The Dance of Love
A love relationship is never static; it ebbs and flows. It's like a dance. If we want love to last, we have to grasp this fact and get used to paying attention to and readjusting our level of emotional engagement. Loving is a process that constantly moves from harmony to disharmony, from mutual attunement and responsiveness to misattunement and disconnection--and back again.
Misattunement is not necessarily a sign of lack of love or commitment. It is inevitable and normal. In fact, it is startlingly common. Research informs us that happily bonded mother and infants miss each other's signals 70 percent of the time. Adults miss their partner's cues most of the time, too! We all send unclear signals and misread cues. We become distracted, we suddenly shift our level of emotional intensity and leave our partner behind. Only in the movies does a poignant gaze predictably follow another and one small touch always elicit an exquisitely timed gesture in return. We are sorely mistaken if we believe that love is about always being in tune. What matters is if we can repair tiny moment of misattunent and come back into harmony. Bonding is an eternal process of renewal.
Happy lasting bonds are all about emotional responsiveness. The core attachment question "Are you there for me?"--requires a "yes" in response. According to Sue Johnson (founder of Emotional Focused Therapy for Couples) a secure bond has three basic elements:
- Accessibility--you give me your attention and are emotionally open to what I am saying
- Responsiveness--you accept my needs and fears and offer comfort and caring;
- Engagement--you are emotionally present, absorbed and involved with me.
For further inquiries:
Check out Jim Covington, marriage counselor, at https://www.marriagecounselormanhattan.com
Phone: (917) 656- 4363