The attraction stage of a relationship can be truly magical and can serve as an important bonding experience between the couple. When two people find themselves attracted to one another, their focus becomes centred on one another.

There is a magical quality about being together. They long to be with the other. When apart, their phone calls and emails and tweets are a lifeline without which they would feel alone and empty. Often the two seem to know what the other is thinking without a word being spoken.

The couple’s intimacy is intense and exciting and can feel transformative to both partners. This is the spell that was cast over the mythical Romeo and Juliet. While the intensity of the experience can be made the brunt of jokes, when Romeo thought that his Juliet had been taken from him in death, he felt he could no longer live. He took his own life.

At such times of falling in love, kings give up thrones, people change jobs and relocate to be with their partner, and poems are written. Such is the seriousness of this transformative season of coming together with someone else who allows us to come together with ourselves.

In this season of ‘Falling in Love,’ our partner serves as a mirror that reflects back to us what we need to connect with within ourselves. In essence, we are seeing an aspect of ourselves that we need to connect with in the person of our partner.

The intensity of this experience is enhanced by the release of certain hormones that cause pleasure such as norepinephrine and dopamine. There is also a hormone—oxytocin—that is associated with bonding, trust building and the establishment of empathy.

The combination of these dynamics and hormonal enhancements adds intensity to the experience that is profoundly human and is, at its best, a beautiful experience of sharing between two individuals. The tenderness, caring and excitement of sharing in all ways is a precious aspect of our human experience.

References are made about “love is blind,” “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” this is “just infatuation, everyone gets over it.” Others attempting to minimize the reality of what each partner is experiencing only intensifies the resolve of the couple to remain thus connected.

The inevitable season of struggle

Woman pulls away as man reaches out

The coming together of two people who feel as though they are one is only able to last for a period of time. The difficulty is that the ‘one’ are really two different people. That one is able to see certain essential aspects of who they are in the other person can only last until the spell is broken.

When one partner begins to become freed of the magical spell that they have been living in, birth is given to a season of struggle.

No one—no partner—can live as an image carrier for long before they begin to feel stifled. When one partner begins to become freed of the magical spell that they have been living in, birth is given to a season of struggle.

For the one who is still smitten, the reflection that served to connect the partner with important aspects of who they are is no longer available. It feels as though the partner’s mirror that has served to put the other in touch with themselves has stepped back and has turned sideways. For the one who feels that they are being left, it can feel like an aching emptiness, a pain that is unbearable.

The more that the still smitten partner tries to re-establish what used to be, the more the partner who has stepped back pushes back against being the image of what the other person has needed them to be. What seems like a power struggle can ensue.

For the one who feels left, it becomes a life-and-death struggle to remain connected with the source of their connecting with themselves. For the other, it is a struggle to remain their own person, apart from their partner.

Upset is always the result of broken agreements. Whether the agreement was spoken, signed or assumed, an agreement that is not kept causes upset. It is often the case that it is not until the agreement has been broken that its presence is realized.

No couple who falls in love realizes what it is that is taking place between the individual and their partner. Only when the dynamics of what is going on are changed, only then will the upset be realized about what was assumed to be true.

Lessons to be learned

Couple holding hands while wearing winter gloves

The first lesson to be learned is that this is a normal process between two people. It is a dynamic that gives birth to both partners in different ways. During the spell of being captivated by the other, both are being put in touch with certain aspects within themselves that they are ready to connect with.

In the state of captivation, they are not really seeing the other person, rather they are seeing themselves and the fulfillment of their need, in the other person. When they are excitingly making love with their partner, part of the intensity of their lovemaking is that they’re really making love with an aspect of what they need to connect with within themselves.

When the spell is broken, and one of the partners begins to distance themselves from the other because they cannot forever remain as an image, the birthing of a real relationship begins to take place. The two who are one becomes the two who are engaged and involved with one another. This season of struggle marks the birth of a real relationship between two real individuals.

Front cover of book - Compassionate commitment


This text has been excerpted from Compassionate Commitment: Growing Together Through Awareness, Empathy and Kindness by James Farwell, published by The Mindful Word. Find out more about the author and the book here»



image 1: Pexels; image 2: Pexels

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