When you feel chemistry in a new relationship it is a joyous indescribable experience.
You are bursting with passion and your whole life revolves around this new person who has ignited a fire within you.
It is a magnetic emotional connection that you cannot always explain.
That person becomes like a drug and you cannot get enough of them. That's why it is often called love sickness.
Unfortunately, as anyone who has experienced it will know, the chemistry will inevitably fade. The magical feeling is so intoxicating that when it starts to disappear, we mourn its loss.
That person who until recently was so wonderful, now has flaws. Before they could do nothing wrong, now everything is wrong.
At this point one of three things happen:
- One of you breaks it off and goes searching for that new relationship high with someone else
- You settle into the relationship but remain frustrated and unsatisfied
- You commit to the hard work of real love and develop a fulfilling and satisfying relationship
Of all those options number 2 is unacceptable. I think everyone can agree with that. There is no point being stuck in a dead and lifeless relationship.
Number 1 makes sense to a point. Perhaps you genuinely realized that that person was not right for you, or that you were not ready for a serious relationship. So you enjoyed the high, ended it and put yourself back out onto the market.
That's fine the first few times you do it while you are young. You are dating to enjoy yourself, to learn about yourself and you don't want to be too serious. But you can't keep doing that forever.
The problem only emerges if you mistake that new relationship high for "real love" and think that when it ends, the love has died. If you make that mistake you will cycle through relationship after relationship, forever being disappointed, perpetually hoping that next time it will be different. But it never is. The fire always dies.
Number 3 is what you need to do when you realize that chemistry in relationships is not enough, and that the process of real love actually begins when the initial fiery period ends.
That isn't to say that chemistry in relationships is not important, because it is. It is an awesome wild ride that should be enjoyed for its own sake. But it is important because every long lasting meaningful relationship still needs that initial spark, even if it has long been buried. The nostalgia of that shared experience, and the ability to resurrect that flame from time to time are important things.
But it's not real love. It feels like love and it might lead to love, but it's not real love.
Real love is about being a team, putting each other first, being there for each other, sacrificing something for each other's needs and all those other unsexy things.
This is what couples who grow old together have been able to nurture.
It is challenging and it is hard work. Trying to build a shared life with another individual is one of the most difficult things you will do in your entire life. It is also one of the most rewarding.
Don't be fearful when the chemistry dies. The love hasn't gone away, in fact it is just beginning.
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