The final installment: Renewed Intimacy and Saying Good-bye
Renewed Intimacy (or The Slow Burn)
It’s amazing how quickly we can move from either the Daily Routine or How Did We Grow So Far Apart into Renewed Intimacy, assuming we have that good foundation to build from. (Are you seeing a recurring pattern here?)
Given a little time and attention, a relationship built on a solid foundation will often re-blossom quickly. You may never experience the Passion, Love and Lust phase again in your existing relationship, but the Renewed Intimacy phase can be far more satisfying in the end.
During this phase of your relationship you find that you have truly reached a level of ongoing love and friendship that can endure anything that life throws your way. You know your partner’s likes and dislikes, and you clearly speak each other’s language. At this phase of the relationship, it seems like kismet. Often times people feel as if they’ve been together their whole lives and can’t imagine what their life would have been like, or would be like, without the other person in it.
This doesn’t mean that you can take each other for granted. Chances are high that at this point in your relationship, you know exactly what it takes to keep things going. The passion and lust may have settled into a slow burning ember that will burns for years with minimal tending.
In fact, it no longer feels as if any effort is required. Tending to your relationship, doing those things that keep it growing, has become an integral part of your new Daily Routine. It’s not about getting stuck in a rut, but about continuing to grow together and separately, but never apart. These are the relationships that we long for, the ones that last for decades.
Sadly, not all relationships are meant to last, and even good ones eventually end with Good-bye.
What’s that? Even good relationships end with Good-bye? Yes, even good relationships end with Good-bye.
We reach a point in our lives when our physical bodies, or our minds, are no longer able to sustain us. Sadly, one of us will have to say good-bye to the other. This can be sudden and painful, or slowly drawn-out and equally painful.
How you reach this phase will determine for you how easy it is to move forward. If you get here shortly after Getting To Know You, it may be as simple and painless as not reconnecting. As I’ve mentioned earlier, if you’ve skipped straight into Passion, Love and Lust, it may be a more difficult and painful process, resulting in sleepless nights, doubt and regret.
How you choose to say good-bye to a long and loving relationship is up to you. Saying good-bye is a deeply personal experience, and unique to each and every one of us. I’ve seen some people struggle with anger over the sudden death of a spouse, or the slow onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. This anger, more often than not, is a mask to hide the deep pain and feelings of abandonment that we feel. As anyone who’s been through the lose of a loved one can tell you, working through this grief can be gut-wrenchingly painful, and something that we want to avoid for as long as we can. However, it’s not until we do so that we can move forward in our own lives, remembering and honoring all the good that we had and shared. Others are able to handle this grief by looking back with gratitude for the wonderful years they had together.
No matter how you got here, how you choose to say good-bye is up to you.