I got a question from a 26 year old male who is having difficulty maintaining a romantic relationship beyond a few weeks. He wonders why he starts out with much excitement and in a few weeks, the excitement disappears and he quits the relationship. The missing ingredient is ‘Friendship’!
I assured him that nothing is wrong with him and he just needs to understand how our emotions work.
This guy has female friends, some that he has had for years. That means that he doesn’t have problems making and maintaining friendships with females. The loss of interest happen when romance is involved.
This is the explanation:
Singles, please pay attention!
When we are attracted to someone, maybe because of their looks, mannerisms or certain qualities they possess, you will notice that you are excited, you have increased heart rate and you generally feel good. This is as a result of oxytocin, the love hormone. The fact is that oxytocin cannot remain at a very high level in your brain for a long period of time. When this hormone is at a high level, you really can’t do much of thinking and proper judgement is impaired. For your own safety, the body usually regulates itself and the production drops.
When this happens, you see better, you can think! Then, you may discover that this person isn’t as fantastic as you thought. The excitement and interest will drop and you may think you don’t love the person anymore.
So how do you sustain the relationship when the excitement is no longer there? The answer is FRIENDSHIP!
Friendship is the bedrock of a successful relationship. You have to deliberately develop friendship with this person. Your relationship can’t go the long haul if all there is to it is romantic love. Romantic love is never enough. After you have developed friendship, you can step up the relationship to a deeper level.
There is no formula for building friendship. These are just a few helpful points:
- Talk, communicate regularly. Share your day’s events. This will give you a peek into the person’s life.
- Look for times to hang out regularly
- You need to be friendly. Be amiable.
- Seek to understand the person. Get to know each other. Show genuine interest.
- Be accepting, both of you can’t be exactly alike. How are you alike? How are you different? Accept each other’s uniqueness.
- Can you be yourself with this person? With your friend, there should be acting.
- When you have disagreement, how do you resolve it? Learn to disagree in a healthy way.
- Show respect. Be considerate. Don’t be overly demanding or possessive.
- Be a blessing to the person. Be a contributor. Don’t just be there to take. Both of you should be impacting the other for good.
- Be supportive. Cheer with your friend, cry with your friend. Have each other’s backs.
- Check for compatibility. Do you have mutual interest? Do you have things to talk about?
- With time, you should be comfortable with this person. You should feel safe; if you are afraid or tensed then you are not yet friends.
In conclusion, anyone seeking to build any long lasting romantic relationship should spend time cultivating friendship. The days that oxytocin is low and goody feeling has flown out the window, the bond of friendship will sustain you till you are able to stir up the romantic passion again! Chemistry and physical attraction will never be enough!