The urge to bond with another human being is almost impossible to ignore.
And let’s face it – that is how the human species has survived! But the reality of making a relationship work, especially long term, is another thing altogether. Neuroscience shows us that the stages of relationship are governed by chemicals in the brain.
We start with good old lust, this is when we draw on our basic sex hormones, Estrogen and Testosterone.
We move onto attraction which requires appropriate levels of Dopamine (involved in addiction also!) Seratonin and Adrenaline. (think about that racing heart when s/he rings!) .
Finally we have the attachment stage which is the area that is still not well understood. It seems Oxytocin, the mother or cuddle hormone, appears to be the lead hormone here.
No wonder, once in a relationship, we can lose our best intentions and become caught. With all those hormones and chemicals running rampant it can be difficult to stay connected to reality, especially if we also believe the myths of relationship. We end up bound into something that might not be the best for us – or our mate.
So before starting out in a relationship think about some of the myths of relationship, bust them and get set up for success, here are 5 that came to my mind …..
1. There is only one for me…. In actual fact we have many potential mates. For example I recently read an article that suggested the best number of potential mates to pick from is 9. Less than that and you might miss the perfect being, more than that and you will just end up confused!
2. We have to be attracted immediately to make it work …. You can actually make attraction and connection happen with almost anyone! New York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, had strangers spend an hour and a half talking about the intimate details of their lives and then 4 minutes silently looking into each other’s eyes. Many felt deeply attracted afterwards and 2 couples went on to marry!
3. Love can conquer all (for all us romance idealists out there!) …. Sorry but no. In fact hanging around in something that is really no good just becomes a habit. And the longer we stay, and the blurrier our intentions for a relationship are, the harder it is to leave. Better to make sure you know what you want BEFORE you get into relationship and have all those hormones and chemicals clouding reality. NB Questions to ask yourself … Do I know what my deal beakers are? What are the values that I hold as important in relationship and what are my no-go zones? Now write these down so any incompatibility will become apparent sooner rather than later making it easier to call it quits.
4. I have to stay for the kids, the family, my parents, our financial future etc… Is that really true? Is this bad relationship really serving you AND your partner, or are you both stuck in a hole where no one can escape? Maybe starting a new life is not only good for you but also good modeling for your children.
But then again, perhaps it is your old patterning and issues breaking you apart. This is the time to get some counselling to get clear about the situation. Relationship counseling (together) is often very useful as well. This is also the time when that earlier list is very useful! And remember, if it is a lack of connection that is leading you to question your relationship try making time to look into each other’s eyes. (Remember – 4 minutes and strangers are attracted!) Might be just what you need to recognise your lover once again.
5. This might be the best that there is…… maybe that is true, maybe not. You are the only one who can judge that. Perhaps you are expecting too much. But maybe you are expecting to little! Does your one and only generally satisfy you? Total bliss is an impossible dream, especially the longer we stay in relationship. But the good MUST outweigh the bad. Substantially. So what do you need to be ready for a great relationship? *Feel good about yourself. Have boundaries in place and know what you are looking for. Write down a list! *Make sure you feel truly worthy of a relationship, we are all fundamentally both flawed and magnificent! *Appreciate the differences in us all. The more acceptance you have of your own self, the more you can accept another. And the more acceptance you have of your own self, the less likely you will settle for someone that doesn’t make you happy. *And, if your relationship starts going haywire and you value it get counselling early, bad communication is one of the main reasons for relationship breakdown.
If you need a bit of relationship support give us a ring on 07 3255 0099 – a few sessions may be all you need to get you on your way to Creating the Life you want to Live!