It is taken for granted that everyone is natural at forming and maintaining relationships or getting involved in any form of romantic relationship. There are no relationship classes in school, our parents are themselves clueless, and the quality of our interactions with others are left to chance.
Nonetheless, we all need to learn to understand each other more and communicate better. This is how we can enjoy sharing our lives with those we care about and understand the true meaning of love in a relationship.
We are products of our upbringing.
Our parental and societal values were engraved in us before we developed a conscious self-awareness and judgment. So, they all went straight in to form the core of our personalities and to determine our choices and behavior.
With awareness, we can make our own decisions.
Therefore, we no longer have to be puppets of our upbringing, and we can now develop the power to create our personality, our behavior, and our life the way WE choose to.
Mind you, some people don’t ask themselves these questions, and so their awareness is limited, and they continue to behave out of habit, ending up with the same outcome and being ‘Oh! So surprised’ about it.
What defines love in a relationship?
We decide to build a relationship with a person because we like them. We like people who are like us. So we get together and progress through the relationship expecting that they will turn out to be just like us in all ways.
Before you know it, time has passed, attachment has developed, promises have been made, and in some cases, other little humans have been born. An occasional disagreement went unnoticed, and an argument was forgotten after a moment of intimacy and passion.
Things that happen when couples are in love
A couple’s connection in a relationship is not always a bed of roses. Do you understand what a romantic relationship means? For young couples in love, relationships have a little bit of both love and hate, agreement and disagreement, and passion and resentment blended in a perfect mixture.
The true picture
If your romantic relationship can survive the trying times, then you both, as a couple, have clearly unraveled the true meaning of love.
So, long before you realize (or sometimes after long), the intimacy subsides, the fire of romance dims in your once romantic relationship, and all you have left are two people who are now recognizing more and more little differences that are popping up here and there.
Little annoyances turn into grievances, and with enough time, even the resentment is not far behind. Top it up with expectations from your partner to live up to the promises you both made to each other as well as the pressure of everyday chores just add to the list.
The fault lies in us and not in our romantic relationship.
We have an inherent expectation that our partner’s behavior will remain the same forever.
Remembering the good old days
Just remember, while connecting with someone, how much extra thought and effort you have put into all the dates in your life, particularly that very first one?
With time, that much plastering will be coming off as you will slowly return back to your true selves. In a romantic relationship, this period is called falling in love, floating in the clouds, the honeymoon phase, and so on.
Once you have changed back to yourself again, suddenly, your partner’s expectations will not meet, arguments ensue, and resentments will take the place of love. Couples counseling can help you address conflicts and improve communication so you can have a great relationship without feeling like you’re walking on eggshells.
So, remaining yourself in any situation will attract people who will like you for who you are and not for who you are trying to be. Hence, always welcome honesty in your romantic relationship.
Also, if you are making this extra effort, it indicates that you are not happy with the way you are in your romantic relationship or might feel ‘we are not enough for one another. And, to mask this “deformity,” you will try to put on an act. But, when you are upset, misunderstandings will arise.
Intentionally or not, you will end up deceiving the other person.
So what do you expect out of your romantic relationship with your partner? Obviously, love and harmony forever and ever.
Now you multiply this performance by two, and it leaves very little room for surprise that the relationship is not going to work out just as you have planned.
Here we can see how trust and honesty are being compromised before you even meet another person. In a long term relationship, such behavior manifests as jealousy, cheating, and distrust.
If you don’t know who you are, your needs, and your preferences, how can you properly introduce yourself to another? If you are not having fun with yourself, are you really expecting someone else to enjoy your company?
We tend to wait for that someone special to bring out the best in us and love us unconditionally, but all it really means is we can’t be bothered (or don’t know how) to iron out our own creases and want somebody else to do it for us.
3. Be honest with yourself
Build trust in yourself, learn to express it and have a check in place that you and your message are being received by another the way you intend.
With the above, you are opening a channel of communication to your inner self and your date, your partner, your child, and an occasional passerby.
5 signs of true love in a relationship
As you embark on your journey of finding love, it’s important to be observant and understand the signs that denote couples in love. Here are five surefire signs of true love:
Couples in love want to spend every waking moment with each other. They’re happy when they’re around each other and look forward to spending time every day.
You make them feel loved and appreciated for who they are.
Couples in love feel strong, secure, and in love with each other.
Couples in love have open and honest communication with each other.
Couples in love trust and support each other no matter what.
In order to understand what causes couples in love to feel so, we need to take a look at what happens in the brain when we are madly in love. When we are infatuated with someone, we are flooded with pleasurable chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin in our reward system.
These hormones are responsible for making our hearts race and giving us that butterfly feeling when we first start dating someone new.
It is also during this time that we are likely to give our partners the benefit of the doubt and tend to overlook their flaws because we just can’t get enough of each other!
Know further how the brain falls in love here:
Takeaway: Making sense of love and romantic relationships
In a more long-term romantic relationship, when disagreement does take place for the couples in love, this honesty and the ability to express yourself will allow you to quickly identify your view on the situation and understand that of your partner.
So, enjoy harmony and feel loved in your romantic relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
I have dedicated most of my life to learning about health and human behavior and I find great fulfillment in helping people bring clarity into their lives, particularly in the realm of health and relationships.