We all want love—the big wild badass kind that makes us feel dreamy and special and safe. And yet, so many of us get stuck along the way, wondering if the person we’re with is the ONE. (I get you.) Use this roadmap to let go to navigate these three stages of love—as defined by the experts and experienced, of course, by yours truly.
Step #1: Falling in Love
This passionate beginning has us on our best behavior and downright dopey. And yet, we can’t let it fool us because it’s the pleasure chemicals doing the talking (and everything else). We’re not getting a clear picture of the other person…yet. Let go of:
- Rash decision-making: Don’t run off to Vegas, okay?
- Trust: Let the other person earn it over time.
- Codependence: Your happiness is an inside job.
- Perfection: Impossible and zero fun!
- Isolation: Don’t lose yourself in an all-consuming relationship.
- Blind faith: Watch for any red flags—and act on them!
Step #2: The Power Struggle
This period of adjustment has us showing and seeing each other as we really are. It’s common to fight, blame, or control in an attempt to recapture the feelings from Stage 1. Without the skills to duke it out productively, we risk coming back here time and again. It helps to let go of:
- Fantasies: Even healthy relationships aren’t always harmonious.
- Infatuation: The best unions evolve past it; let it happen.
- Denial: Accept and appreciate one another’s differences.
- Silence: Overcommunicate. Seriously.
- Control: Force never gets you what you want in love—just watch Lifetime.
- Peace at all costs: Conflict allows our relationships to grow (besides, think of the make-up sex).
Step #3: Maturity
Here, stability and commitment rise to the top. If you’ve made it through Stage 2, the thrill of love returns in its deepest and most mature form. It does! Let go of this stuff:
- Your comfort zone: Don’t get stuck or let your relationship get stale.
- Changing your partner: Forget it, that ship has sailed; try to move on.
- Taking your partner for granted: Successful love is about appreciation and respect!
- Going it alone. If you’re struggling and think your relationship is worth saving, get help.
Good relationships take time, awareness, risk, sharing, pound cake, Netflix, sometimes separate bedrooms, a lot of eye rolling and muttering under your breath, and a healthy dose of letting go.
Fans & Followers
Watch Jill’s TEDxWilmington Talk: The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go
Learn more about Jill Sherer Murray: www.letgoforit.com
Jill Sherer Murray is an award-winning writer and speaker who studies creativity, relationships and self-growth. She is also the founder of Let Go For It®, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping individuals let go for a better life. Jill’s TEDx talk as well as her advice column, Big Wild Love: Let Go For It® were created in service to her loyal and growing fan base, who seek support in the act and the art of letting go for the love they desire and deserve. Follow Jill @letgoforit on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.