True confession time. My favorite song as a teenager was Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love. “I’ll be the hero you’ve been dreaming of. We’ll live forever knowing together we did it all for the glory of love.” He sure knew the path into the heart of a 16 year old!
Who doesn’t want to feel happy and satisfied, snuggled deeply into a long-term relationship with the person of our dreams? Pop culture, in the form of the outrageous success of the Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray (and Peter Cetera) tells us just about everyone.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? For the species to survive over the millennia and rise to the top of the food chain, having babies had to be a top priority. Therefore, our minds and bodies have become exquisitely hardwired to ensure the creation and success of the next generation.
It all begins with the neurological process of “falling in love.” When we fall for someone, we enter into a period of time in which our minds and bodies operate in some special and unique ways—ways that happen only a few times in our lives. Our body and brain chemistry changes, our thoughts change, our feelings change, our entire beings go through a process of transformation, all intended to deeply embed the person we are falling for into our minds in such a way that they never really leave. It’s almost as if we create a mini-them in our heads. This cements a connection between two people that is strong enough to survive the hardships and challenges of raising children. (It also results in some amazing sex!) Twilight and 50 Shades are masterpieces of capturing this experience of falling in love.
What happens next is where it gets dicey. For real people, unlike Vampires and incredibly sexy and wealthy fantasy men, this phase inevitably ends. Such a bummer. And when it does, everything changes.
Don’t get me wrong, we still love the other person. They live in our heads, after all. It’s just that our bodies go back to normal and they start to bug us. Disagreements and arguments erupt. It can all go downhill very quickly.
The problem isn’t with the process. After all, it’s been happening this way the entire existence of humanity. The problem lies with what we think will happen. Modern media has convinced us that falling in love lasts forever, as it does with Edward and Bella, and Christian and Ana. And when it doesn’t, we don’t know how to handle it.
This is where couple’s counseling can make the difference between a warm blanket relationship and divorce. Great relationships are totally possible in today’s world, but it isn’t easy. A specially trained couple’s therapist can teach you how relationships naturally grow and change over time and help you develop the communication skills you need to make it work.
I can’t promise Edward and Bella (or Christian and Ana0 forever. That’s a totally awesome, and totally unattainable fantasy. But, I can show you how to create more warmth, deeper satisfaction, and a richer connection than what you have now.