When we are first entering into a new personal relationship, we are swamped with an enormous amount of chemical information which creates and influences our emotional state. The high of falling in love is mostly chemistry and yet it is quite addictive.
We have developed these chemical processes through evolution in order to bond, produce and successfully raise progeny, thus continuing the species. The chemical cocktail of hormones evolves as the relationship evolves from initial pair bonding to the nurturing phase of building a family unit.
In the modern jungle that we now live in, the structures of society and the progress of technology now means that this is no longer the only way to live. However, our physical chemistry still persists.
The modern jungle promotes the ideal of the first flush of love being the absolute peak of a relationship. We are expected to feel that this peak is something to be strived for and to look for and if we don’t have it there must be something wrong with our relationship, right?
No! So wrong.
That first flush is just chemistry and it really doesn’t last that long. The hormone surges will stabilise and therefore the emotions that they encourage and promote will change. It is inevitable. And yet we are encouraged to believe and expect that in a perfect relationship that feeling still persists. It does for some, but they are the few and the reasons they experience those feelings is down to their individual brain chemistry and nothing that they think, say or do, it’s mostly genetics.
And so when that first flush of chemistry changes into something else we can begin to question whether this is still love, is this relationship still ‘real’? Similarly as we progress through the stages of family life and the natural lifecycle of a relationship, it can become too easy to remember the first flush of the being in love chemistry and compare what we have now to what we used to have in the beginning. We can easily dismiss what we have now as being inferior and so consider the current relationship to be not working for some reason and so think about once again seeking the high of a new relationship and its attendant chemistry.
We are as a society poorly educated in the lifecycle and developmental stages of maturing relationships. Frequently once the high has disappeared we believe a relationship to be over or that there is something wrong.
The ease with which things went in the beginning is held as the ideal and yet in the beginning of the relationship we are wearing very thick hormone obscured spectacles which obscure multiple things and encourage us to see and experience only that which will help us to pair bond and pro create. The real relationship is that which comes after that first tide of chemistry, where other qualities and shared interests, values and history become more important. These are the true foundations of a relationship and the areas which can give the most joy and contentment and yet how often have we walked away thinking things are not working out because that first flush has dwindled?
For more information on relationship coaching please contact Joanne Lee-Adam