Love coach: How to balance relationship safety and excitement
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- Fitness & Health
- Published on Thursday, 12 November 2020 11:08
- Last Updated on 17 November 2020
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We live in a culture that is obsessed with love.
We have transformed from a culture where the marriage was an arrangement to help survive and have a safe unit to raise a family.
Today falling-in-love is considered the motivation for relationships and marriage. Being in love is an addiction and not a solid foundation for a long-term relationship.
Before getting into a relationship, you should look out for five things in a potential partner.
We now face the constant challenge of balancing our need for closeness with our need for autonomy.
Attachment vs. individualisation
One of the biggest challenges of any relationship is that we need both safety and excitement to explore our individual expression.
Often these two are not compatible.
They live on opposite sides of the spectrum.
Excitement is the new, unknown, and has some risk, while safety is familiar and known.
Relationships safety is made up of key moments that define if we trust or distrust our partner.
As children, we got safety from our caregivers and excitement with our friends when we went out to explore, and now, we expect both from one person.
Our most fundamental need is safety, and attachment provides this.
The most significant ongoing conflict and an obstacle to desire and attraction is the imbalance between attachment and individual expression.
We expect to get both from the same person.
Relationships need both attachment and individualism. Both safety and excitement.
Most often, attachment takes centre stage, and our individual needs get suppressed to accommodate the other’s attachment needs.
In the long run, this will only build resentment and dissatisfaction, causing a significant decrease in sexual desire and intimacy.
Unless you deal with your insecurities and attachment wounds so you can allow each other freedom of self-expression, and you learn to address each other’s attachment needs without slipping into control, then eventually, the relationship either breaks down or disconnects.
Your relationship can flourish if you both learn to get in touch with your needs and express them clearly and lovingly.
At the same time, understand your partner’s triggers, and attachment needs to feel safe, loved, and cared for.
It will be a balance between accommodating their attachment needs to feel safe and secure while not suppressing your own core individual needs.
If one party is more insecure and quickly feels that the attachment is threatened, then you can work through this obstacle together.
Attachment and intimacy are learned skills that we learned in childhood from our caregivers.
If these relationships were unhealthy or traumatic, it could significantly impact how we relate to others.
However, these patterns can be relearned through awareness and having new attachment experiences.
“Talk therapy” has a limited effect on restoring damaged attachment and our feelings of insecurity and feeling unsafe in the world.
This can mainly be repaired through relationships that give us new experiences of safe attachment.
When we fall in love, we often believe the connection will last forever, so we rush into marriage without considering what will bond us together when the honeymoon stage fades.
There are three things you should consider before getting married.
If you feel anxious or unsafe, then you need more safety in your relationship.
If you feel bored, you need more excitement and newness, so speak to your partner about your needs to find the balance.
In our western world, tribal communities have almost completely disintegrated.
We lived close to family and friends who would help raise children and provide for our different needs.
Now we expect one person to be what an entire tribe used to provide.
Be the best friend, our soul mate, pay the bills, help with housework, help with kids, share our passions and interests, do family duties, provide safety and comfort, make us laugh, fulfil our sexual fantasies, be safe, and familiar but also new and exciting.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect one person to fulfil all those needs.
It is little wonder why after the honeymoon period, when adaptation kicks in and brain chemicals begin to settle down, a lot of relationships experience disappointment, or they fall apart altogether.
We need to adjust our expectations and realise what needs our partner can fulfil and what needs we need to get elsewhere.
If you are already in a relationship or marriage and it’s gone off-track, then four skills could save your marriage.
Remember, it’s ok to outsource some of your needs and discuss this with your partner.
If you are looking for a marriage counselor near me then click here.
Thomas is the Founder of Zensensa.com, the leading institute in authentic relating.
He provides counselling for couples and singles and is an author and workshop facilitator.