"I've only just got back from my honeymoon. So, I don't think I'll be needing you for a while!"
It was the start of a networking meeting and I'd just introduced myself and my business. You know, the usual "What do you do" followed introductions. With my inimitable passion, I staked my place as a relationship coach, helping couples put the zing back in their relationship.
And that's then when I got the honeymoon answer.
That's fine, of course, I'm happy to know where I stand with people, as well as being happy that people are satisfied with their relationship!
And why wouldn't she say that? Fresh from the opening ceremony for her relationship, she'd still be in the romantic stages of love.
Right now, she's WAAAY before the disillusionments have set in. Or, as some would say, well before the rot sets in!
But it got me thinking.
Little does she know, as she rests in the dewy-eyed wonder of her new marriage, that disillusionment is ahead. How will she manage when the sheen rubs off the relationship?
What's that you say? I'm being unreasonably pessimistic?
No I'm just being real, like always.
There is a pattern/cycle in relationships. Every writer about relationships seems to have their own spin on it. But realistically they're all putting a new style to an old manual.
Relationships start with heart-stopping romantic love, beautifully scorched with romantic lust. This is the blind wonder phase where each party is putting their best foot forward, as well as reading the other around blinkers.
Over a period of time, as short as weeks or months or as long as several years, comes the disillusionment. Heartstopping gives way to complacent normality and old habits and behaviours rear their ugly heads. Lust settles into regularity and is fitted around competing demands.
Even when you're convinced you love this person, you still start to wonder what happened to that exquisite love you had.
What's happening? It's simple, the relationship is knocking on the door to the next stage.
Behind the door, is the challenge to reach the relationship and the individuals' potential. This is the nudge for each person to start growing, learning new skills, and broadening themselves as humans.
But the best bit, is that this is the challenge to discover intimacy. This is when you get to trust another human being so unshakeably, that the world is forever brighter for having it in your life.
Commonly though, people sit there cursing the disillusionment and blindly oblivious to the fact that just like every problem, this holds opportunity.
So, in my eyes, the disillusionment phase is the bit you WANT to get to. Why? because that's the door to the new world and new dreams.
That squeaking is the sound of the door opening, NOT CLOSING!!
Now, just because you take the challenge and grow and discover intimacy, doesn't mean you never have a fight again, or never feel disillusioned again.
It's a spiral path.
A relationship would get bloody boring if you just STAYED there, in some weird nirvana, wouldn't it?
Having been boring enough never to try the mind-bending substances (bubbly doesn't count as mind-bending), I can only imagine how feral it would be to be on some permanent nirvana-like trip!
So we circle around the spiral.
We get to keep discovering new things that way. New disillusionments and new intimacy and new soul.
So the honeymoon line got me thinking ...
I work with people to help them make sense of the disillusionment and open the door, not run away from it, or give up before they've started.
But what can I do to help new couples "rot-proof" their relationships? What kinds of resources can I offer them to protect and seal up the newly created, yet still fragile, gift that is their new relationship?
How can I help the newly marrieds, or newly connecteds, to see the door for what it is?
Well that's going to get the creative cogs whirring!