Love as Romance

Part 2 of 5 How to Win At Love – in Five Easy Stages

STAGE  #2 ROMANTIC LOVE ~ you’ve found “The Perfect One”

Lust (Stage 1 – see yesterday’s post) has its place to get you up and out of your comfy zone and into the daunting domain of dating, but it can take you only so far – right?  A few too many maddening mismatches, beastly blind dates and embarrassing evenings and you’ll either give up dating for a while to lick your wounds, or you’ll fall madly for The One.

Finally you’ll meet someone who is utterly unlike all the others. Everything about this person is perfect. Her smile, his eyes; her moves, his laugh; her wit, his jokes. You’ve found your soul mate; the one whose existence makes the sun brighter and the moon more mysterious. Think Romeo to your Juliet (or visa versa).

As much as this feeling of love brings out your most noble self, it too is simply a function of our evolutionary journey, according to Dr. Helen Fisher.  While lust and attraction get you looking for sex with anyone remotely appropriate, fueled by androgens and estrogens, this second stage of Romantic Attraction washes you in a different chemical bath. Now you become drunk on a heady mix of dopamine, testosterone, norepinephrine  and endorphins. You become obsessed by an intense craving for your beloved and typically enjoy more energy, an upbeat mood, and a sense that you and your beloved can take on the world together.

What to do?

Enjoy it!

This phase only lasts from 2 to 24 months and is the shortest (and most intense) of the five stages of love. The goal of this stage of your love relationship is to build the fire so bright and so hot that it’s warmth will see you through the rougher stages to come.

How to win at ROMANTIC LOVE?

TIP 1 ~ Be romantic. Recognize this stage for what it is and give yourselves fully over to it. Take those adventures overseas together. Be a little bit wild and crazy. Open up to new ways of appreciating being alive. Read aloud, dance, play, skip, swim naked, cook together, visit the zoo, take risks. Listen – you are children in the garden of delight so please – go for it!

TIP 2 ~ Avoid responsibilities. In an ideal world, don’t take on a family or mortgage too soon – they can kill romantic love so fast. Sure, second marriages sort of “come with” the family and mortgage stage, so work hard to carve out some play time for yourselves before signing your beloved onto your mortgage papers or having your sweetie discipline your kids.

TIP 3 ~ Dream a little. Plant some seeds for the future. Set goals, create Bucket Lists. Discuss what excites you about tomorrow. When the chemicals wear off, you’ll be glad of some solid ground upon which to stand, together.

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