Why Do Relationships Start Off Great and Then Fall Apart? — Top Ten #4
Greg explains why relationships fall apart after starting off so great.
In Question One of the Top Ten, I established that what we all need most in order to be happy is Real Love. In Question Two, I said that most of us don't have enough of that essential element and in that condition, we look for sources of Imitation Love, the topic of Question Three. Without enough Real Love, our search for Imitation Love is not casual. No, we desperately look for people and circumstances that will give us the most Imitation Love we can find and we become very good at finding it.
The Role of Imitation Love in Falling in Love
Let's look at Praise, just one form of Imitation Love we use. In a conversation with somebody you've just met how long does it take for you to recognize whether this is someone who will be more or less likely to flatter you, to give you Imitation Love in the form of praise? We can usually make that determination in the first 30 seconds really or less and we're that good at figuring out the likelihood of getting the other forms of Imitation Love from any given person, too. Everywhere we go we do little Imitation Love assessments on the people we meet and understandably we tend to like the people who give us more. Obviously, we like the people who make us feel better.
When we find someone who gives us more Imitation Love than anybody has in our whole life we feel so good that we call that feeling Falling in Love. No kidding. It's not very romantic but falling in love is almost invariably an abundant trading of Imitation Love. How do I know that? Well, look at how often people fall out of love.
Here's what happens: I walk into the room and meet you. Within seconds I sense that you're likely to be a great source of praise, power, pleasure, and safety. I like that and I want more so I give you all the praise, power, pleasure, and safety I have and you love that. We just pour it all over each other and in no time we're in love. Now, of course, we want to keep that feeling going so we get married absolutely certain that this will continue forever and we hope that marriage will guarantee that. But then what happens?
The Role of Imitation Love in Why Relationships Fall Apart
As we talked about in Question Three the effects of Imitation Love, the flattery, sex, power, all of it, begin to wear off. Now that's a real problem because I was positive that you would make me happy for the rest of my life and you had the same hope of me. The disappointment at losing that dream is huge. We begin to criticize and argue and we blame each other for our unhappiness.
But what's the truth? Who is to blame? The answer is revolutionizing relationships of all types all over the world. You are not to blame nor am I. The real problem existed long before we even met. We both came to our relationship without enough of the one thing, Real Love, that we absolutely had to have in order for our relationship to succeed. We tried, oh my how we tried, to create happiness with all the Imitation Love we could muster and for a while, maybe a few months, maybe longer, it actually seemed to work.
But Imitation Love never lasts and as its effects wore off, our emptiness and fear took over our lives again. We didn't realize it but without enough Real Love, our relationship was doomed from the beginning.
Thankfully we can change all this. We can learn to find and share Real Love and as we do that we can learn to find relationships that are unconditionally loving from the beginning. We can also heal the unhealthy relationships we already have. The power of Real Love is miraculous.
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