If you keep making your love life decisions based on ‘a feeling’ you will keep having unsuccessful relationships! As your Dating Coach, I can help you change this for good.
In your search for love, you’re probably looking for that ‘in-love’ feeling. That amazing energy right in the beginning of a relationship that makes you weak at the knees and defies all logic thinking. When you find it being together will just feel right. It will feel like you were meant to be. You will even finish each other’s sentences. Call it passion. Call it infatuation. Every bone in your body will be screaming YES, YES, YES!
Anthropologist, Dr Helen Fisher has spent a great deal of her professional career studying the brain in love. Through the use of brain scans she has identified that a surge of hormones are to blame for this feelings of euphoria associated with passionate love. She also identified that being passionately in love triggers the same centres of the brain as do physical addictions:
“Of the many indications that romantic love is an addiction, however, perhaps none is more convincing than the growing data from neuroscience. Using fMRI, several scientists have now shown that feelings of intense romantic love engage regions of the brain’s “reward system”: specifically, dopamine pathways associated with energy, focus, motivation, ecstasy, despair, and craving, including primary regions associated with substance (and non-substance) addictions. “
I guess the good news is that you’re not alone and that your physiology is to blame!
Various research studies conclude that this initial stage of passion can last anything from 18 months to 3 years before the relationship either ends or moves on to the attachment phase. That’s quite a surprising finding considering most couples make a decision to tie the knot within two years of meeting each other.
There are a couple of dangers involved with making longer-term relationship decisions whilst you are in the initial stage of infatuation:
1. You may overlook compatibility issues which will come up in the longer run
2. You may miss warning signs indicating that your partner isn’t the right one for you
Where do you think the term ‘Love is blind’ comes from? But how can I, as a well-meaning Relationship Coach, convince you not to follow your gut feeling when you fall in love? My hope is that if you understand where it all came from, you may make different decisions in future.
What you perceive to be passion or chemistry is really your subconscious mind playing tricks on you. Deep within your subconscious you are programmed to be attracted to a certain type of person. This programming starts way back in childhood and continues to form during your adult life, but by the time you’re teenager you are pretty set on the type of person you’re attracted. Something about this person triggers a familiar feeling. Humans naturally like familiarity, it feels good.
Fast forward to a couple of years later when all these hormone levels are back to normal and you are going to need much more for the relationship to work. Passion is a terrible predictor of relationship success. In fact, it is a non-indicator of relationship success. Compatibility is much more important over the longer haul.
What are you to do then the next time your brain goes all dilly on you?
Firstly, you need to start making decisions rationally, analytically, with your brain and not your heart. I know it takes all the fun out of it but do you really want to be stuck in the same bad relationship situation time after time?
Here is an exercise I do with many of my Dating Coach clients:
Make a list of all the relationships you’ve had over the last 15 years. Write down each person’s name vertically, below one another leaving enough room in-between names to make notes.
Horizontally, create 3 columns named: ‘Good Character Traits’, ‘Bad Character Traits’ and ‘Reason the Relationship Ended’. Complete all these columns horizontally, from left to right for each name:
a. Good character traits: Think about when you met this person, what did you really like? What did you fall in love with about this person? During the relationship how did he /she treat you? What was your relationship like?
b. Bad Character Traits: Is there anything you did not like about this person? Think about the difficulties in your relationship. What were your arguments about?
c. Relationship Ended: Write down the real reason why the relationship ended. Don’t focus on the actual turn of events, but rather the meaning behind them.
Take a different color pen and circle all the words that come up more than once or are similar in meaning. Do this by analyzing the columns vertically one by one.
Now take a new piece of paper and right down those words that come up repeatedly.
This is the type of person you are subconsciously attracted to. The person that makes your hormones go wild, your dopamine levels rise and make irrational decisions when it comes to love. Are you falling for the same person with a different face over and over again?
Perhaps it’s time you start doing things differently in order to get a different result? As your Dating Coach I can help you do that.