Are you really in 'True' love ??? Wait..wait..wait..
1. Infatuation or Love ?
Infatuation may last from a few days to a few years and may be called true love. It is often the shortest phase of partnership. Love at first sight often indicates transferences (one or both partners do not see the other as real people - rather as idealized images based on needs).
Steps to Infatuation
You meet someone with whom you might fulfill your romantic fantasies.
You hope that this person can rescue you
You don't want to change anything
You will do anything to prolong your good feelings of being with this person
Your life feels intensely romantic
You hope that all your needs and desires can be fulfilled effortlessly
You believe that your good feelings will last forever
You break rules to maintain good feelings
You believe that you can communicate telepathically - without words
You evade important issues and tell lies to avoid spoiling your nice feelings
You ignore important parts of your life (friends, family, work, savings, etc)
THIS is your One True Love - no other partner is possible!
Steps to Love
You meet someone who you find interesting, mature and attractive
You check if you are both available
You feel inspired to develop yourself
You explore your shared goals, history, ethics, expectations, morals and values
You enjoy exploring each other's realities
You together consider and discuss ways to fulfil both of your needs and desires
You do things together to build trust and to see each other in many contexts, even stressful
You discuss the rules of your relationship
You discuss many topics candidly and you compare your heartfelt beliefs and values
You tell raw truth to increase intimacy
You share important parts of your life, including the darker times
You know there are many potential partners for you and this person seems like a good choice
Love can last for lifetime if there is a strong basis for attraction, mutual trust, shared values and a willingness to solve problems together. Infatuation might lead to lasting love - yet more often leads to disappointment. People, who repeatedly build relationships on infatuation instead of love, may be love addicts - addicted to the intense emotions associated with fantasies and drama.
2. Disenchantment or Responsibilities ?
Infatuation usually reaches a peak and then diminishes. Reality intrudes when people must make ordinary, practical decisions ... when immature fantasies may start to feel unrealistic. Yet mature love can continue to grow as people plan, assign and fulfil daily life responsibilities together.
Maturity and responsibility are ongoing choices - they are not gifts that can be given.
You feel disenchanted
Your fantasy is replaced by daily life
Romance is replaced by boredom or conflict
Something wonderful is slowly dying
You may feel that you are being cheated
Your partner cannot fulfil your dreams
You blame anything and anybody
... except perhaps yourself
You are very aware of other potential partners
You accept responsibility
3. Conflict and Withdrawal !
Housework can be fun together-time or can become power contests. Who takes out the garbage? Who washes these dishes? What exactly does clean mean? Unless resolved, many people, after some threshold of suffering, withdraw or react childishly. Perhaps they start considering separation or new affairs. Yet mature people can use these same conflicts to improve their relationships!
Conflicts LOSE energy
You argue and fight over small issues
You feel emotionally unavailable - dissociated
You become withdrawn or aggressive
You fear loneliness or uncertainty
You long for lost intimacy and passion
Sexual intimacy decreases or stops and flirting or affairs seem more interesting
Conflicts GAIN energy