Sexploration, Israel and Cathie Helfand, Cabot Vermont, 1-800-707-4566
Being "In Love"
Many couples start out feeling that they are totally "in love" with each other. They are attracted to each other, to their taste and smells. They feel very excited, full of lust and passion. This condition is practically euphoric, spiritual, and very pleasurable. The production of dopamine and other "happy" hormones is so high and intoxicating that these lovebirds hardly need to sleep or eat. Even co-workers and friends can see their "love glow". During this stage many lovers spend all of their time together, losing sight of their job, school, family, and long-term friends.
Obviously, these lovers have high expectations for their relationship satisfaction over time. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to hold onto that level of excitement forever. What is supposed to happen in a long term relationship is that the attraction and excitement shifts into a comfort, attachment, and commitment. This is needed to successfully move into the next phase of married life and raising a family.
While commitment, trust, and emotional intimacy create the basis of a happy long term relationship, they can actually be an obstacle to healthy sexual excitement, or eroticism. For some people, security, commitment, and predictability do not evoke passion, and could even be thought of as sexually boring or a turn-off.
While the happy couple "matures", their future becomes intertwined with each other. Both partners tend to lose a little, or a lot, of themselves as separate individuals and begin to experience themselves almost exclusively as a couple. Their high level of intimacy wanes as does their level of separateness and individuality.
In general, people want to feel desired by their lover and want to desire (be attracted to) them. These feelings of desire and desirability, attraction and positive anticipation, contribute to the feeling of "being in love". In addition to the newness of a relationship the presence of any obstacles increases the excitement and allure. Affairs are often exciting because of the secrecy and a sense of having obstacles in the way. Sex in long term relationships are often seen as boring because of the inevitable predictability.
Marriage is a paradox; on the one hand two people become one (symbiotic), and on the other hand human nature often resists that sense of abandonment for fear of losing one's sense of "self". This struggle for closeness and intimacy versus excitement and adventure is a never ending journey. The challenge in a long term relationship is to find ways to keep the "in love" and excited feelings alive, while maintained the integrity of a secure and committed relationship.
We have successfully worked with thousands of couples on their emotional and sexual intimacy issues. Through a thorough examination and clarification of a your relationship we can help you to re-kindle your love life.
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