“Love is an activity, not a passive affection; it is a continuous being, not a sudden beginning ”, says Erich Fromm in his book The Art of loving.
This definition is just one example of what we can understand out of love, as there are many ways to understand such a complex phenomenon as this and it is not an easy thing to pin down. In addition, each person will have their own view of love based on their past experiences.
Faced with this fact, however, the fact is that couple conflicts do not seem uncommonAnd although their origins may be diverse in each case, their consequences are often very negative for most of the people who experience them.
The origin of love
To understand the nature of love conflicts, we must first ask ourselves how is love born. Faced with the overwhelming number of interpretations on the subject, we will focus here above all on an approach to current psychology through which we will answer the question of how love is born and evolves, why couple problems arise and what what we can do to increase satisfaction with our relationship.
The first thing to do is to ask yourself what is going on because, suddenly, we fall so much in love with this person, why can’t we stop smiling when we think about her and everything around us seems to be turning blondea. In these initial phases we are in a state of continuous activation, attentive to each loved one’s sigh and constantly thinking of her and all that reminds us of her person. It gives us the impression of being in a cloud of perpetual happiness.
Well, we can divide this activation that we are experiencing at the stage of falling in love into two types.
1. The biological root
On the one hand, we feel a great physiological activation due to the impulse of various chemicals produced by our body and that we could well call “happiness drugs”, as revealed by several studies that being madly in love activates the same areas of the brain as cocaine addiction.
Some of these substances are: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, estrogen and testosterone, each with a specific love function.
2. The cognitive and emotional part
On the other hand, there is also one cognitive-emotional activation. In other words, obsessive thoughts of the type arise at this stage: “I like it”, “I want it”, “this is for me” and various feelings such as interest and fear of rejection arise. mix.
This aspect of falling in love, however, technically also belongs to the realm of the biological, as what happens there is due to physical and chemical processes. However, it is easier to describe it in psychological terms.
How to approach the issue of couple conflicts?
This initial phase of falling in love wears off over the months. This means that over the years it is no longer an obsessive love like a good start, which is completely adaptive, because otherwise we would not be able to take care of our children or take on our responsibilities in keeping our partner in mind 24 hours a day, without worrying about more things.
The love that appears after this phase is a love related to the increase in the degree of long-term commitment.. This phase of falling in love has a strong cultural component and is affected by the uses and customs of the neighborhood in which they live, but also by the daily habits of the members of the couple and the commitments and “contracts” they establish between them. It is, say, a more relaxed emotion and no worse than the previous one.
The stage of the confrontation?
It is in this second stage where couple conflicts tend to emerge more easily.
Many times the germ of these problems lies in certain preconceptions that people have about totally irrational relationships. For example:
1. “Love is a feeling that arises or dies without our being able to do anything about it. It doesn’t matter what we do.” This belief can be fought from the point of view that love is not something that comes and goes by magic, but it is something that we build day by day with each of our actions.
2. “Opposite characters are attracted.” On the contrary, there are studies which indicate that the resemblance between the members of the couple is a predictor of success for this.
3. “If he loves me, he must accept me as I am, without trying to change me.” It is clear that when we fall in love with someone, we fall in love with the person she is right now, not the person we could become (otherwise that would be a problem). However, andsound doesn’t mean we can’t help our partner improve as a person and categorize those aspects of the personality that neither of you like.
4. “If he doesn’t take care of my needs, it’s because he’s selfish.” There can be many factors that not meeting your needs can be due to many factors, such as never telling you what those needs are or that the other person has not learned to understand them. Believing that the other must be there to provide us with what we need at all times only sets the stage for love conflicts to arise.
5. “For a couple to behave well, you have to give up meeting your own needs and individuality.” This is not true and giving up our individuality (eg giving up our old friendships) is much more harmful than beneficial, both for the couple and for each individual.
6. “We should never argue.” Regarding this topic, we will also refer to what has been found in some studies. These indicate that the most satisfied couples are not the ones who argue the least (Well, usually those who don’t argue it’s because things are saved) and not those who argue excessively. The happiest are those who quarrel in the medium term.
7. “Living together means sharing absolutely every aspect of our life.” Here we are referring again to the fact that both members of the couple must maintain their individuality. For example, it is not necessary that the two have identical hobbies: on Saturday morning he can go to martial arts class and while she goes to yoga class, or vice versa.
Additional keys to avoid crises
These are just some of the many irrational ideas that one can have around what a couple should be and that get in the way of their normal course.
But in addition to banishing these myths, there are many more things we can do to keep love and not fall into ongoing relationship conflicts. These are details that seem very simple and common sense (and they really are), but many times a day are not that easy to identify and put into practice. Let’s see what they are.
1. That there is a dialogue
A key element for a relationship to thrive properly is the Communication. We need to use precise vocabulary to express what we like and what we don’t, because it’s a mistake to wait for the other person to guess what we need.
To manifest those negative aspects that we don’t like about our partner we can start by saying something positive first, Continue to raise the issue very specifically and express our feelings about it, admitting our role in the issue. This way, it will be easier to reach an agreement.
2. Externalize love
It is also important give and ask for displays of affection. Normally, over time, we tend to think that our partner already knows that we want her, but in addition to proving it on a daily basis, it is elementary to express it in words: to say “I love you”.
3. Air change
Some couple conflicts are the result of the embodiment of dynamics and routines that are harmful to both members of the couple, such as poor management of the time available to devote to the couple.
Therefore, another thing that helps to increase satisfaction is to get away from the routine by making a hole in leisure activities, both in pairs to increase complicity and separately to maintain the rest of social relationships and not lose our individuality.
We can basically say that romantic relationships always require attention and care, Not just in the initial stages where it is simpler due to the intense physiological, cognitive and emotional activation which we discussed at the beginning. But if we know how to take care of the aspects mentioned here and those that the couple considers the most relevant, the happiness we will derive from them will far outweigh the effort invested.