Most of us have been trained since childhood to anticipate Valentines Day. But there wasn't always a lot to look forward to. In fact, while some of us were celebrating V-Day in middle school and high school, others just saw it as yet another opportunity for peers to decide who's "in" and who's "out." It's all very 'Charlie Brown.'
A lot of emphasis is placed on Valentines Day even when you're an adult — just a different type of emphasis. Restaurants typically present "romantic menus" at about double the price. Romantic love is celebrated at every turn around the middle of February.
If this is your first or second Valentines Day with your new love, you can probably expect a thoughtful card, a cozy restaurant reservation or a bouquet of roses. That's what the "honeymoon phase" of a relationship is all about.
But what if you've been with your partner for a year or two, and on this high-pressure day you're starting to compare "how things used to feel" with the more down-to-earth relationship you're experiencing now. Maybe you've recently encountered your first taste of disillusionment with your partner and you wonder, are we still in love?
You're starting to discover each other's flaws and shortcomings and you might be feeling some disappointment in your relationship right about now.
This — rather than being a regrettable fact of life — is an important phase in your relationship. If handled properly, it can take you to the next level. After a couple of years, many couples wonder if the relationship is "going somewhere;" moving in together, getting engaged or even starting a family — or if emerging differences between you two are a sign you're not a good fit after all.
Nobody is automatically a good fit for another person. It might feel that way in the beginning, but you'll always be two separate individuals with marked differences in preferences, needs and desires. This is not a sign of trouble, but in fact normal and good. This next phase is about sharing more of who you truly are and about your willingness to listen to and understand your partner's differences. Trusting each other — and trusting in the truths of who you both are — is part of the foundation of the longlasting relationship you hope for. Keep reading ...
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