Romantic Love vs. Lasting Connection and Bonding
Ed Peterson, LCSW, MBA
Romantic Love versus Lasting Connection and Bonding
Dr Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy, wrote in her book Hold Me Tight, “Love has an immense ability to help heal the devastating wounds that life sometimes deals us. Love also enhances our sense of connection to the larger world. Loving responsiveness is the foundation of a truly compassionate, civilized society.”
You are so right Sue!
We long to hold on to the romantic sentiments of the early days of our relationships. We begin these relationships with the highest hopes - hopes of finding true love and connection. Then we find “that” person and we experience delicious drunk-like feelings – we feel “completed” – it feels so good. We long to hold onto this bliss - we naturally crave love and connection and when we get a taste of it (especially the passion) we are drawn to it passionately – we want it night and day.
But in this quest we are confused - we are trying to control the uncontrollable.
We think we know what we want. But we’re lost in a chemical soup that our brain loves – it’s a dopamine and oxytocin party! we’re drunk on love.
We’re flying blind toward a buzz saw - a collision course toward disappointment.
But the good news is that all is not lost! In fact, nothing is actually wrong. We are just on the predictable path from romantic love toward real love – now a real relationship can emerge.
The trick is to be aware. Without awareness we are doomed to conclude that when the ecstatic and drug- like feelings are what we most want - we could then tragically conclude that the answer is to find a new partner, a new love – one who will bring back the magic.
But, actually, we are now at the beginning of a real relationship – a place where wisdom and sacrifice and joy and connection live - but so often we don’t see the opportunity - the grass seems greener somewhere else, with someone else.
The IRONY is that we are now actually fact-to-face with a real person who we can learn to truly love and cherish. Now true and lasting love can emerge.
Ed Peterson is an LCSW, MBA practicing at the EFT Clinic. Would you like more from Ed? Call our office to schedule an appointment with Ed or visit www.petersonfamilytherapy.com/seminar to learn about upcoming Seminars presented by Ed and Candace Peterson.