Falling in love makes us instant optimists. We are nicer to the people in our lives; we expect life to be marvelous and we are often rewarded.
Our energy levels are high and we suddenly don’t need much sleep. Why is this so? When we meet a new person that we feel a connection with, we instinctively want them to be a part of our lives. To achieve that end, we show them our best selves.
We give them our time and energy. We say and do things that make them feel special and acknowledged. As a result they feel loved, uplifted and appreciated. If they also felt the connection, then they are adding value to you in much the same way.
When the relationship gets to the point of commitment to marry or live together, there’s often a change that occurs in the dynamic of the relationship. We move from giving to wanting.
This is the biggest mistake some couples make that starts the decline of their relationship. Now it becomes about what I expect that you should provide.
These expectations often stem from our relationship role models, especially our parents. What role did your mum / dad fulfill that you now expect your partner to fulfill? Did Mum cook all the meals? Was Dad the provider?
When we move from giving to wanting, the “falling in love” phase ends. If you each meet the others expectations, that relationship will thrive and you move into the “being in love” phase. If you don’t meet each other’s expectations, you feel disappointed, unloved and unappreciated.
So what can we actively do to ensure we move from falling in love to being in love? Firstly, we need to grow up. Relationships are not fairy tales. They require work and commitment.
Being in love is a decision you both need to make. Decide how important your relationship really is. Do whatever it takes to keep giving to your partner. Give them compliments instead of insults.
Show gratitude for what they do for you. Do special things for them. If your partner generally does the cooking, surprise them one evening by taking over the task. Send her flowers at work just to say you love her. Surprise him with a massage at the end of a big day. Take out the trash.
Add value to the big things too. Support each other through tough times at work or with family members. When your partner feels loved, acknowledged and appreciated; they will reciprocate. Being in love is delicious.
Kas Naidoo is a Relationship Coach and Matchmaker who is on a mission to help people create healthy, happy, sustainable relationships.