Isn’t it an amazing feeling, falling in love? The sky seems bluer, the birds sing prettier, everything seems wonderful. Yet, we know that the brain rush of the chemicals of love has a limited time span, typically 6 months to 3 years. Once the initial euphoria fades away, how can you keep your love alive?
Here are some tips for falling (and staying) in love the right way.
*Enjoy the brain chemical rush, but don’t get caught up in it. Realize that the brain chemicals (dopamine, norepinephrine, etc.) that you first experience will make you feel “high” and giddy, but you also want to practice self-care. Don’t neglect your job or other responsibilities. Make sure you eat well and exercise; keep your body and mind strong.
*Take Your Time: Part of the chemical reaction of falling in love could be a fear (anxiety) of losing your partner. Thus, you may have a desire to “seal the deal”—commit too soon. Combat the uneasy sensation (anxiety) by spend a lot of time with your lover to see if you’re really compatible—through thick and thin—before you sign on the dotted line and commit to a long-term relationship.
*Keep the Love Alive With Romantic Gestures: Oxytocin is a bonding hormone that is released when you cuddle, touch, and make love. Spend time expressing physical affection and romantic tenderness to your partner or spouse. Keep doing it even after the honeymoon stage goes away, and you will have a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
*Practice Cinematherapy: Here’s a new approach to get closer to your mate. In a month’s time, watch up to 5 relationship movies, and then talk about the relationships—how they differ or are similar to your’s. This is an excellent way to achieve perspective and even a sense of humor about your own relationship conflicts.
*Turn Toward Your Partner, Not Away: Research shows that happily married couple turn toward each other (show genuine interest and attention) 87% of the time, while couples likely to divorce turn toward each other only 37% of the time. For example, when your honey talks about their interest in art, listen to and respond to them. If you want to watch TV, or stay on your phone instead, it could hurt their feelings, and end up damaging your relationship.
*Revere Your Differences: Few couples, if any, are exactly alike. One may be more spontaneous, the other more structured. One may be more Introvert (seeking energy within), and the other more Extravert (seeking energy from other people). In the beginning of the relationship, your partner can do no wrong. Later, once the brain chemicals wear off, you may start criticizing each other—based on personality differences. The key to a happy and harmonious long-term relationship is to embrace and accept each other’s differences, and realize how two people can complement each other (The Introvert relaxes the Extravert; the Extravert beings the Introvert out of their shell).
*Look at the Big Love Picture: Amidst petty squabbles and worries about kids, sex, family, and finances, couples often forget why they came together in the first place. The solution is to strive to remember what you loved (and still love) about your romantic partner. Gain perspective on minor annoyances and disagreements by focusing on the big picture of why you’re together: To create light in the world—a positive alliance that will contribute to your lives and the lives of others.
There you have it—ways to fall (and stay in love) the right way. Instead of rushing into an infatuation, or throwing in the towel when things get tough, you can invest in a growing and beautiful relationship that will yield many dividends: better emotional and physical health, longer life, more career and financial success, and above all, a greater sense of peace, love, and contribution.
For more, listen to Love University Podcast, How to Fall (and Stay) in Love The Right Way. and go to loveuniversity.love.