What is the most difficult aspect of human relationships? Everything boils down to a simple paradox. One partner loves more, another just takes it for granted. But the more love the first one requires, the less another partner is ready to give. Luckily, it is not pathology but a normal stage of relationship development. Thus, everything can be fixed.
Regardless of the fact where our feelings of affection eventually lead us, the first feeling is typically the same: admiration and uncontrollable fall into a precipice. But dizziness of admiration does not last eternally. Most often, people in a nurturing relationship enter the next stage of intimacy and warmth after the initial hurricane of passion.
But when one of the partners loves more than another, very dangerous models of behavior get activated. Everything falls apart. Nobody is ensured against it.
Being in love is biochemically connected with the feeling of control loss. The fear of being rejected is the main reason evoking both passion and a feeling of danger in love. Once a person falls head over heels in love with somebody, their self-confidence vanishes very quickly. It doesn’t matter whether your mother adored or ignored you or what childhood you had. Relationships may hurt any people, with no exceptions.
How does the passion paradox arise?
At the beginning of a relationship, both partners feel the fluctuations. Until we are completely sure that a partner loves us, the possibility of being rejected makes us feel the passion and make great efforts to increase our attractiveness.
However, as soon as you feel that you are sure about your partner’s love, the passion will start fading away. If you have been conquered, you start feeling unsafe, fall in love even more and desperately try to fight for control over the relationship. Such behavior only irritates and pushes away a “strong” partner.
Here, a “strong” partner is that one who loves less, whereas a person caring more about the partner is called “weak.” “Weak” partners care more in order to get emotional power over another person, i.e., conquer their love. This way they will stop worrying about the possibility of being rejected. In different periods of the same love connection, partners often change these roles, that is why we should remember the fact that a woman is not always a victim, she can also break hearts.
There are many examples of this paradox. Very often, a girl plays the Ice Queen, and a man desperately tries to conquer her because he is driven by his innate hunter’s instinct. Once she decides she is tired of these games and starts giving in (because he is so helpful, attentive, etc.), her admirer’s desire starts to decrease because there is nobody to conquer anymore. From the girl’s side, such inconsistent behavior makes her wondering what has happened and she tries to figure out this change in their relationship.
The signs that you are trapped
In order to define whether you are passion-trapped, estimate to which extent the following affirmations describe your couple:
- One partner is more jealous than another. Typically, one person waits for the partner’s call or return back home.
- one partner makes more effort to start communicating;
- one partner says more often “I love you;”
- one partner is more attractive for the opposite sex;
- one partner is less tender after physical intimacy;
- one partner wants more to work on the relationship;
- one partner usually feels he/she is ignored at parties, whereas another feels some restrictions because of the partner’s presence;
- one partner worries more and is more unsure about the relationship, whereas another take them for granted;
- one partner publicly demonstrates dissatisfaction or embarrassment at another’s behavior;
- in quarrels, one partner complains about ‘selfishness,” “lack of attention,” whereas another – about “jealousy,” “high standards,” and “clinging.”
If some of these points are true for your couple, there is a misbalance in your relationship. The more positive answers, the stronger the balance is distorted.
However, be reasonable while interpreting the results. For example, men typically do not like talking about feelings but manifest them through actions. So, if you do not hear such words as “I love you” or “You are my sunshine in this dark world” but really see that the partner cares about you, it doesn’t mean nothing bad. Also, your partner may simply speak another love language (there are 5 of them). That is, the fact that other people don’t love us as we want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love us at all.
The moment we are desperately in love with somebody, we try to mindlessly please our partners. Even without realizing it, we take “the color” of a beloved person to demonstrate our ability to satisfy their needs. We try to appeal to a person who we consider our potential partner. Messy people start appreciating order, nervous ones become calm and peaceful. Once we’ve decided to win somebody’s heart, we define their predominant features and then show we also share them.
Being in love turns us into chameleons. This is a direct way to unhealthy relationships. So, what can be done about it?
Recipes for “weak” and “strong” ones
There are many strategies of behavior for each of the partners. For example, once you become aware of features that characterize you as a weak person, immediately think about two points: 1) how to decrease the pressure on your partner and 2) how to become stronger yourself. The best way to reach both is to work on the recreation of your personality. Concentrate not on what others expect you to do but on your own interests.
What about “strong” partners? They experience a multitude of feelings: shame, coldness, despair, impatience, boredom, guilt for lack of tenderness, and nervousness. Strong partners often shout at beloved people when they commit some harmless deeds, like forget to turn off the light. So, for them, the best option is to analyze their emotions and try to control them.
Misbalance between “weak” and “strong” ones creates problems. But once you know the emotional background that ruins the intimacy between partners, it is much easier to overcome the passion paradox together. If we understand the essence of the passion paradox and how to deal with it, it really helps us to accept a close person that sometimes may complicate our life but make it more colorful in general.