When you find your mate, the world suddenly seems right. You are loved, your love is received. You believe that this is the absolutely best way to live.
Warning! Those stronger positive feelings are only part of the package. All of your negative feelings will be stronger, too. Arguments, fears, and struggles over how to spend time together are much stronger with a new love than with a new friend.
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You can prepare ahead of time! If you start right out talking about your feelings, and you both understand that your emotions will not be “normal,” then you can take them into account. You can work together to create safety.
ONE: WATCH FOR DANGEROUS EMOTIONS!
First, make a list of those dangerous emotions. See my book, Create New Love for a whole chapter about them. Here are some:
TWO: TELL EACH OTHER ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONS
Next, give each other examples of what sets off your emotions. You will be angry when he is late without calling, or she ignores you at parties, or he makes plans without consulting you. You will feel hurt when she makes plans without consulting you, he wants time alone, or she wants a “girl’s night out.” You find it humiliating when he doesn’t want sex, or she tells you to wear something else, or he suggests you skip desert. Once you know likely triggers, you both have more information about how to prevent irrational emotions, and be able to understand your partner’s.
THREE: KEEP TALKING
Remind each other that emotions become intensified when you are in love. Name those fears. Be caringly angry. Express jealousy. Remember that if your emotions are stronger than with a friend, it means you love each other! When you understand this, your feelings will seem less disturbing.
FOUR: BE FAITHFUL
Reassure your new mate that she or he is the only one. Infidelity causes lack of trust. I have read theories about how women are, by nature, monogamous and men aren’t. Yet when talking with clients, men are as devastated as women when their partner flirts or strays.
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Let’s start with the assumption that we are monogamously bonding creatures. Make the relationship feel safe to both of you. My book Reclaiming Healthy Sexual Energy: Revised will give you information about how to do this. You can make sure you don’t trigger this fear in your new love. If you avoid looking at attractive people, don’t flirt with others, and pull away from people you use to do this with, you will create a safe, secure love foundation.
FIVE: ACCEPT THE IRRATIONAL EMOTIONS, TOO