REAL LOVE = CHALLENGE + SUPPORT
Truly loving relationships incorporate an oscillation between both support and challenge. It is an unattainable fantasy to expect love to be purely support.
STAGE 1 of relationship is the ‘Falling in Love’ stage where you are infatuated by this person you barely know. Dopamine and oxytocin levels sky rocket and you mistake this for love. This stage is all about support with zero challenge – they can do no wrong! They are the most amazing person to ever walk on the face of this planet!
STAGE 2 of relationship is the ‘Challenge Love’ stage where those infatuating chemicals have worn off and you are getting to know this person for who they are – warts and all. Your fantasy of those in-love feelings have diminished and you’re seeing parts of your partner that you never signed up for! And worse still, they are bringing out parts of you that you’re not so proud of!
STAGE 3 of relationship is the ‘Mature Love’ or ‘True Love’ stage where love becomes a daily choice and a practice. The art of love is oscillating between Stage 1 and Stage 2 – the support and the challenge. The two combined is love.
Most people leave relationship as stage one starts dwindling and shifting into stage two. Their model of love is: Love = Support – Challenge (Wrong!)
Sadly, these are the people who jump from relationship to relationship without ever getting to experience the fulfillment of true love. They do not grow and continue to take themselves (the common denominator to their failed relationships) to the next relationship. The problem lies in their equation for love and until this shifts, they will never move to Stage 2 or 3.
If you are someone who always believes that you have more to give as a person, as a man, as a woman, as a partner, as a lover, as a best friend… Then the good news is that making it through the challenges presented to in your intimate relationship can give you a golden ticket to becoming all you are capable of being.