Your Relationship is Not a Fairytale: Purposeful Love, with Morgan Huffines
Morgan Huffines, LMFT-A talks about issues millennial couples face when the lust phase, or honeymoon phase, ends.
- Intimacy is about vulnerability.
- We have the rom-com idea of what we want our relationship to be like, but we never see what happens after the “happily ever after”.
- The “lust phase” is about early in a relationship, when hormones are excited and we interact based on this chemistry. It’s the fun and exciting time when you get to learn more about the other person and build a physical relationship.
- But when the long-term commitment continues, whether in marriage or a long-term relationship, the lust phase often ends for most couples. We haven’t been taught that this is normal.
- We grow up not always seeing how relationships function and grow and continue to develop. You may not learn what a healthy relationship looks like, or how it functions well.
- Purposeful: The relationship should be purposeful. When you express thoughts and feelings and respond to your partner, it has to be on purpose, intentional, with deliberation.
Questions I ask Morgan about purposeful love in your marriage:
What problems happen when people don’t act purposefully, and expect the relationship to just happen and be rom-com perfect?
- You might think you’re falling out of love. You start to think there’s something wrong. You compare your spouse to how they used to seem.
- You think the relationship is broken, and you either have to fix it or throw it away. It’s often thrown away.
- Anger and resentment can also build up.
What are some warning signs that couples can look out for to know if they’re struggling?
- When you’re bored or you catch yourself thinking or saying “I’m bored.”
- When the relationship feels boring, or you start to feel bored or frustrated with the lack of excitement or connection.
What is the difference between being bored and comfortable in a relationship?
- Your internal state: If your internal state is mostly positive and it’s ok, then you’re comfortable.
- If you’re more negative and getting frustrated with your partner, you need to check this.
What can couples do to work through this?
- Just like in a career, your relationship takes hard work. Purposeful work.
- Everybody gives 100%. Your 100% true self may be different on different days and in different situations, but it is about you always acting in love, openness, and care for your spouse.
- Make sure what you’re giving is more the focus than what you’re receiving.
- When it comes to communication, be specific. Give a specific need and don’t let resentments and frustrations build.
What else can couples do to combat the lust phase ending, to keep the romance and love alive in their relationship?
- Spend time, energy, and effort to maintain interest in each other. Don’t stop working.
- Do something purposeful. Be active in your relationship. Do something, even small, to bring a smile to your partner’s face.
- Pick flowers to take to your spouse. Go on a date. Do things to make your partner feel special because you love them.
- Set a reminder on your phone, or make a calendar event, to remind you to do the daily things that express love and gratitude. This is still romantic. And it’s purposeful action.
- Treat your relationship like you would your career or anything else that you want to maintain and grow in. You have to continue your education and keep learning the new tools and skills to ensure you’re giving your best to it.