The First 6 Months.
Why The First 6 Months Matters…
- > So who is actually wearing the pants in the relationship ie who is in their masculine (directing mode) more and who is in their feminine (performance mode) more? Neither position is better than the other, but in order to love in total congruence, the more you understand your roles, the easier it is to work through the hard stuff that shows up from past wounding. I’m sure it’s clear to both of you and this is a big distinction to begin to challenge in the relationship. Questions like…[Do I feel that the other person has too much "control" or "power" and how can I regain my sense of self through the merge?] serve your mind and your heart. The first few months we tend to get stuck in default behaviors, playing safe and small. Now that safety sheds its skin after several months knowing the others’ strengths and weaknesses, getting dangerous becomes more comfortable. By dangerous I mean self expressed in your real Truth. The first 6 months creates a huge opening for your inner most desires and fears to be co-created. If you have skated through the relationship without confronting the “hard” questions such as views on marriage, kids, politics, control, compromises, money, sexual fantasies, etc., you are just biding your time for an avalanche. There is no reason to put these off if you seek a long term sustainable relationship. If you seek something more casual, then I get it.
- > Depending on how much time the two of you spend together, your sexual chemistry might be evolving. According to a team of researchers in Italy at the University of Pisa, sexually attractive bodily chemistry lasts at most two years, then hormones take over as the relationship stabilizes. According to a BBC article on Feb. 3rd, 2006, the Italian researchers tested the levels of the hormones called neutrophins in the blood of volunteers who were rated on a passionate love scale. Levels of these chemical messengers were much higher in those who were in the early stages of romance. Testosterone was also found to increase in love-struck women, but to reduce in men when they are in love. But in people who had been with their partners for between one and two years these so-called “love molecules” had gone, even though the relationship had survived. The scientists found that the lust molecule was replaced by the so-called “cuddle hormone” – oxytocin – in couples who had been together for several years. Oxytocin, is a chemical that induces labour and milk-production in new and pregnant mothers. Donatella Marazziti, who led the research team, said: “If lovers swear their feelings to be ever-lasting, the hormones tell a different story.” Similar research conducted by Enzo Emanuele at the University of Pavia found that levels of a chemical messenger called nerve growth factor (NGF) increased with romantic intensity. After one to two years, NGF levels had reduced to normal.‘Real Cupid’s arrows’The researchers said: “Whether more nerve growth is needed in the early stage of romance because of all the new experiences that are engraved into the brain, or whether it has a second, as yet unknown function in the chemistry of love, remains to be explored.” Michael Gross, a bio-chemist and science writer who has studied the latest findings, said: “It shows that different hormones are present in the blood when people are acutely in love while there is no evidence of the same hormones in people who have been in a stable relationship for many years.”In fact the love molecules can disappear as early as 12 months after a relationship has started to be replaced by another chemical glue that keeps couples together.” He added: “To any romantically inclined chemist, it should be deeply satisfying to be able to prove that chemical messengers communicate romantic feeling between humans. It may be the only thing that science can offer as a real-world analogy to Cupid’s arrows.” But Dr Boynton said: “This feeds into a 1970s view that when you meet it’s all sparky, and then it’s a downward trajectory to cuddles – which is seen as a negative. “It is suggesting that what happens first is the best bit – and that isn’t true.” She added: “I’m concerned that, having identified these hormones, there will be some move to suggest replacements to recreate the early passion.” Romantic love ‘lasts just a year.’ Some couples may disagree, but romantic love lasts little more than a year, Italian scientists believe.
A sample of our suggested practices for The First 6 Months…
- > CO-CREATE CLEAR STRUCTURE ON PAPER for the relationship. Don’t just let the wind blow you any direction. Begin to take full responsibility for ALL POSSIBILITIES. Treat the relationship as an investment that will reap huge dividends if you both outline the boundaries and the goals. I mean really dig in. Create the space for an open sharing by initiating the declarations on paper yourself. Do not wait for the other to support you, just do it! Outline your thoughts on every agreement that could arise from money, to romantic time management, to vulnerability concerns, to trust issues, to wounding patterns, to entertainment or travel plans, to family possibilities, to sexual curiosities, etc. By putting thought into this once, you can use it as a template for future relationships if this one doesn’t work out The idea is to take a leadership role for what you want to create and then to invite the other person to share into that transformed co-creation. It doesn’t have to take more than a few hours either! You gotta start somewhere and the more you “own” what you desire, the higher the probability for results. Relationships are about results just like business, but with understanding for slip-ups. By not forcing an outcome or being overly attached to only your own desires, you fill in the gaps and hiccups with love. Trade your desires around. Try different agreements on to see what works and what doesn’t. Love isn’t perfect but it We are not trained to love in brilliance because our society is rooting against us in many ways. Ignore what the ordinary person does and take on a greater role to actually deliver on what you two seek to create!
- > Make a list of all the things you want to know about the person and all the things you want to share early. Everyone has a different set of circumstances (divorce, kids, financial troubles, disease, abuse, etc.), some more challenging than others, some pasts more checkered than you would imagine. It’s up to you to decide what to share, but the more vulnerable you come across, the greater the capacity for the other person to feel safe and to share. It isn’t about finding love in another to make up for your missing pieces. It’s about getting closer to loving yourself with another. In order to do that, on one hand we need to know if our boundaries are drawn at similar distances and how fast we seek to push them. If the safe zones cross too far into the unknown for the other person, then find out early via strategic shares, depending on your maturity. Some things are particularly delicate but why not find out the other person’s capacity sooner rather than later. 6 months is plenty of time to know if someone is going to match your basic needs.
- > Flirt it up in all sorts of childlike ways. Since neither of you really knows one another yet, play off that mystery and pretend to be whoever you want! Be the joker, be the seducer, be naughty, be nice, be curious. There are no rules during the first set of exchanges but if you don’t take any calculated risks early on, you will lead the other person to believe that your date was normal. Step it up regardless of your regular lifestyle. Love isn’t normal. People do the dumbest things while falling in love. Just listen to the stories from your friends about what they did early on and still made the grade! In order to get someone to open their heart, no doubt you gotta make them feel safe, but safety zones are meant to be challenged at a calibrated pace. If you’re still texting or talking after the first date, now is the time to introduce some bold energy into the mix. If you play it safe again and again, you will come across as a friend. Friends are there for safety, lovers are there for safety and danger!
- > Download emoticon apps on your phone and share silly expressions via texting. Since people rarely call one another any more, it is vital to get out of black and white text. Use slang and shortened poetic expressions that might crack a smile or a giggle. It isn’t about being cool as much as it’s about being creative. If you can introduce novelty into a person’s life, they will become even more intrigued in your way. It can be as simple as sending out a few colorful ‘namastes’ or ‘lightning bolts’ to describe something in your day. So much of an emotional connection is hinged to unique expressions that you might find yourself opening up more through subtle imagery than typical words.
- > Exercise as often as you can to get a good dose of endorphins and to allow your body to use this new intensity to do all sorts of good. It will keep you level headed and more relaxed during your first few times together. It helps to remove nervous energy stored in the muscles. Yoga or running or walking fast will increase your heart rate much better than weight-lifting. By breathing deeply often during a workout, you are training yourself to bring more oxygen to the brain which helps ameliorate anxiety issues.
- > Review your ‘dating contract’ that you hold true to yourself. In our coaching program we would help you with this. Are those deal breakers really worth walking away from a potential partner? Does he or she have to be vegetarian, or into children? Spend a few moments reflecting before you go to bed and outdoors on the specifics. Rate your deal breakers on a scale of 1 to 10. Lay it all out in advance before you start to get overly attached to the physics of it all. Physical attraction is irresistible at times, but not once you hold yourself accountable to your higher principles. Think about your patterns in the past and try to mix it up. If you always play it safe early, put yourself out there more early to see what happens and vice versa. Getting hot and semi-heavy is great during the first week as long as you know that this person will call you forth to be your best self. There is rarely a reason to sleep with someone during the first week as you can get plenty frisky without going all the way to see if you are still compatible in the bedroom.