The Ideal Stage of Romance - Deepstash

The Ideal Stage of Romance

There is an amount of healthy idealization that helps us fall in love.

However, if we’re depressed or have low self-esteem, we’re more likely to idealize a prospective partner and overlook signs of trouble, such as unreliability or addiction, or accept disrespectful or abusive behavior. A lack of a support system or loneliness might also blind us to potential faults.

It is far better to first deal with these concerns before entering into a relationship.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The Psychology of Romantic Love

Our self-esteem, mental and emotional health, positive and negative life experiences, and family relations all influence whom we’re attracted to. 

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Falling in love

To us, being loved in a relationship is perhaps the highest ideal. It gives our lives meaning and purpose. Being loved validates our sense of self-esteem and soothes our fears of loneliness.

Our brains are also wired to fall in love. Dopamine provides a natural high and ecstatic feeling that can be as addictive as cocaine. 

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Getting to real love requires self-esteem, courage, acceptance, and assertiveness skills. It requires the ability to honestly speak up about our needs and wants, to share feelings, compromise, and resolve conflict. 

It requires a commitment by both partners to get through the ordeal stage with mutual respect and a desire to make the relationship work.

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As romance and idealization fade, we enter the ordeal stage.  We learn more things about our partner that displease us and discover habits and flaws we dislike and attitudes we believe to be ignorant or distasteful. 

Two things can damage a relationship during this period.

  • We fear losing or upsetting our partner and hold back feelings, wants, and needs. 
  • We complain and try to turn our partner into who we first idealized him or her to be.  

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  1. Know yourself, your needs, wants, and limits.
  2. Take time to learn who the person you are dating really is and how you both resolve conflict.
  3. Be honest about who you are and what your expectations are in a relationship. 
  4. Self-worth is essential to healthy relationships.
  5. Learn to be assertive to express your feelings, needs, and wants and set boundaries.

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  • There may be an imbalance of power or one partner may have taken on responsibility for the other.
  • They’re often anxious and resentful and feel guilty and responsible for their partner’s feelings and moods.
  • They can feel trapped in the relationship because they fear that they cannot function on their own.
  • They can’t tolerate disagreement and blame one another for causing their problems without taking responsibility for themselves.

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  • you feel like people take advantage of you or use your emotions for their own gain.
  • you feel like you’re constantly having to “save” people close to you and fix their problems all the time.
  • you find yourself sucked into pointless fighting or debating regularly.
  • you find yourself more invested in a person than you should.
  • you tell people how much you hate drama but seem to always be stuck in the middle of it.
  • you spend a lot of time defending yourself for things you believe aren’t your fault.

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Attachment theory is an area of psychology that describes the nature of emotional attachment between people, starting with your parents. The quality of how well you were cared for will then influence the nature of your relationships later in life.

There are four attachment strategies: secure, anxious, avoidant, and anxious-avoidant.

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