You know how we feel about a person when we are falling in love with them?… When we see that person with all of these glowing attributes, these perfections, abilities, things we admire…
A lot of that is a reflection, a chance to see our own light and beauty. And we feel amazing, right?
It can be like that forever. But it’s not. So, why?
Phenylethylamine wanes, true. But also we were giving our attention and our time to love, very intensely. I remember my husband saying, at the very beginning of our relationship, “I wonder what it’s going to be like when we focus our attention back on the outside world.”
It is a matter of attention. It’s this intense focus of attention on good things, good feelings, giving…And then when that stops, we look back and see those same things… only now they’re annoying, in some cases. We find imperfections, where they fall short and ways they are not holding up their end of the deal as we perceive it. We don’t feel that amazing anymore, right? We are seeing another reflection in that mirror, and we don’t love it. Yet we stay focused there for some reason. I’m not talking about if there are violent tendencies or serious issues that we now see that may require action. Aside from that our problem is where we are keeping our attention.
There is a show on National Geographic channel called Brain Games. I only saw one episode but it was about how little our mind can actually attend to at one time. They showed a guy doing these little magic tricks and pickpocketing people while he was doing it. He stole a scarf off of one guy and put around his own neck. The guy was so focused on the magic tricks that he never noticed.
So the good news is that we can choose where to focus our minds, at any point, any time.
We can look at our partner again and see or remember that which we love, that which is unique and wonderful about them… even if we have to think back and remember it because we don’t see it right now. It’s in there. Hold the vision. See it for them. Maybe they have lost sight of their beauty and greatness. Tell them about it.
You’ll feel better.
This goes for anyone really, not just partners. Where are we focused when relating to our parents, children, siblings, dear friends…? It matters. It changes our experience and the relationship.
And it works for life too.