Is “Staying in Love” Actually Possible?

Ah, those first few days… or weeks, or months. When you can’t stop thinking about her, talking to her, talking about her, and you definitely can’t keep your hands off her!  Can that last? Um, no. Not exactly like that. But you know what? That’s not actually love, it’s lust and infatuation – and if it did last, neither one of you would ever get anything done!

The “honeymoon stage” is fun. But there are things even sweeter. 

For instance, here’s what love looked like for us recently. We were sitting at the kitchen table, brainstorming plans of action about a scary health challenge I (Ruth) was going through.

Michelle was looking things up on her laptop, taking notes, sketching out ideas for me. I reached out to hold Michelle’s hand across the table to thank her, but the words didn’t come, because tears came instead. In a whisper, I told her how grateful she was for her support. Then I came around to Michelle’s side of the table to kiss her ears and her neck.

That’s being in love, as far as I’m concerned. And yes, it can last! We’ve had more than nine years together. Staying in love means being able to show myself at my most raw and vulnerable, and knowing – completely trusting – that she will continue to adore and support me.  It’s knowing I can ask for something that’s hard for me to ask for – and knowing she will say Yes if she possibly can.

It’s knowing I can sit there rubbing my sore neck and she will notice and offer me a massage. It’s also knowing that if she hadn’t noticed, I could have asked, and she would have said Yes.

It’s knowing I can trust in her kindness. Her commitment. Her generosity. We have that together – and I am incredibly grateful.

If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing this is the kind of love you want, too – whether you’re currently in a relationship, or not. So how do you get there – especially if you’re in a relationship with some sore spots, grudges, hurt or mistrust?  If you find yourself fighting or bickering a lot, criticizing or being criticized, how do you get to this kind of deep trust and support? If your passion seems to be dying out and “lesbian bed death” setting in, what could make it possible to turn that around and experience the sweetness of physical intimacy with someone you know so well?

It’s really about two things: being able to successfully navigate conflict without causing scar tissue (criticism, blame, defensiveness and endless processing cause scar tissue.)  And it’s also about consciously building intimacy. It’s possible. We’ve taught couples how to do both of these things, and restore a newer, deeper magic.

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