“Falling Out of Love”
Falling out of love is a myth that can create a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.It attributes disconnect to some vague force that descends upon your relationship.In actuality, it is something you have a choice about.
In the framework of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), love is a need not a feeling.The initial experience of “falling in love” involves a short and intense period of time in which you both temporarily drop boundaries and meet each other’s needs for love, caring, intimacy, touch, affection, nurturing, play, being seen & heard and possibly more.With all these needs being met deeply in a short amount of time, it’s natural that that light happy feeling called “in love” arises.
If you stay with this person you have “fallen in love with”, your boundaries will reappear and it will take a clear intention to continue to meet your needs within the relationship and outside the relationship.
Unfortunately this is not always so easy.Once you are officially in a relationship, all you have ever learned about what it means to “be in a relationship” demands your attention and sometimes hijacks your clarity.
You may find yourself having thoughts about what a good partner should or shouldn’t do.You may compare yourself and your partner to standards that stimulate disconnect.
If you think you should act in a certain way, you give up a part of yourself and many of the healthy activities you did before the relationship.If you think your partner should act in a certain way, you lose connection with your own unmet needs and the ability to make clear requests of your partner.
The sense of “falling out of love” is an important warning signal letting you know that something is interfering with your connection to yourself and your beloved.When you notice this warning signal you can ask yourself some questions to help find clarity:
-Am I telling myself stories about how I should be or how my partner should be?
-Have I given up parts of myself or what helps me thrive because of some idea about pleasing my partner?
-Am I so scared of losing my connection with my partner that I usually give up my needs in favor of trying to stay connected to my partner?
-Am I longing to meet particular needs in partnership and hopeless that they can be met in this relationship?
-Can I name the needs unmet for me in this relationship and can I make do-able requests of myself or my partner regarding them?
Take a moment to reflect on your partner relationship or another intimate relationship in your life.Write down two ways you would like to attempt to meet that person’s need for love and caring.Write down two requests you could make of this person that would meet needs alive for you?
***click here for a list of feelings and universal needs http://www.wiseheartpdx.org/resources.php