Do This To Make Love More Fulfilling

It is a natural process to become dissatisfied with the depth of love you feel in your relationship. (Ugh, we hate this experience, don’t we?!)

I think it’s safe to say that most of us know what this is like. Love always starts out fantastic–bliss, butterflies, fireworks! Ah! New love is the best.

But sure enough, as the relationship continues along, things eventually die down. The love that started out so blissful can begin to feel dull.

This is not fun for anyone. In fact, many of us feel shame about it, or confusion. But I love this person, don’t I? We wonder why things went from so good to just so-so.

While we’d all like to skip this step of love, there’s actually a very important message in this experience. If your life and your love feels mediocre, then it’s time for you to grow.

In love, growth usually means one of two things: Deepening in your current relationship, or moving on.

Culturally we are taught that we should arrive to the place of satisfaction and never, ever leave. Like when we hit 30, or 40, or 50, we’ll have made it to the Promised Land. So when we do arrive to these places and the feelings of dissatisfaction come back, we think something has gone terribly wrong.

Nothing has gone wrong. The desire for more is a natural process in life. Without it, we would never be propelled in the direction of growth.

The way I like to look at it, life is a series of arrivals and departures. Feeling deeply fulfilled, and then wanting more. Back and forth. Completion, and then again, wanting to go deeper. If it didn’t happen this way, we would just stay put.

Pioneering wouldn’t happen if our desire for more wasn’t blazing. We are insatiable; the thirst within us wants to be quenched over and over again. The newness of life comes from stepping out of the old.

Wanting more soul, more love, more progress is what keeps us creating and changing and becoming. And so, it is natural that we also experience this in our relationships, too. It’s how they get better.

This is where your work comes in.

Are you going to explore your desire for more, or are you going to try to escape it?

Are you going to recognize that you are a growing being, and your relationship is a growing entity; or are you going to shut down in despair and dissatisfaction?

Again, you have a couple options. You can bring this desire for more to your current partner and make an effort to deepen with them. Or you might decide the the relationship has run it’s course, and it’s time to let go.

(Personally, I would try to deepen with your current partner first. Many people stop their relationships short of trying to deepen; they end up jumping from person to person without going further with anyone. Just an opinion.)

Maybe deepening means striving for more passion; so do what it takes to bring passion into your life and your relationship.

Maybe deepening means getting vulnerable; then do what it takes to unblock the barriers to your heart.

More means something different for everyone. You get to explore what your deepest heart is wanting in this moment, and then you get to go for it.

I know wanting more scares you. Following your truth will take you into the unknown. You have the path mapped out in your mind; there’s no room for detours! But growth includes detours. Following what’s true requires nothing short of a courageous heart.

I encourage you to accept your desire for more as a natural part of life, and use it to entice you into deeper growth in your relationships, your career, and your purpose in life. When you do so, you will be pleasantly surprised to find more satisfaction waiting for you around the corner, along with another opportunity to grow.

Please leave a comment below about how pioneering into the unknown led you to a greater experience of growth. I look forward to hearing from you.

Comments

Jackie Morrison

What if the love map is leading someone to an unhealthy love destination and has a track record of clearly not the best dynamics for both involved? Should a person continue on or should they redirect their love map and increase healthy self-love? Not that they are avoiding relationships but rewiring themselves from the inside out for healthy patterns in a mutual partnership. Imago work with couples and singles seems to take this approach to deepen existing relationships. For singles, the natural desire to pair bond, will always be there. But if they have had a series of dis-empowering love experiences, wouldn’t it be worth healing the love map, love picker, while being available and seeking a significant other?

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Shelly Bullard

Hi Jackie,

I see what you’re saying. I also think our unconscious runs deep and many internal issues cannot be overcome without them being played out. People often think that they can “get better” outside of a relationship, then find a partner where it won’t ever be “unhealthy.” I tend to believe that whatever issues are inside of you regarding relationships, they are going to come to the surface when you partner with someone, which allows you to work through it as it arises. I have personally done a ton of work on myself outside of relationships, but that has not allowed to bypass the work I am continuing to do in my relationships. When I hear people say what I think you are saying above, a small flag raises for me because I hear over and over again this desire to work through our issues first, then be in a relationship. From my experience and what I’ve seen in others, it’s rare for it to happen this way.

XO
Shelly

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Jackie Morrison

Hi Shelly,

I was thinking more on the extreme example of repeated patterns in unhealthy relationships. For example, women who are in one abusive relationship after another. If they don’t do something to interrupt the pattern then they will end up in yet another compromising position. Where I am coming from is the trauma-repetition angle. The subconscious is looking to heal in these cases and then the person is only traumatized again. So, rather than seek a partner, first take 3 to 6 months whereby the person makes healing a priority with EMDR and Imago therapy to break the pattern. But, they can still date, just have a counselor or guide with them so they can navigate better to a healthier choice. Often too, such people find stable nice men or women too boring or don’t get attracted to them because their love map wires them to become drawn to mean and chaotic individuals. So that kind of love template needs to transformed so they stop dating abusers. I know this is an extreme example, but where I was coming from. By all means, people are wired for partnership and pair bonding, but sometimes the wiring is wonky and dangerous. So in my opinion it’s best not to continue on the love road map to destruction.

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Ali

This is very well written – thank you for this collection of good thoughts!

Regarding your phrase “You have the path mapped out in your mind…”, I do see friends/others struggling when real life doesn’t fit the project management methodology that does work for them in their careers. I see successful professional people, used to running projects on time and according to budget, getting wildly disappointed about life as they slowly realise that the can’t project manage others and life events! It takes some learning to realise that business principles cannot be fully translated to real life – and that in particular being vulnerable in front of trusted others is often what’s required to deepen relationships, but it’s not a skill taught in university or business.

I particularly like your phrase: “But growth includes detours. Following what’s true requires nothing short of a courageous heart.” It reminds me that we should commend ourselves and others for bravery in growth, not just heroism in sport, good-lookin’ clothes, etc.

I’m really enjoying your blog!

Kindest regards from the Alps,
Ali

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rochelle foles

hi shelly,

first of all, i have to tell you i think it’s hilarious that we’re both shelli/shelly’s and that we both sign our names with xo, mine signature, even w/o my name is xoxoxo and on Christmas packages even the youngest in the family know who they’re from!

one of my best friends sent me one of your blog posts today about feelings or drama, which led me here.

-and no, there are NO Accidents, NO coincidences in my world. i was meant to hear what you had to say. and hear it loud and clearly.

i’m in a relationship with an incredible man, but after a marriage of 15 years that nearly cost my life-literally, and the divorce that followed i’m understandably hyper-vigilant and cautious. and i know i often need reassurances that other women don’t.

we have similar backgrounds of severe abuse and both are being seen for Chronic PTSD, so we come to each other with a very specific understanding of life that is quite unique.

i never thot i’d find a man so compassionate, so accepting, loving, patient, kind and willing to STAY. I’m constantly amazed when he shows up at home night after night, but i’m told i’m a pretty amazing, loving, empathetic and kind soul that others seek out for understanding, so maybe our match is somehow made in heaven.

i’m so glad you pointed out that we all go thru those “being so madly in love i can’t breathe” stages, followed by complete boredom and questioning. i have watched others go thru this too. and i agree, it gives us a chance to look with – not at- each other in a much deeper way, on a deeper, more committed level than if life were always just coming up daisies.

it may not be the most fun carousel ride we’ve ever taken, but it’ll end up being the longest and in the end the happiest i believe.

i’m thrilled to have found your blog and if it’s the only one i take the time to read , be assured i will.

God Bless you, your relationship, and your willingness to bare yourself to help us look at ours more closely so that we too may be better bearers of love to all in our lives.

xoxoxo
shell

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Erin

Hi Shelly- Thank you for sharing such an honest, if not avoided truth. I really appreciate this advice. But here’s the deal.. As much as I really want and need growth in my relationship, my husband is not in the same place (in general, especially in regard to spiritual openness and desire for growth.)

I try to talk with him, but I don’t get far. He is emotionally unavailable, and we always seem to misunderstand each other. It’s certainly limiting our growth. If growth is about getting deeper or getting out, I just cant seem to get deeper with him.

Thanks so so much for your time!
Erin

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