There’s a ‘honeymoon’ period in every serious relationship, whether there’s been a ceremony or not, that isn’t about going away somewhere for a week or two. It’s a period of time during which all of the effort, anticipation and focus of combining two unrelated molecules into one stable compound seems to have worked. Hence the phrase, there was a chemistry between them. This time period typically lasts for about 6 months to 2 years, but not always. There are instances where this period doesn’t last as long as the week or two the couple goes away. In which case, we remark that there was bad chemistry from the start. There are other instances, though, where this period can seem to last uncomfortably long. The sweetness seems artificial. The niceness is forced. We tell ourselves and whisper to others, ‘watch out, something’s going to blow.’
What makes this stage, phase or time period of relationships so unique is that the peace and ease that each person experiences is directly related to their willingness to suspend their expectations of one another as they coordinate and cooperate in their efforts to combine. The newness of what is happening requires an attitude of openness and tolerance, a kind of free floating approach to alternate possibilities. Internally, it can feel like the weightlessness of space. That’s because we have escaped the gravity of our expectations. We are no longer pulled and the pinned down by our thoughts of how things are supposed to be or have to be in order for us to be happy. We actually have created some real space for ourselves and our partner.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon your perspective, after a while, we tell ourselves (in so many words) that we need to come back to earth. It’s not that feeling floaty, looser and lighter about things was bad. Nope. It’s just not what we’re accustomed to. We will quite sincerely tell ourselves that we have to get back to reality.
Feeling looser, feeling lighter, feeling less confined and restricted feels unreal.
BUT IT IS REAL.
We were there. We felt it.
We weren’t drugged. We weren’t hallucinating. We weren’t clinically insane.
But we will discount it, dismiss it and disregard anything we might have learned about ourselves during the experience.
Our newlyweds experienced their floatiness together for about a year. Physical intimacy was accomplished without harm or trauma but passion was never really sparked. She came to expect him to make her laugh in order for her to relax and he came to resent having to entertain her in order to have sex. Needless to say, they didn’t talk about it. The frequency of their intimacy trailed off accordingly. She told herself that this was probably normal. She feared, however, that he no longer found her attractive. He told himself that sex wasn’t as important to her as it was to him. Otherwise, she’d complain about not having it enough…just as she had started to complain about other things that weren’t up to her liking. He started spending time with sites on the internet. He’d used this venue before marriage and told himself that there was no harm in it.