one.
Whether you've been together since you were teenagers, or met later in life, your relationship will go through the same stages (though second time around the middle stages are shorter). It's well worth reading them all, however, as they contain useful tips to apply to any stage of your relationship.

1. BLENDING (from six to 18 months)

This is a magical time when it feels like you're walking on air, can't think of anything but your beloved and even his or her failings are endearing.
Psychologists call this 'limerence', or infatuated love, and it's not just in your head. Research has shown this emotional high is caused by chemical changes in the body. By scanning the brains of those in the first flush of love, neuroscientists have found that bonding hormones, such as oxytocin and dopamine, are at their height during this stage.
To put this in context, researchers at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, found oxytocin levels were double for new couples compared with singles.
However, the seeds of later problems can be sown now because any differences between the two of you are overlooked as you become one couple.
If there is a row, it feels like the end of the world because unlike settled couples, you've no experience of falling out and then making up together.

2. NESTING (18 months to three years)

Infatuated love is beginning to wear off, but there's still enough for you to want to hitch your destiny to a comparative stranger. And for most people, this feels more comfortable after the almost manic love in stage one.
Sexual desire moves from something constant to a more settled level. You're aware of life beyond the bedroom and creating a home together becomes the new way to express your love.
Long-term tracking by the University of Texas suggests 18 months to three years is the optimum courtship period before a happy marriage.

3. SELF-AFFIRMING (third or fourth year)
A UK poll of 3,000 engaged or married couples found the average length between first meeting and accepting a proposal is two years and 11 months, so most couples get married during this stage.
While formally cementing your relationship, it's likely that you're now feeling confident enough about it to enjoy separate activities again.
Not only is it natural for individual traits and habits to re-emerge, but the long-term health of your marriage demands it. If you don't express your personal needs, you risk resenting your partner or feeling controlled.
However, it's really hard to balance your needs and the relationship's needs.
Sometimes couples think the inevitable rows mean their love is doomed, but accepting the reality (rather than trying to change each other into your image of the perfect partner) is vital for a successful long-term relationship.


4. COLLABORATING (fifth to 14th year)

This is the stage when you're likely to use the sense of security from being in a settled relationship to take on a big project.
It could be a career change, going back to college or simply exploring new interests. Alternatively, the project can be a joint one, such as starting a family.
When it comes to later-life couples, I've met those who've jointly launched a business or renovated a cottage, or many do a lot of travelling together. This has the potential to be a very positive period in your marriage because of the support you offer each other and because the excitement and freshness generated is brought back into the relationship and shared.

5. ADAPTING (15 to 25 years)

This is a stage of two extremes. It's likely you're adapting to challenges thrown at you — such as children leaving home or ageing parents — rather than coping with changes in the relationship. This can leave little space in our lives for partners or for fun.
But it can also be a time of sexual awakening.
Many women find the menopause liberates them as the risk of pregnancy is gone, and caring less what other people think can make you more honest about your needs in the bedroom.

6. RENEWING (25 years plus)

Older couples can be the most romantic. It's like Blending, but while the first stage is based on the promise of a lifetime together, renewing draws on the reality of ageing and the strength that comes from defeating obstacles.
You may also feel a shared sense of achievement in raising a family and pride in your grandchildren.
But it is easy to be overwhelmed by other people's demands, particularly for childcare or from grown-up children who have boomeranged back home.
Therefore, it is important to be able to say no and keep back enough energy for doing something exciting together.

Ok..small girl like me have to listen!... lol

2 comments :

  1. wow! good job Andrew M. and thanks Ovo for sharing....will definitely keep this in mind and bookmarking this page ASAP so when I eventually fall in love, it would help a lot...#learning.never.ends!

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  2. Yeah will definitely keep it for when I get married. You are welcome Emma.

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