Falling in love is easy, and certainly one of the most beautiful and exciting experiences of our lives. We’ve seen the Disney movies, read the fairytales, and pretty much absorbed the cultural construct of some version of meeting our “soulmate,” falling in love, getting married, with the expectation that they will live “happily ever after.”
So, how do we cope when our relationship reality doesn’t match what we’ve been taught to expect? Or, suddenly includes stressors we never anticipated like a pandemic?
Expectations can be the undoing of even the best love matches, the ones where everything is “in sync” – attraction, mutual respect, shared values, supportive families, compatibility and the wonderful spark of “chemistry.” The falling in love part of a loving relationship is only the beginning.
Keeping love alive requires the intention to hold on to what we’ve found, with some degree of vigilance, including self-awareness, compassion and tolerance for the person we love, and honest communication of our own vulnerabilities and needs. No matter how long you have been with the person you love or how much that person loves you, love does not give your partner the ability to read your mind.