|Mom and Auntie Jody at Temple Square|
|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.
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!