Early on in romantic relationships, we are high on the excitement of new love. As time passes, people have the tendency to feel vulnerable, and then withdrawal from the loving behavior you became accustomed to. If you find your relationship going in this direction, there are behavioral and communication strategies that can help you. Individual or couples therapy may be indicated depending on your situation.
How can you avoid the patterns that destroy a loving relationship?
The question of why love fades or why people grow apart in their relationships is one of life’s great mysteries. What prevents us from maintaining the passion, attraction, admiration and closeness we once felt for our partner? What I have found in my own work and in a 30-year longitudinal study of couples and individuals is that we can contrast the patterns of behavior between couples that result in long-term romantic love with those that signify that the couple has formed a “fantasy bond.” A fantasy bond is an illusion of oneness with a relationship partner, a concept elucidated by my father Dr. Robert Firestone. When couples enter into this type of bond, they substitute a fantasy of being connected in place of real relating. They start to put form over substance, and the relationship starts to deteriorate…..
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