We've all experienced it at one time or another: that shiny newness of what feels like the perfect love. Everything seemed "meant to be," possibly a soulmate connection. You probably thought this was what love was supposed to be.
At least until someone comments on the "puppy love" you're in. It's such a degrading label, you may have fought against it without giving it a second thought. What you feel is real, right? Nobody is going to tell you otherwise.
Puppy Love Isn't Fake Love
The reality most people don't tell you is that puppy love isn't necessarily fake, it's just underdeveloped. There's a lot of unrealistic expectations young lovers don't consider yet in those early times. That's completely normal - you can't start out with a matured love.
Yet there are many that have confused the puppy love feeling with what love should always be. When it fades (or matures, for that matter), those people mistakenly believe the love was false or has disappeared. They'll inevitably give up on the love, either by settling for a loveless fate with their partner or (more likely) by leaving to start anew somewhere else. Neither result brings lasting happiness or deeply meaningful relationships.
From Puppy Love To Childhood Sweethearts
So how does the love evolve? When any relationship starts out, there is a time of intense attraction, perhaps even an obsession surrounding the relationship. It's that shiny new "honeymoon" phase, the love at first sight feeling we all wish would last forever. You worry whether they will accept you, but there's a sort of pleasure and adventure to the anxiety. It's the 'thrill of the chase,' so to speak.
As love evolves, it becomes more comfortable and mundane. Their flaws become less endearing, and arguments may start over seemingly silly things. You may not see them as attractive as before, as if by some magic they have become plain and average. As the hormones settle, the relationship tends to become, well, boring.
This is actually quite normal. It's not the end at all, but rather a transformation. The love you felt effortlessly before now requires choice; it can either dig deeper to become more meaningful, or you could get hung up in the loss of those superficial and fleeting novelties.
Real love takes work. Unless you want to remain hopelessly guided by chemical responses in your body, you'll need to focus on building lasting connections. Overcoming challenges at first seems like a lot of work, but lead to the stable companionship we're all trying to achieve. Focus on things like differences in opinions, developing trust and prioritizing meaningful communication about each other's desires, hopes, fears and emotions. That's the "stuff" real, lasting love is made of.
Soulmates or not, every relationship has these basic challenges. Over time, you may find the effort to resolve those issues can be just as satisfying (and possibly more so) as that new love ever was.
These are posts from previous directions of Metaphysiology. Old blog posts and pages that don't fit the current theme can still be found here.
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