That timeless question “what is love?” has resurfaced over and over again for centuries. We sing about it, we write about it, we cry and laugh about it. So what is it? Is love that that tingly excited feeling you get when you start a new relationship? Is it the feeling you get on your way to the alter? Is it looking at your partner at 90 years old and realizing there’s no one you would have rather spent your life with? All of the above? All of these things are a part of love but there’s one aspect of this powerful emotion that we forget about.
Losing the magic
We’re all familiar with the stages of a relationship. In that first, magical stage, our partner can do no wrong. You could even say they walk on water, and you probably seem the same way to them. As you become closer and become a unit, you may start to notice that their actions and emotions have a profound effect on you. You’re sad when they are sad, and happy when they laugh. The third stage is one that many relationships don’t make it past. In this stage, the mystery and excitement has evaporated to such a degree that the behavior you once found cute may just annoy you. And, they probably feel the same! If you two can make it past this stage, it will only get better!
Why You Drive Each Other Crazy
You get on each other’s nerves. He doesn’t put away the dishes right, and she steals the blankets at night. You’re both learning that the other is human! Do you like everything about yourself? Probably not. So, if you and your partner are truly to become one unit, then you’re going to find things about them that you don’t like.
How to Know if the Relationship is Still Worth the Effort
Many couples fall out when one or both of the participants wonder if they’re right for one another. This is a critical juncture in a relationship because this is where the soul searching begins. It doesn’t need to be that hard. Think about what your partner does that annoys you, and think about the things you might do that are irritating or upsetting. Then think about the things you’d miss if they were to disappear tomorrow. You’ll probably start remembering all of the things that made you fall in love in the first place.
How to Make it Better
Now it’s time for some effort on both sides. There are many ways to rekindle your fading interests and make your relationship better than it was, even when you first met.
- Talk to your partner. Communication is KEY. If you and your partner can’t communicate about things that bother you then you won’t last long. Let them know when they do something that bothers you but don’t limit communication to criticism. Tell them every day that you love them, and tell them why you’re grateful to have them around. Confide in them as you would your best friend. Don’t shut them out.
- Use humor. Romantic comedies are funny for a reason. Try looking at your relationship like it’s a comedy sometimes. The things you do and say to one another, and the things that drive you nuts may just take on a different light. Laugh with your partner about the dumb stuff you both do and say. Laughter will enrich your relationship more than anything else.
- Take a step back when you’re upset. Most arguments are based on a misunderstanding and can be easily remedied if both parties take a breather before talking about it. Apologies and understanding both come easier if you allow one another this important space.
So what is love? Love is when you and your partner drive one another up the wall, but you can still laugh about it. It’s when the mystery is gone, but you can still appreciate all of the wonderful things about them that make smile. Love is when you look into their eyes, and you realize they’re the one you want by your side in eighty years laughing with you, bugging you, and sitting quietly with you. No one else will do.
Bright Side: There are five stages of love, but many people get stuck at the third