>Romatic Love

>Wouldn’t it be nice if romantic love would last forever, like in the movies?

It seems that many people who are ” looking for love” or are in a fairly new relationship feel strongly attached to romance. But, unfortunately, the initial infatuation and loving and kissing splendor does slow down for most of us.
That is when the work begins in a relationship.
So if you are finding that you cannot stay in a relationship for a very long time, it may be that you or your partner- or both- do not want to stay after the “romance” is slowing down.
When people decide to stay together- for better or worse- they have to work at it. Think of a relationship as a job that you have to develop skills for. You may need some special training in communicating effectively!
The question may be “When does romantic love end, and the power struggle begin!” as author Harville Hendrix suggests  in his book Getting the Love you Want.
 For most couples there is a change in the relationship when they commit to each other. Suddenly it is not enough that their partners be affectionate, clever, attractive, and fun-loving!

And what has changed? A  Glimpse at Reality:
At some point in every relationship,  most people discover that some aspect of their partner’s personality that they once found attractive– is beginning to annoy them.
Your partner’s negative traits, the ones that you denied during the romantic phase begin to come into sharp focus! Suddenly your partner’s chronic depression or drinking problem is more evident!

How to help your Relationship?

1. First, create a more accurate image of your partner. Let go of the illusions and begin to see more of your partner’s truth. Begin to see your partner as a wounded human being who is struggling ( as you are) to be healed.

2. Take responsibility for communicating your needs to your partner.  Accept the fact that, in order to understand each other, you have to develop very clear channels of communication. Stop hiding your true needs, let them be known.

3. Become more intentional in your interactions with your partner.  Train yourself to behave in an more constructive manner (be organized in your communication). Do not react to things without thinking about it first. Even if it means walking away from a heated debate! Train yourself to take some time away from your partner to think constructively about the problem at hand, and then return to give your opinion.

4. Learn to value your partner’s needs and wishes, as highly as you value your own.  Your partner’s role in life is not to take care of your needs magically. Try your best to meet your partner’s needs, and let go of always feeling that you come first. When you begin to value your partner’s needs, he or she will begin to value yours.

5.  Take responsibility for your “Dark Side.” Everyone has negative traits. Accept responsibility for your dark nature, and lesson your tendency to project your negative traits onto your partner.

6. Accept the difficulty of creating a good relationship.  Realize that you have to become the right partner. As you gain a more realistic view of a loving relationship, you also realize that  good relationship requires commitment, discipline and the courage to grow and change. Relationships are hard work!

Taken in part from: Hendrix, H (1988) Getting the Love you Want: A Guide for Couples.  New York, NY.Henry Holt and Company