Recently I reconnected with an old flame. We went out on a date and had a fabulous time.
It lasted 40 hours!
I live life with a lot of, let’s call it, gusto. It is intoxicating to be with someone you fancy and have no memory of anyone else at the restaurant, bar, theatre, or park.
You know what I am talking about? It’s that initial connection/attraction. It is so strong that your eyes adjust radically from panoramic view to laser, zoom-in, focus.
Living life “zoomed-in” is intoxicating but it is impossible to sustain. The phase is often called “the crush.” Psychologists prefer longer words like infatuation or idealization. It is normal and expected.
A psychologist named Arthur Ciaramicoli describes what happens next, after infatuation. He describes it as you zooming out and taking a more complete picture of the object of your attraction.
He writes, “Noticing all the imperfections, we want to run and hide because those weak spots somehow seem to reflect back on our own vulnerabilities.”
For many of us we avoid the introspection when this happens. It is too scary. We do not ask the provocative questions.
For the thoughtful ones, the discomfort leads to renewed understanding of themselves and the ones they love. You can either choose to accept the flaws (since flaws are often the best part), or you can choose to see the flaws as not compatible with you (or, more honestly, your own flaws)
Either way, I urge you to take the time to assess. Also feel the uneasiness and delight of discovering more about you!
Oh and by the way, I do not recommend 40 hour dates. You cannot distort the space-time continuum. One 40 hour date does not equate to ten four hour dates. Allow your heart and your mind the space in between to enjoy the infatuation and to enjoy the reevaluation.
This kind of understanding is not always apparent in the moment, making the perspective of a coach valuable.