Thursday, January 27, 2011


Ah, reality. Inevitably, predictably, eventually, reality rears its (ugly?) head and the bubble bursts on the Romantic stage. Sometimes it is a slow leak, other times a sudden and complete blowout. But either way, something happens which causes a minor or major conflict in the new relationship. Sometimes the trigger is living together and having to share household chores and experiencing personal habits up close. Sometimes it is an act of deception which is discovered. Sometimes it is planning a wedding, buying a house, or sharing finances. Whatever the cause, after the conflict occurs, it becomes impossible to continue the fantasy that this person and this relationship are immune from struggle, from effort, from reality. Differences which were previously obscured suddenly become visible. Conflicts, anxieties, disappointment and hurt replace the effortless flow of the Romantic stage. There is a sense that this person is not living up your hopes and dreams, and there is an accompanying loss of closeness. Gradually each person is forced to relinquish some of their most cherished romantic fantasies, or to cling to them desperately in a state of denial.

In this stage, it is common to feel as if someone or something or even Life itself has cheated you or robbed you of something precious, almost like a stage of grieving the loss of something innocent and wonderful. There is a desire to be close again but confusion as how to create that. It is the first time that fears of intimacy begin to arise. Suddenly the couple must learn how to deal with very real differences, how to deal with conflict, and how to integrate being an independent person as well as someone in an intimate relationship.

In short, Adjusting to Reality is the stage where the Real Relationship begins.

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