Romantic Love & Merging
Falling in Love
The other is sacred and precious and is seen through the Eyes of Love. Each partner sees the other as separate and unique. Each partner has a compelling urge to bare their soul and heart to the other and be affirmed and validated. Each partner has an intense desire to give their best and most valuable gift to the other – their love. Being in the presence of the other is exciting, joyful and frequently ecstatic. Sex is intimate, tremendously passionate, frequently ecstatic, always loving, and often spiritual.
Attraction and affection draw partners to spend more and more time together. Habituation enters the relationship. The distinct sense of separateness and other begins to diminish. Each partner begins to take the other for granted. Intimacy begins to be replaced by busyness and routine.
As psychological merging increases so do all the elements described in Slide 2 above. Each partner continues to lose a sense of separateness and closeness loses its excitement and takes on a quality of sameness and loss of intensity. Partners lose most of the sense of a precious or sacred other and begin to treat each other with the same attitudes that dominate their attitudes about themselves internally.
Merging Progresses to the Point of Severe Overlap
An almost complete state of psychological merger that results in loss of a true sense of an other. Sexual encounters are now more an experience of mutual masturbation than making love. Boredom from sameness dominates the relationship. Partners often treat each other the way they treat themselves internally. Any self-hate or low self-esteem permeates interaction with the partner.
The Resurrection of Romantic Love
Couples begin the process of adding spontaneity, mystery, gratitude and savoring to their daily interaction. Differentiation (a sense that there are now two individuals present in the relationship) begins to grow. Habituation is identified and attended to with love and creativity. Both partners renew their commitment to holding the relationship and the other as sacred and precious. Sexual encounters return to love making. Radical intimacy is practiced regularly. Affirmation and appreciation is voiced daily. Ecstasy returns and romantic love is revived.