Many of us can probably remember a time when we fell madly in love, convinced that our beloved was our life’s crucial missing piece. Fiery for this new person, we believed that we must be with them in order to be happy!
Of course, part of the human condition is the deep desire to be seen and loved. And so, when we are marinating in the hormone cocktail of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine which fuel the early infatuation stage of the relationship, we are experiencing the very real effects of the “most addictive substance on earth.1” We are easily swept away on the resulting effects of joy and well-being. Meanwhile, our new partner’s less-than-pleasant qualities go blissfully undetected.
What’s really going on?
In looking at this a bit more closely, we see that our partner is actually attracted to their own projection of us. They aren’t seeing us any more clearly than we’re seeing them. The cocktail doesn’t last forever, and when eventually it wears off, we begin to see our partner more clearly. We notice now the parts that we are not so fond of.
This can lead to a certain disillusionment in relationships. The negativity bias kicks in and our field of vision narrows to what we don’t like in our partner. Sometimes we even launch a campaign to change them. Their good qualities are still there, but we no longer see them in the midst of our disappointment.
Then from this place of feeling comforted and soothed, a certain equanimity can arise. We can now, perhaps for the first time, see our partner more clearly.
The parts of them we love, the parts we dislike, and we can begin to become curious about the parts we fail to notice. Who is this person anyway? What is deeply meaningful to them? They begin to exist for us, separate from our own liking and disliking. No longer an extension of me, we can see who they are. And beyond seeing who they are, we can accept and love them just as they are. Being loved for who we are — warts and all — is very different than being loved for our partner’s projection of our good qualities. We don’t have to be good to be loved.”
However, we do need to love ourselves!
 https://centerformsc.org/when-the-dopamine-blinders-come-off-self-compassion-is-there/Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.