The Honeymoon Phase featured in last week’s article is over.
We’ve done our individual mating-dances to attract one another and we stand at a crossroads:
That Way. We can continue to dance alone, separately, doing our own thing.
This Way. We can learn how to dance together, as a team.
That Way is where many of us remain in relationships, whether realized or not. We may call ourselves a “couple” but don’t know how to operate as a cohesive team. The fixation with the Honeymoon Phase is a reluctance (often unconscious) to learn and grow in the relationship. This leads to stagnancy that create feelings of being trapped, and is often combined with unhealthy communication and unconscious habits. This sets most relationships up for failure, whether ending badly or continue with us feeling unfulfilled and “unhappily ever after.”
In choosing This Way, let me personally welcome us to the second phase of the blossoming romance—Coupledom. It’s a chapter that remains a mystery to us as we so rarely see it in film, fairytales, or most mainstream stories for that matter. The credits roll and we exit the theater daydreaming of yet another “happily ever after” for a couple who’s story ends just when the romance can really begin… and even get better.
So, how can we do Coupledom exactly?
First, acceptance of reality helps. Like all things, relationships grow. They move, they expand, and they deepen. This is perfectly natural and signified in different relationship phases. Some phases are a natural part of overall relationship development. Other phases are perfectly attuned to the people involved. Every phase has it’s own pace, it’s own timing, it’s own lessons. Each person involved in the relationship has their own needs, desires, lessons, and set of circumstances within each phase. These ingredients are important dynamics that create the experience of the relationship itself. In Coupledom, people actively make their relationship together.
Secondly, celebrate the change in phases. Coupledom is a relationship milestone for two people to cultivate their interdependence with one another. Entering into couple-hood is about exploring compatibility, authenticity, vulnerability, values, and each other more deeply. This is the domain of building trust—from greater self-discovery to facing fears. Showing up in conflict, honoring triumphs, enthusiasm for each other’s interests, and receiving each other’s vulnerability are all paramount in strengthening trust, and therefore strengthening togetherness.
As the couple learns more about each other, they make mutual agreements about their
relationship. These agreements stem from honest conversations and check-ins about each other’s:
» needs & wants
» feelings about the relationship
» external circumstances that affect the relationship
This builds the overall framework of their relationship, which includes the ability to make new agreements as things naturally shift & change over time. The couple learns how to make necessary adjustments that support each other. The relationship then becomes a partner dance of interplay between the two. Like dance, it is fun, sensual, meaningful, and mistakes are made along the way, but they are understood as a part of the learning process. With practice, the people find their solid, fluid, movements of relating to one another. This is what a healthy rhythm, or dynamic, between two people feels like.
Coupledom is not about dancing alone. Truth Be Told, hyper-indivualistic “independence” must be kicked to the curb. Interdependence must be embraced in order to enjoy meaningful, lasting relationships. Interdependence is a distinct We, in which independence and dependence dance as equally valuable counterparts in relating. If people would be willing to drop their own mating-dances when the time comes for the sake of discovering their rhythm as a couple, a whole new level of romance awaits.