In the Beginning Passionate Love

Some call it infatuation, some call it insanity, but most of us agree that it's glorious. I'm talking, of course, about that fevered state known as passionate love. Passionate love is a state of fierce longing for your partner. At this early stage in your romantic relationship, the two of you are completely absorbed in each other, and it's often difficult to tell where lust ends and love begins. Perhaps that point is moot—unless, of course, you're thinking of making a long-term commitment when you're still at this stage.

Passionate Jove is a state of intense longing for union with another. It is usually expressed by kissing, hugging, j gazing intently at each other, frequent touching, and, of course, making love.

Passionate Jove is a state of intense longing for union with another. It is usually expressed by kissing, hugging, j gazing intently at each other, frequent touching, and, of course, making love.



You absolutely should not make any crucial life decisions while under the influence of passionate love. That's because during this time of wondrous highs (and devastating lows, when things don't go right), the two of you really are not in your right minds. Let's face it: Passionate love makes most of us a little crazy—crazy in a good way, but crazy nonetheless. And, much as we may wish it, that delicious high just doesn't last. Eventually the endorphin levels drop off, and things get more or less back to normal. We're simply not wired for perpetual ecstasy.

Of course, this doesn't stop some people from trying to maintain a state of constant rapture. Since it's almost impossible to sustain the passionate high with one person, people who are hooked on that new-love feeling will go from partner to partner, ending the relationship as soon as the newness wears off. These "love addicts" may leave the proverbial trail of broken hearts behind them, but in the end, they're the ones who suffer the biggest heartbreak.

For those who stick it out past the infatuation stage, what comes next? Is it all boredom and stagnation from there on out? Unfortunately, this is true with some couples. However, in the best-case scenario, people who continue to nurture their relationships can reap the rewards of a deeper kind of love.

As Time Goes By: Mature Love

No matter how hot passionate love is, eventually and inevitably it simmers down. For most couples, the passion begins fading within two to four years. People have different ways of coping with this loss of "paradise," but there are certain discernible patterns. Studies have shown, for example, that couples don't express affection to each other as frequently after about two years. Furthermore, in culture worldwide, the divorce rate peaks after about four years of marriage.

What gives? As mentioned previously, the fading of passionate love is partly a biochemical phenomenon; endorphin production returns to normal levels with the passage of time. Then there's the emotional reality of getting to know somebody; any illusions you may have had in the beginning about your partner's perfection are inevitably replaced with the day-to-day actuality of being with someone who is, after all, only human—-just like you.

The result of reality setting in is that the highs in the relationship aren't as high. The good news is that the lows aren't as low either, but that may be small comfort for those who are hooked on the thrill.

Companionate love ri characterized by try e bonding and emotional intimacy- Shared values and shared experiences become increasingry important

If love is to last, it must settle into a steadier, but still warm, state known variously as mature love or companionate love. This type of love is characterized by true bonding and emotional intimacy. Other factors besides physical attraction, such as shared values and shared experiences, become increasingly important. And while love in its more mature stages may be more low-key than passionate love, it is deeper and, some would say, in many ways it is sweeter.

The important thing to know is that companionate love does not preclude passion. It's not a complete trade-off, where you give up passion and get endurance in exchange. You may have to work harder at keeping the passion alive, but you can keep it alive for as long as you both wish.

Companionate love ri characterized by try e bonding and emotional intimacy- Shared values and shared experiences become increasingry important



As a matter of fact, I believe that a lasting relationship must include passion in order to be truly satisfying. The other two components for a successful long-term relationship are compatibility and commitment. (We'll talk about the latter in just a little while.)

Ask the Love Coach

Although many people believe that the demise of passion is inevitable in a long-term relationship, it's possible to keep passion alive indefinitely if you work at it. In fact, passion ii a necessary component for a truly satisfying long-term romantic relationship.

You don't believe it's possible? Many of the seduction scenes in this book have been shared with me by clients or friends, iome of whom have been married for years or even decades. {Remember the story of the octogenarians Seth and Sara in Chapter 17?) A former client of mine named Dan is yet another case in point. Dan and his wife Catherine recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, and their passion for each other is stronger than ever, What's their secret?

"We never forget that no matter how well we know each other, there is always something new to learn," Dan says. Catherine adds, "We try very hard not to take each Other for granted, and we alwayi make it a point to experience new thing! together—-whether it's a camping trip in New Mexico, or learning another language together. So far we've studied French and Italian, and we're thinking of tackling Russian next Doing new things keeps us evcited about life, which translates into excitement for each other." (Oh, and those classes in Tantric yoga that they've been taking together certainly haven't hurt their sen life,)

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So...Where Does Seduction Fit into This?

If we're to accept the idea that seduction is a never-ending process, we need to be aware of how it fits into our lives as the relationship grows and changes. Let's take a closer look at the role seduction plays in the different phases of a romantic relationship.

• Infatuation phase. This is where seduction plays the most obvious part—the starring role, if you will. In the beginning of your relationship, everything is new and enchanting; there is magic in the air around you. You're in the throes of passionate love, and virtually everything about your relationship is seductive. Seduction is what makes you both keep coming back for more.

Seduction plays a major part in keeping the passion alive once you have decided to make a commit

ment to someone,, but it should never be the sole factor in the decision-making process. When making iuch an important decision, use your head as well as your heart

• Middle phase. At this point, some of the newness is wearing off, but seduction continues to play a pretty strong part. It just requires a little prodding once the initial excitement wanes. This is why it is so important that you continue to seduce each other on all levels, and that you create adventures together, so your relationship doesn't become stagnant. (See Chapter 20.)

• Decision/commitment phase. Sooner or later, if your love lasts long enough, and you are both so inclined, you will reach a point where you're considering taking your relationship to the next level. For some couples this means moving in together; for others it means marriage. In any case, when you are making a decision to commit to someone, seduction should not play a major role. This doesn't mean you suspend seduction and passion altogether, but for a major decision such as commitment, you need to let your head and your heart be your guide, rather than your libido. That's why it's extremely important that you don't attempt to make any long-term commitments while you are still in that wild-and-crazy infatuation stage.

• Postcommitment phase. Now is the time for you to haul seduction out from wherever you temporarily placed it while you were making your big decision to commit to each other. Once you've made your commitment, seduction is not only desirable, it is necessary to keep the passion alive. Many people think that after the initial passion fades—an average of two to four years into the relationship—this is the beginning of the end of passion. That is emphatically not true. You can make the passion last indefinitely. This may take some work, but the rewards are worth it.

Continue reading here: Alk the Love Coach

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