Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Utah Trip: Out of Infatuation and into Love

Going to Utah with Rob for Christmas was wonderful.  It was a Christmas, for years, I had been wishing for.  Why you might ask?  Two main reasons:

Mom and Auntie Jody at Temple Square
I was able to see almost my whole family and spend time playing and talking with them.
Playing dominoes with the Hollands/Banks.
I shared the traditional Christmas activities with someone I love.  I have always loved Christmas activities like reading the Christmas Story, going to Temple Square, decorating the Christmas tree, opening presents, and watching Christmas movies.  It has been hard though, in recent years, to do these things 'alone'.  I know I was with family and friends, and I was happy and so grateful for them and my awesome life, but there always seemed to be something missing.  This year though, all my Christmas activities seemed to be more full.

Hiking in a Winter Wonderland
The lights at Temple Square
Light show at the Botanical Gardens in Virginia 
Christmas at the Washington DC Botanical Gardens
Walking around Park City
So what do I mean by Out of Infatuation and into Love?

I will explain my case study and then at the end, quote a great book on relationships I've read that helped me see this phenomenon.

Case Study:

I think most couples think they are in love before they actually are. I think they are first infatuated with each other. Now, if it's a good match, you hope they will move to love after the infatuation fades.

This might not always happen. The infatuation fades and they see each as they really are, and decide, they weren't really in love at all, or that the other person changed. This is all fine, we all just hope they didn't get married in the mean time!

So, at the risk of incorrectly pinning my relationship, I would assess, Rob and I have moved from infatuation, seen a bit of each other, who we really are, and can say, we love each other, faults and all. (Yes, I realize that was too many commas, but can't you just hear me saying that?)

Now I'm not saying there isn't more to learn.  There's lots more to know about each other and figure out in our relationship. As you can read in the book quotes, this is the beginning of actually getting to know each other, but I feel like we're on the right path.

How did I figure this out? It was after we came back from Utah.

1. We spent 10 days with each other (about 2 hrs. apart that whole time) and I still didn't want to see him leave my place when he dropped me off. This was 10 days of crazy hair and sniffles in the morning, meeting my family and friends, and me crying for almost no apparent reason.

2. We found out (even I didn't know this until now), that I have a tendency to be jealous. Now, that's mine to work on, but the awesome thing- we talked about it!  We talked about it in a calm manner! Rob was patient until I saw what I couldn't see about my behavior before. And now, we have developed a good pattern of communication and growth.

3. We aren't disparate to see each other every day. Now do I want to see him every day? Of course I do. Am I tempted to skip sleep, laundry, etc. to be with him? Of course. The difference since we came back, is though the desire is still there, we know the person will still be there tomorrow, even if we don't see them today. We make time to see each other, but have added the ability to balance the rest of life. (Helps a ton with New Year Resolutions ;)

4. We are disclosing information that requires trust and understanding. Now, of course, I can't elaborate on this, where would the trust be then? Ha.

All these things have made me realize, I totally love this man, and it's not just because I love having a date on holidays, or someone to take to the work party, or even to have someone to cuddle with- it's because we match each other and we make each others lives more full. At least I hope he would say the same thing.

Okay, enough with the cheese- here's the meat:

John Van Epp, Ph. D. has done a lot of research to write and design a book and training called ' How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk'. The Army actually uses it to help the soldiers make good marital choices.

Here's the information that I gleaned for this blog post:

'Yet the most significant patterns that influence long-term relationships are not even evident in the early stages of a dating relationship. Time is needed to expose these areas and accurately predict what these patterns mean for a future marriage and family.'

Intimacy or knowing a person = talk (mutual self-disclosure) plus togetherness (diversified experiences) plus time.

'A balance is necessary between what you know about a person from talking and what you learn from your experiences in a new relationship.'

'Therefore, to truly know another person, you must engage in a deepening openness that is matched with a variety of experiences in which you see the other person 'in action'.'

'Three months is the 'magic number'. Not until around three months into a relationship do deep-seated patterns start to become evident.
Also, the newness of a relationship is a natural inebriating effect accompanying attraction that typically begins to wear off around the third month. We put our best foot forward until we feel a bit more secure in a new relationship. Then we slack off a bit and let our imperfections surface.'

Now a lot of this can be further explained, the I = T + T + T in particular, but you get the general idea. (Let me know if you want an explanation of more of the book- I would happily write that blog!) If you've read all though this post, kuddos. It was a long, and sometimes eye-rollingly cheesey one.

Here's to Utah and love!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Why I'm turning into my Mother...and partly my Father...

Usually when someone states that they are turning into their mother!! it's a bad thing.  I happen to think it's a great thing.  Why, might you ask, do I think I'm turning into my mother?  Let me count the ways...

Wrapping Presents
Mom wraps presents not only in pretty paper, but puts beautiful bows, bobbles, and at times, ornaments on them.  They are a work of art!  The ornament she put on Rob's has become our trip ornament.  (We want to get an ornament on every trip we take.) Now, I am not at this level yet, but I do like to wrap and put really pretty ribbon on.

Hosting Parties 
Mom often hosts lovely parties, with nice centerpieces, yummy food, and invites just the right amount and mix of people.  I have hopefully picked this up and LOVE hostessing!! My most recent example is a football party.  Rob told me he wanted to have some people over to watch playoff football Saturday.  What was my immediate thought?  "Oooo, I could make the coolest football food."  I also thought, we need to tidy up his place (he's actually a really good bachelor, but you know...).  I decided decor would to over the top, but I defiantly thought about it.

This brings me to my next example,
Cleaning the House 
I seem to always want to clean the house before anyone comes over, honestly, even close friends.  I just want them to be comfortable.  Pretty sure I remember from my childhood- 'Lindsey, we have to clean the house, people are coming over...'.  Not that the house was a mess otherwise, just a next bit of tidying.

Helping Kitties
I found a group I can volunteer with to help an adoption center with their kitty cats.  I thought to myself, why am I always drawn to not only animals, but helping animals?  Mom.  I grew up watching her care for horses, abandoned kittens, and puppies to be adopted.  She always knew what to do when they were sick, and I still call her when an animal is sick and I don't know what to do.

Mom has a few necklaces and earrings she cherishes.  They have been given to her by important people at important times.  When I was younger I wondered why she wore the same necklace day in and day out.  Apparently it took being an adult to understand this.  I find myself wearing my grandmother's star sapphire ring and the blue necklace Rob gave me most days.

Adopt an Angel
When my church put up an angel tree, it wasn't really a question, I knew I would want to help someone.  I love that part of the Christmas season.  No one should feel anonymous, alone, or unloved, and especially during Christmas.  I remember as I got older Mom would suggest we get less presents for ourselves and adopt a family or an elderly person.  It was one of the best parts of the Christmas season.

So in conclusion, I'm proud to be turning into my Mother.

It seems, in ways, I'm also turning into my Father.

Christmas Stockings
Dad LOVES making our Christmas stocking great.  Watch out World Market, her comes Dad.  I've for sure picked this up.  How fun is it to shop for stocking stuffers!?

Certificates and Funny Wrapped Presents
I have many fond memories of scavenger hunts for Easter baskets, bb guns behind couches, and certificates for stuff.  I realized I picked up this from dad when I wrapped clues to Rob's Christmas present in 3 different box and 1 bag.  Oh yeah, it was a trip to New York.  Dad inspired wrapping.

LOVE you both!