Go slow. What? Why would I want to go slow? This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!
I’m tellin’ ya: Go………………….
Q: Seriously, WHAT is your rush?
A: We love each other and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.
You’ve met someone who excites you and you find out the feelings are mutual. You go out, have an amazing time together. You never run out of anything to talk about, you feel good, you look good, you find out you have so much in common, perpetuating the thrill. The excitement turns to hope, joy abounds, appetite goes down, taking with it the need to sleep, passion abounds, and wowiezowie: can it be you’re falling… in love?
It is an amazing experience, this “falling in love”. Everything is so beautiful, the colors are brighter, the air is different up here on top the world, how did you ever live without this person? It is unimaginable. You are changed forever, and in a most spectacular way! You are generous, kind, forgiving, romantic, accepting, open for anything. Gone are the days of cynicism, skepticism or anyism of any kind. Where, oh where have you been all my life?
This is your brain on the love drug. The chemistry involved is delicious. Let’s see, we’ve got opiates, dopamine, we’ve got some adrenline, and some phenylethlyamine . Just show me where to sign, baby.
Now this is the problem, see. You’re high as a kite, and you’re signing up for a lifetime with someone you haven’t taken the time to get to know. This could kill the goose, you know. Remember Aesop’s Fable about a certain golden-egg-laying-goose? The farmer discovered his goose laid golden eggs. But he quickly got greedy, wanting it all instead only one golden egg a day, so overcome by his greed, he rushed things along, killed the goose, trying to get ALL of the golden eggs. Of course, there were no more eggs, and no more goose to lay them. Mother nature has given us this fantastic gift of golden-egg-chemistry to help us mate, which is part of her agenda.
But there is a hitch. Once we’re hitched, the drugs wear off, and we wake up to a power-struggle, which appears to be the other part of her agenda. What happened to all that that hope for being loved unconditionally? YOU are the problem, YOU changed, YOU say tomato, I say tamahto, we can’t agree on anything, and YOU are my worst nightmare! Sound familiar? I’ll write about nature’s agenda in power struggle another day, but I will say this for now: there IS hope and lots of it, if you’re open to Imago Work.
What’ll you have? Goose or Golden Egg?
As a couples therapist, I say go slow, and feed the goose that lays those golden eggs. There is no rush into cohabitation. Don’t do it. Just say no for now, and enjoy this most fantastic journey. Enjoy it for at least two years, get to know that person beyond the blind high of the love drug. The more deliberate your courtship, the higher the likelihood of long-term health of your relationship.
Take your time, now, and savor it all.
To those who are hurting due to loss this season: I have discovered that letting go can be liberating. It is painful and sad, without a doubt, but please remember the pain is only part of the journey. The way past the pain is through it. Acknowledge it, be willing to face it consciously, understand it is a temporary state that you are moving through. Cry when you need to, laugh when you can, write if you’re inclined. The other side is acceptance, meaning and even beauty. Honor your lost love through the embodiment of their finest qualities. Be good to yourself along the way. It’s a process; not an event.