A love relationship is never static; it ebbs and flows.
If we want love to last, we have to grasp this face 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 mis-attunement and disconnection--and back again.
But to really understand happens we have to zoom down into these interactions and atomize them. Remember Seurat's painting: when we move in really close, we realize that the vast scenes are composed of thousands and thousands of little dots.
Researchers are doing the same with love relationships. By freeze-framing videos of romantic partners talking or arguing, and of babies playing with a parent, they are discovering how love, without our being aware, is shaped, for better or worse, in micro-moments and micro-moves of connection and disconnection.
What matters is if we can repair tiny moments of mis-attunement and come back into harmony, we can stay connected.
Bonding is an eternal process of renewal. Relationship stability depends not on healing hug rifs but on mending the constant small tears.
"What distinguishes master couples, the success in marriages", says John Gottman, relationship specialist, "is not the ability to avoid fights but the ability to repair routine disconnections."
As we take risks and confront our vulnerabilities, our trust grows--not just in our partners but also in ourselves.
Sue Johnson - Love Sense