Reality check…this is going to be work?

Meet – date – disappointment
Meet – date – disappointment
Meet – date – disappointment
**Repeat as required**

And then – FINALLY– you meet someone with whom you feel that unexplainably rare connection. You click on another level. There is chemistry. There is passion. There are butterflies. You see life through the same lens. You want the same things. You have the same end vision. You walk the earth at a compatible pace. You can’t get enough of each other. You’d wear each other’s skin as evening attire if you could (pretty sick eh? But it’s true, right?!). It’s uniquely magical and nothing could ever severe this newfound bond. You think to yourself “YES FINALLY”!!

Picnic - Romantic couple in spring nature

About a year ago when my boyfriend Gary and I met, we fell for each other – fast and furious. It was an amazing and memorable period of my life that is locked away in a special compartment of my heart. Gary was like no other man I had met before – kind, charming, funny, handsome, romantic, and most importantly a man with extreme integrity. I knew very early on that I could spend the rest of my life with him as he made me feel like the most wonderful woman in the world. I described to him my relationship vision and my desire to be in this “2%” category. Gary immediately bought into my 2% theory and was fully onboard the road to an exceptional, connected, and lasting relationship with me. He was as committed as I to investing the effort and time necessary to shape the relationship into what we both desired.

My amazing and inspiring life coach, Dr. Lise Janelle, refers to this initial phase as the “infatuation phase” of a relationship. In this phase, both partners are recklessly obsessed with one another and think of each other as “perfect beings” that can do no harm and cause no hurt. Gary and I were in major denial when Lise suggested we were in this phase: “no no no Lise – this is love – we’ve met our 2% partners – this is it”. With her warm and kind-hearted demeanour, Lise smiled, nodded her head, and was subsequently there for support a few months later when the infatuation wore off, reality set in and we were finally on our journey towards a deeper and lasting connection – real love.

Blog post 2b
Gary and I:  snapped in the midst of a post-infatuation phase discord (from what I recall it was regarding dinner plans).  Funny to look back at how petty it was and our evolution since then.

I like to think of the infatuation phase as looking at the relationship through rose-colored glasses. You see nothing wrong with the other person and, more often than not, you tend to sacrifice your needs for your partner and the relationship. Eventually this comes crashing down as it is completely unsustainable in the long run. If a couple is able to work through that post-infatuation crash, then it’s the first concrete step towards a strong and sustainable love. As Gary and I experienced, this phase is utterly exhilarating, but it’s not reality. Today, the “fun” and at times extremely challenging part is to learn how to grow in love together– love for ourselves and love for each other. It can be a challenging process when two people come together to grow in love – especially after the age of 30 in my opinion. At this point in our lives, it’s two personalities, two sets of baggage, life experience and needs, two distinct ways of processing information – all coming together. It’s like two storms crashing into one another in an attempt to form one massive force. There are bound to be growing pains and challenges along the way – some more difficult than others. (On a side note, I’m puzzled at how polyamorous relationships manage through these initial growing pains with a complex weave of partners to consider – but that’s an entire post of its own!).

Couple holding hands at sunset

Suffice to say, I was clearly delusional in thinking that because I had met my match that the process would be seamless – it’s certainly far from that. Getting to the 2% level requires steady effort and is certainly not a given. The important thing is to keep your eye on the prize, bear in mind the shared vision and values, and invest the time, effort and above all, vulnerability required to achieving your relationship goals – all with an open heart and kind spirit.

Next Post: Strategic planning – for more than business plans


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