The cycle: build a long-term relationship (PART 1)

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True, complete love is a combination of three factors: intimacy, passion, and commitment.

The stages of love are many and they change throughout our lives. Love will look very different at the beginning of a relationship, when we feel butterflies in our stomachs and idealize our partner. This is when we talk about infatuation and the first beginnings of finding each other.

The next phase is romantic love, which consists of intimacy and passion, but still lacks commitment. It is only after years of living together that we reach the complete moment, which is a composite of three factors: passion, intimacy, and commitment. This is what we can call complete or complete love.

Give yourself time and think carefully about what stage of love you and your partner are at. It is very important to identify exactly what you have in your relationship and what is missing. On this basis, you will be able to try to improve the aspects that are no longer working in your relationship. To make it easier for you to identify the stage of the relationship you are in, it is worth reading a little about the ingredients of love.

About the ingredients of love:

Passion- in short, a sense of drive towards your partner. Hormones play a significant role here. The hallmarks of passion are physical excitement and the desire for intimacy.

At the very beginning of a relationship, we may have very high levels of passion because of our trait of ‘excitement at newness’. Note that anything new to us is intensely exciting for a while. The same happens with a partner. This is the time of infatuation when our emotions are buzzing.

It is also very important to note that passion without intimacy is a rather selfish approach. It is impossible to build full love without these two factors complementing each other.

Examine your level of passion:

Do you have a physical need for your partner?

How many times a week do you feel like having sex, but such an actual urge?

And how many times a week do you have sex?

Do you kiss as often as you did at the beginning of the relationship?

Does your partner please you?

Does he or she turn you on?

*Assign each question a number from 1 to 3 (assuming that 1 corresponds to the lowest criterion reading: no, and 3 to the highest reading: definitely yes).

Reflect on these questions to determine your level of passion in your relationship.

Intimacy– the emotional component of love that develops through a close acquaintance. Intimacy is also a component of friendship; it is responsible for the desire for closeness and acceptance.

You do not have to hide your faults from your partner, you are not afraid to tell him the truth about you, and you trust him. Your communication is at a high level, you tell each other about problems, but also moments of fulfillment. You form a deeply emotional bond.

Examine your level of intimacy:

How often do you talk to your partner?

Do you feel that you can tell him or her anything?

Do you talk about your emotions?

Do you lose track of time during conversations?

Do you feel that your partner accepts you?

Do you feel understood by your partner?

*Assign each question a number from 1 to 3 (assuming that 1 corresponds to the lowest criterion reading: no, and 3 to the highest reading: definitely yes)

Commitment – making yourself secure in the relationship. It’s constantly caring about the relationship, and being willing to work on it. It’s overcoming problems and not giving up in moments of crisis. It’s an inner feeling that tells me ‘I want to try because this relationship is very important to me.

Examine your level of commitment:

Is the relationship important to you?

Is your partner important to you?

Would you be willing to save your relationship even in difficult moments of crisis?

Do you do things with your partner in mind?

When was the last time you did something for your partner?

*Assign each question a number from 1 to 3 (assuming that 1 corresponds to the lowest criterion reading no and 3 to the highest reading definitely yes).

Timing is very important here. I will emphasize this a second time. Approach these questions seriously, don’t rush your answers. The moment you have answered the questions and written down the answers on a piece of paper, you can also ask your partner.

Note your answers and his, then compare them in the context of the family (relationship). Note the similar and different elements. Consider what the differences and similarities stem from.

And where did our partner come from?

Why did he or she?

Similarities ( we find people with whom we want to form a real relationship and are ready to do so, similar to ourselves. After all, we like it when the other person likes the same things as us).

Parental role model (we pay attention to our parents’ relationship and subconsciously look for similar partners. If you see your father as a talkative and open person, you will look for the same in your partner. If your father controls you, you will expect the same from your partner.)

Own preferences are shaped by life ( both the physical qualities that we are attracted to, that we like, and the mental qualities that are important to us. Think about how you imagined your dream partner in the past when you were a young child).

And what do you pay attention to when looking at your partner?

Treatment of you (pay attention to how your partner relates to you, whether they raise their voice, whether they show nervousness, whether they are emotionally unstable, whether they behave respectfully towards you).

Treatment of parents (see how your partner treats their loved ones, whether they have a good relationship with them. This is very important because he or she may start treating you very similarly).

Remember that changing a person is hard, and if we want to make such a change we should start with ourselves first.

That’s it for now. Remember to carry the answers to your questions with you as you move on to the next parts of the cycle.

Part two of the series will focus on factors such as bonding, attachment, and systems. We will discuss in detail the attachment styles that characterize us and our partners. We will also discover where they come from and the role of parents in all this. We will identify the bonds that we build and try to summarise all this knowledge by creating a separate category, systems. Systems is a very interesting part because it focuses not on us, but on how we function together: me and my partner.

Aneta Sznicer

Aneta Sznicer

Founder of Mood & Read, HR specialist, copywriter, marketer, and soon to be psychologist. I help people achieve their goals by teaching social skills. Personally, I love playing the piano, dancing and singing. Anything to do with music helps me to find myself in reality. If you listen carefully, you will be able to hear your emotions. If you are able to hear them, you will know yourself even better and stronger. Thank you for visiting my website. It is a pleasure to get to know you.

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