When it comes to creating lasting romance, most of us are our own worst enemies. If you really want to mess things up, follow these simple, proven steps!
1) Drink the Kool Aid
Everyone loves a good infatuation. There’s nothing quite like talking on the phone for hours, making out in the grocery store, and finally finding someone who really, truly gets you. Especially if the object of your infatuation comes closer to meeting your checklist than anyone before.
We’ve all heard that the honeymoon phase doesn’t last. We’ve heard it a thousand times. So then why do we continue to insist, while in its trance, that there’s no reason for our infatuation to end?
The reason we become so hopelessly daft is because it’s Mother Nature’s plan. If un-blinded by the light of infatuation, none of us would ever see past our love interest’s countless flaws. Instead, we’d all remain single, watch “Saturday Night Live” alone, and the species would come to a grinding halt.
So if your current prospect induces major swoons – go ahead. Milk your infatuation for all its worth. But don’t rage at the fates, or your beloved, when suddenly everything goes sour.
Instead, back when things are at their peak, make a pact. Write it out. Put it in your wallet. It might go something like this: One day our yum-fest will be over. Parts of us will make one another cringe, fume, and we’ll wonder what we ever saw in each other to begin with. When this happens, we promise not to attack, flee, or cocoon with our resentment. With a wink at Mother Nature, we’ll know all is well. We’ll be right where we’re supposed to be. Ready to fall in love (or not) for real.
2) Put Down Your Dukes
People with lasting relationships, who really love each other, know something that many others don’t. We’re not always supposed to get along. In fact, we’re supposed to drive each other crazy.
That doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to act crazy, or feel crazy. What it does mean is that only by pushing each other’s buttons do we get to find out where they all are. And once we know, it’s only with a truly respectful and trustworthy partner that we’re able to heal the wounds that gave rise to those buttons in the first place.
Conflict, you might say, shines a light on who we are, individually and together, as true as the light of infatuation is false. The question isn’t if you’ll experience conflict, but when and how often. In fact, a no-conflict relationship is almost always dead on arrival.
Counter-intuitive as it may seem, you’re best off looking forward to your next fight. You might even make another pact: Whenever conflict arises, we promise not to attack, flee, or cave in to please one another. We vow to greet the upset not as a problem but an opportunity. We won’t cease in this quest until all our buttons, or at least most of them, are out of commission.
3) Believe Your Brain
Scientists have identified a glitch in human evolution. Our brains are wired to respond to unpleasant emotions as life threatening. On the one hand they produce these emotions as a response to our experience, but on the other hand they do everything in their power to keep us from feeling them. Talk about working at cross-purposes!
So what does this have to do with your relationships? Whenever you experience painful feelings in regard to your partner, you instinctively shut down. You become tense, agitated, and your whole pact about dealing with conflict as an opportunity inevitably goes out the window.
But the good news is that your brain can be rewired for maximum relationship success. This rewiring process is called Emotional Connection. It’s simple to learn, can be done on your own, and involves no power tools. Seriously, emotional connection requires nothing more complicated than learning to “surf” your emotions like a wave in the ocean. You can even target such surfing with great sophistication, identifying the specific emotions that cause you the most trouble.
Once you begin feeling those emotions, instead of fighting them, relationships become far less of a challenge. You’re more consistently able to remain your very best self – open, curious, wise, caring, and joyful. In other words, irresistible.
Raphael Cushnir is an emotional connection coach for individuals and couples. Find out more about his new book, The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection, here! You can also browse or purchase the book right now as well.