The first few months are amazing- the lust, the newness, the butterflies, the dates- it's an unbelievable experience. You simply cannot get enough of one another.
[side note: when falling in love, your brain actually behaves as if it's on an addictive drug, and being away from that person for too long can actually stimulate symptoms of withdrawal- if you have the time, check out The Female Brain, by Louann Brizendine. It's an awesome book about the effects of estrogen and other hormones on, you guessed it, the female brain]
You begin to fall in love, and everything is amazing. Colors are brighter, chocolate is sweeter, everything smells better- it's as if everything is all of the sudden crisper, in a way. Your senses are all heightened, and every single positive sensory experience is multiplied by five. You feel like you're actually flying through the days, and when you're with that one other person, nothing else really matters.
Then...things begin to slow down a bit. This is where I've seen a lot of people end their relationship, because there isn't the excitement anymore. Not that you don't love the person you're with- quite the opposite, actually- but those initial butterflies and walking on air days start to fade out in place of something else: comfort. I've seen lots of people take this as a sign that their relationship is losing steam and isn't passionate anymore, therefore no longer worth the time and effort they had been putting into it. This is the stage where people hear "I'm just not feeling the same for you anymore".
This is the test.
This is the point where you can either abandon ship and begin to look for someone else to give you that "love rush", or you can stick it out and see what happens.
I think some people fall into long-term relationships simply out of laziness. They're sitting on the couch, eating potato chips, and suddenly realize, "Holy crap, we've been together for how long now? 6 years? When did that happen?" However, for others, it can take a bit of work.
There's a readjustment period, where you have to kind of see how this new relationship feels. It's like getting a new pair of pajamas- at first, you're thinking, "Oh, alright, these are comfy, I guess, but where's that silk nightie I'm used to wearing to bed? The one that makes me feel sexy and young and exciting? Can't find it? Well, I suppose I can give this new pair a try," and then a half a year later, you're thinking, "Oh my god, I used to wear what? To bed?? No way- give me my pajamas-- you know, the comfy ones with the stains on the sleeve? Yeah, those."
And you DO get stains. There are fights, and wounds, and there can be tears in the pajamas, but once you sew them back up, they're stronger than before (I know, I know, this pajama analogy has gone on for a while now- but I just put on a comfy pair and they are soooo nice). You start to get to know the person's real personality- not the "dating" them, but the real, "I feel secure that you're not going to run away so I might not wear deodorant for four days and not change my socks for a week and see if you'll still cuddle me" them. The faults come out, and then you find out just what you're getting into, and whether or not you're really in it for the long run.
For example, some of Mikey's faults:
- He has the worst memory EVER- really, worse than anyone I've ever met
- He leaves all the cabinets he touches open
- He has the worst memory EVER
- He leaves food out when he cooks
- He doesn't clean after himself when he cooks
- Sometimes, he forgets to wear deodorant (but I cuddle him anyways)
- He usually picks horrible songs for his alarm clock, and then doesn't wake up when it goes off, but I do.
- Did I mention he has the worst memory ever? Because really, he does
- I'm one of the most hormonal people EVER- especially right before my period. I cry at the stupidest things and get all grouchy and moody and not at all fun
- I never put my clothes away
- I'm one of the most hormonal people EVER
- Whenever we eat together, no matter what he gets (even if it's the same thing I got) I have to eat some off of his plate. (It just looks so good, and so much better on his plate! No idea why)
- I have to have either my plate or eating utensil made of plastic
- I only like things in odd numbers
- I sometimes forget to wear deodorant (and he still cuddles me)
- If anyone tries to wake me up before my alarm goes off, I get unreasonably cranky and have been known to shout at people (which I feel really, really bad for later and apologize for alot)
- Did I mention I was incredibly hormonal? Because really, I am
So there is a period of time where all of this starts to grate on you, because you're *just now* noticing all of these annoying habits you never have before, and it's such a shock that your perfect match is really quite a slob, or has horrible color coordination, or any number of faults you simply happened to glaze over before. BUT, you power through, and, again, things get better.
And you start to find the things that once ticked you off so bad kind of endearing. I don't love it when Mikey leaves the cabinets open, but it only takes me a second and a half to close them, and it's always with an exasperated nod of the head, but now there's a slight smile in the corner of my mouth. And although he always gives a big sigh when I ask to have a bite of whatever he's eating, he'll usually chuckle to himself as I smile at him gratefully with a mouth of his own food. That's not to say that every once in a while these things don't grate on us, because that would be a lie, but for the most part, you know you're exchanging faults. You deal with his mess, so he can deal with yours. And in that, you really find the person who accepts you for who you are, good and bad, and loves you anyways.
I close his cabinets, he gives me a bite of his food.
You know what? I think I can live with that.
Is there something someone you love does that used to annoy the beejezus out of you, but is now kind of endearing?