In our culture, the portrayal of relationships is that we fall in love in a hot and heavy way and then it all goes downhill from there.
That the beginning of an intimate relationship is where all the passion lies and we spend the next 40 years together putting up with each other.
But that is such a simplistic view of relationships, because like everything, relationships are actually full of ups and downs.
One of my favorite mindfulness practices is working with the concept of pleasant and unpleasant: noticing when something is pleasant or unpleasant without needing to hold on to the pleasant experiences and run from unpleasant ones.
Both states arise and dissipate, just like everything.
The honeymoon period of a relationship—where we can’t keep our hands off each other and passion is around every corner—is considered the epitome of the relationship state.
But in fact it is only one part of being in a relationship. If we try to grasp at the passion, try to hold on to it artificially, we will become frustrated. It’s like trying to hold on to summer when fall has obviously arrived—unrealistic and maddening, really.
Instead we can go with reality and honor whatever temperature our relationship is.
What do I need to learn from a relationship that feels more like winter, chilly and dark, like there will never be an end? Maybe some soul-searching is needed about what intimacy and vulnerability means. About where we were hurt when we were little and what needs to be healed and transformed.
And when that little bit of heart healing that needs to be done during the winter of our relationship is complete, spring will come again and with it the arousal of re-birth and the passion returns.
Passion, romance, the hot and heavy, these are beautiful. But are they more beautiful than loneliness, darkness and feeling the tenderness in our own hearts?
We have just decided that one is better then the other.
We need to get better at riding the wave and letting whatever is arising teach us, stretch us and grow our hearts, and just like the seasons will always come around again, so will the next honeymoon period.
Because possibilities are infinite, so are honeymoons. They can happen all the time, when it is time.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Wikimedia Commons