In the beginning, there’s an explosion. Fireworks spark between you and another. Life suddenly makes sense. It feels like you finally know why you are here. Everything you ever did, every decision, every person you met led you here, to meet this amazing person. You find out that you’re not alone in your feelings and they feel the same way. You’re both elated and can’t stop thinking about each other. You want to spend all your time together. Congratulations, you have just entered the Honeymoon phase. Welcome to the easiest part of your relationship.
Fireworks may not have exploded for all of us when we met our significant others. It doesn’t matter. Relationships have ever evolving phases & dynamics. The first phase is the Honeymoon. We know it well. We put our best foot forward and show our best sides. It’s a phase that has no timeline. If it did, we might try to prevent the end at all costs. When this seemingly blissful, romantic phase comes to a close, there is only one thing knocking at the door to greet us—reality—at its finest.
This is when a certain level of comfort sets in and we are no longer performing at our highest, best, and ideal self. We find ourselves right back in the middle of our journey in becoming. What happened? We look to our partners. The things that used to be cute and endearing are now somewhat annoying. Who they seemed to be in the beginning, they aren’t living up to anymore. We’re feeling somewhat duped. What changed?
“Is it me? Is it my partner? Are we compatible?”
—The questions arise.
“He used to be so affectionate.”
“She used to just come along, even when it wasn’t her thing.”
“They never want to go out anymore.”
—Ahhh, remembering when.
“Why can’t things go back to the way they were?”
—We’re holding on to a time when things were “perfect.”
“How did we get here?”
Well, I’ll tell you just how we got here. I call it, the Mating Dance. Let’s go back, shall we?
In the beginning is when…
» we put our ideal self forward.
» first impressions are formed.
» the first dynamic of the relationship is created.
The Mating Dance is the first dynamic. It’s the courting performance every animal does to entice a mate. Humans are no different. Whether aware of it or not, our euphoria kicks in and we try to show up as attractive as possible to our person of interest. It’s basic biology. In this state, it’s not that hard being our ideal self either. It feels easy in fact. However, seeing this ideal self initially makes an expectation that is hard to let go of once reality knocks. This mating ritual is often the only part of romance that is portrayed in most movie plots and unfortunately, these are the examples we learn from. Which means, the basis of our relationship knowledge stems from a simple snapshot, usually fictional. Couples lose sight of the reality of relationships as a whole.
When reality knocks, let’s get realistic about the Mating Dance too. This dynamic happens between two people who don’t know each other very well. They show off their ideal selves based solely on themselves as individuals. They meet as distinct I‘s or Me‘s. When the Mating Dance dynamic wears off, bringing the Honeymoon phase to a close, the next natural phase of romance awaits. The ecstatic euphoria has calmed down. We feel free to let go, relax, and get real. Congratulations, we’re now comfortable enough, and some needed trust has been built. Remember, this is only the beginning. There is much to come. A new chapter lies ahead, and when we are aware of it and willing, it involves a distinct We. I call this Coupledom.
∴ Next week’s article will feature Coupledom and its dynamics.