Most of us have listened to stories from friends or experienced the typical arch of a sexual relationship. You start out with a burning lust and desire for the other person; it feels so good to be with them and everything they do turns you on. The sex is frequent and fulfilling. Your needs feel met and it all seems soeasy. As the relationship transitions from the merging phase to the nesting phase, the easy-to-find lust begins to dwindle. That person, whose every move onced turned you on, seems different then when you first met. This is when most people make the joke: “the honeymoon phase is over,” and in many ways, it is.
Although it is disappointing to leave this perfect world, this is when your real relationship begins. You stop seeing your partner as someone who meets all of your needs and you start to see them in their entirety – flawed and imperfect. Just as human as the next guy. For some, this can be a time of grieving. There is a loss of “the perfect” relationship that most of us believe exists because of Disney movies and happily-ever-after junk. There is no relationship that is perfect and happily-ever-after, it is an idea, a fantasy. Relationships are full of both frustrating and joyful moments. You are two different people with two different views of life, so of course, you are going to want different things and that will feel disappointing. Part of leaving the merging phase is coming into contact with just how different you are, especially when it comes to approaching and resolving challenges.
When we open our hearts, we expose ourselves to new levels of vulnerability. What happens when we genuinely enter into intimate relationships is we step on other people’s emotional and physical triggers, their landmines, if you will. These landmines were planted way before you came around and they have been waiting for someone to trip over them ever since they were planted. If you looked closely during the merging phase, you would have seen them, but the hormones, sex, and belief that you met the ideal person, blinds you to their landmines. Inevitably, you will find landmines in every relationship. When this happens, do not fret or worry, this is actually an opportunity to grow and deepen the relationship.
You see, landmines are old wounds that were created in childhood where our needs went unmet, unseen, unheard, or we felt unloved. The person tripping over them is not responsible for them being planted nor could they have ever known that they were there. It is not about who is responsible for making who feel which way, rather, it is about how to stay in connection or get back into connection. So we trip over these landmines and the relationship blows up. Most relationships break up. People say things like “we just jumped in too fast, he was not who I thought he was/ she just got crazy all of a sudden.”
Our landmines are old wounds from previous romantic relationships or the relationships we had with our parents. In our intimate relationships as adults, when we feel an old event or pattern repeating itself on some level, the landmines goes KABOOM while our partner stumbles to find their bearings.
I have learned many truths about humans from working with people in intimate spaces and exploring my own consciousness. One very important thing I have observed is that each and every one of us wants to feel whole and will keep re-opening our childhood wounds until they get healed or held in a different way than how we experienced the pain as a child. I have also learned that on the other side of the landmine is hot, connected, fulfilling, and open sex. When the merging ends and the relationships starts, do not fear that the sex is over and fall into the trap of “well, I guess that is just how it is going to be.” Open yourself to the feelings, the vulnerabilities, the triggers, and those of your partner’s. Feel your life and feel your relationships so you can explore why the connection has stopped. Get honest with yourself and your needs; then share them. Don’t be afraid of your partner’s landmines because just past them is exactly what you are both looking for.
Also posted on BetterSexEd