THE 4 TYPES OF PREMARITAL COUPLES & THE RELATIONSHIP ROLLER COASTER
Have you ever fallen head over heels in love for someone?
When you first meet them you couldn’t stop thinking about them. Their smile, how they talked, their passions, the way they looked at you.
In the early stages of a relationship, reality goes out the window and the honeymoon effect influences you to feel that nothing could ever go wrong.
It’s almost like you’re the star of your own love movie. Kissing in the rain and all that jazz.
But then you have fights and breakup, shortly followed by passionately making up.
Believe it or not, these “Hollywood” romances are like a rollercoaster where you experience an emotional high of passionate love followed by a drop of emotional isolation.
Many of these toxic relationships can be prevented if we are more honest with the reality of who are partner is and who we are. Numerous research studies indicate that idealizing our partner in the bliss of love can lead us to ignore red flags. I know I’ve ignored red flags in past relationships.
During my interview with Mike, I talk more about how to prevent yourself from falling prey to this: How to Avoid Unavailable Partners and Have an Emotionally Connected Relationship
I’m not making this up. In fact, a researcher followed 168 couples from dating through 13-years of marriage.
He discovered that the happily married couples who were “very” in love and affectionate were 100% committed to each other, expressed less negative feelings and lots of positive feelings, and viewed their lovers as better than all alternatives. Their relationship was like calm waters.
Here are the four types of relationships Dr. Ted Houston discovered during his 13-year study:
- Rollercoaster Romances – these couples had emotionally draining breakups followed by passionate making up. Do you think these couples divorced? They did.
- Firework Romances – these couples fell madly in love with each other and like a firework, their passion lit up the sky but quickly disappeared when the reality of their ignored differences and unrealistic expectations darkened the sky of their relationship. Divorce was inevitable.
- Status Quo Partners – these couples stayed married but unhappily so. They didn’t have a blissful start (like the couples above) and there were some red flags that were clear in the dating portion of the relationship that got swept under the rug. These problems got worse the longer the marriage lasted.
- Stably Affectionate Investors – these couples did not have a dramatic dating period. Rather their relationship was like rowing a boat in a calm lake. They took their time investing in each other and intentionally built a warm and cooperative partnership. Almost all of these couples were very happily married at the end of 13-years. They had lasting and satisfying relationships because they fell in love and became experts on each other over time, not instantly. Both partners were 100% invested in each other. In the first two years of their relationship, they focused on creating healthy patterns of being with each other such as communicating, managing conflict, and intentionally building a culture of love, respect, and admiration. Essentially the quality of their relationship was built on a secure friendship.
Dramatic love may create passionate and blissful moments, but they also tend to come with hurtful and painful conflicts. Take your time falling in love and use the first few years of dating to build a strong culture of love, affection, and secure connection that will make your marriage last a lifetime.