Updated: Oct 13, 2021
The simple answer is: we fall out of love because that is the only way for us to start learning how to really love. Being in love - or romantic love - has its place, but it's very different from true love.
When we are in love, our brains secrete all the “happy hormones” that make us feel wonderful and motivated. For real! When you are in love, your system is flooded with dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Because of this, investing in your relationship during this romantic love phase is easy. We don't mind going that extra mile for one another. It is almost as if it requires no effort. As you know, it doesn't stay that way. But that does not mean that the feeling of being deeply connected has to go away - it just takes much more effort. I can even say it takes a different kind of effort. It takes real love.
Those same expressions of love and caring that was so easy to do when you were in love might feel impossible to do later. Once there is a certain level of commitment, the brain decreases the level of happy hormones. Isn't that fascinating?
When we fall in love, we get a lot of help. But once that stage is over, we have to practice loving one another in order for the same level of hormones to be produced. For example (if you have read my book 10 Habits Of Happy Relationships, you already know this), your body releases oxytocin when you hug for at least 20 seconds. You might not always feel like hugging and holding your partner, and for some of you it might even be scary, but that's what it takes.
Usually, we think that it is our partner that changed a lot, but actually it is both of you - because both of your brains decrease the levels of hormones being secreted. When this happens, you really change back to being yourself. Now the goal is to create what you experience in the romantic love phase, intentionally. Once again it's about practising true love.
Another question could be: why do we fall in love in the first place? Falling in love helps us to commit to someone and to then start the process of learning how to love that person and ourselves.
Remember when you learned to ride a bike? You had a lot of help. Training wheels, someone pushing you forward and catching you when you fell over. Everyone was excited for you, supported you and was so proud of you. It was fantastic!
But what if you were still riding with training wheels today? Would you still expect everyone to show the same excitement about your cycling skills? The better you get, the less you are supposed to need these extras. The problem in relationships is that we don't want to take off the training wheels and find our own balance.
When you are little, you WANT to get better so you no longer need all the help. We don't see relationships the same way - we think riding with training wheels is normal and is the way it should be. When the training wheels break and fall off, we are not prepared at all. We fall over - sometimes we not only fall out of love, we fall out of commitment. This is why I think it's so important to have your own definition of love. A definition that's healthy and helpful. If you have a definition, it is something that you can actually practice consciously.
My question to you today, is: are you still practising to do the things that were once so easy? Do you long for your training wheels, or are you constantly increasing your skill level and enjoying the freedom that this brings?
I hope I'm not being too abstract today, my friends. Feel free to send me a message with your thoughts.
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