“Physical attraction is not a firm foundation on which to build a relationship, for the simple reason that it is never constant. It sets in motion a cycle of expectation and disillusionment that can go on and on. The person who lives in a world of fantasy will often blame the other for letting him down.
“Perhaps, for example, Juliet expects Romeo to come to her balcony every morning and launch into, “It is the east, and you are the sun . . . .” Three days after the honeymoon, she feels crushed when she is greeted at breakfast with nothing more romantic than, “Where’s the toast?”
“Many relationships sputter because of just such inflated expectations, which demand of life something that it simply cannot give. We should not feel that close relationships are beyond our reach, but they are demanding. Through experience, we come to realize that in love nothing comes as easily as we expected. Everything beautiful has to be worked for.”
– Eknath Easwaran’s Thought for the Day
“Everything beautiful has to be worked for.”
Truer words were never spoken.
And yet this flies in the face of everything we’ve learned about love:
- Love should be easy.
- Conflict, if it exists at all, should be resolved tidily.
- We should always be attracted to our partners.
- We should always feel in love.
We shudder like Juliet in the imagined scenario in the above quote when love’s unromantic face shows itself, when butterflies flutter and fall to the ground and daily life unfolds, day after day after day. No grand romantic gestures. No sonnets written about you. Just life unfolding, playing out in the ordinary goodness that doesn’t receive top billing in Hollywood.
When the Butterflies Fade
What do we do, then, when butterflies fade, or if they were never there at all?
What do we do when fear shows itself, often in the form of bracing, withdrawing, or intrusive thoughts?
If we want to reveal the goodness of an ordinary life, we get down to work, addressing our fears and learning how to meet them, which means learning how to dance the line between the twin fears that show up in relationships: losing ourselves and losing our partner.
There is a roadmap for how to do this, but we don’t receive it in school. Our parents didn’t receive it, either, which means that it didn’t get passed down to us.
A Roadmap for Love: Love Laws and Loving Actions
There are Love Laws and Loving Action that, when practiced, soften fear and grow love, and it’s through this practice that real attraction and sustainable loving feelings shimmer up to the surface.
This is what I teach in Open Your Heart: A 30-day course to feel more love and attraction for your partner, and I’m thrilled to offering this course live for the first time in two years.
This was the first 30-day course that I created ten years ago, and when I reviewed it in anticipation of this re-release, I was delighted to discover that not only does it still hold water, but the information I share is corroborated by science. With the right mindsets and practices, science now teaches that we can rewire our brains and hearts in the direction of love
And it is a practice! Even if you’ve been with your partner for years, we can always use a primer and refresher on the Love Laws and Loving Actions that soften fear and grow love.
If you took this course ten years ago and are now knee-deep in young children, I invite you to join me again.
If you’ve been following my work for years and still struggle with the attraction spike, taking this course a second time will provide you with the reminders you need so that you can wire your brain toward goodness, peace, and satisfaction with yourself and with your partner.
And if you’ve never taken this course, come receive this simple yet powerful roadmap that will help you optimize true intimacy.
You can learn more about the course here. And, in honor of the 10-year anniversary and re-release, I’m offering it at a $50 discount. I look forward to seeing you there!
when I have read the headline ‚How to keep Love alive after the butterflies flutter away …‘ I spontaneously was thinking of how to keep Love alive for yourself when nobody taught you how this is working. Being compassionate to yourself is such a hard lesson to learn. And letting go false beliefs of yourself and your partner is quite disillusioning but certainly will bring us closer to who we really are.
Thanx for your awesome work!
I love that your mind went there! And learning about self-love is a component of the Open Your Heart course.
Hi Sheryl – does this course help with feelings/thoughts of “he doesn’t get me. We aren’t connected”. An example would be maybe I say something to my husband and he doesn’t have the reaction I was “expecting”. Maybe he’s not as excited as I am. I get a tight feeling in my chest and stomach and I feel, sort of sad or rejected maybe. Even though that is not his intention. I do remember in those moments that I am not with my husband because he’s just like me, I love his thought process and how he views things. But that feeling, is it another one of those feelings I sit with and let dissipate after accepting it? It seems like it’s more internal than actually about my husband. However, I have a strong automatic reaction to protect myself and this relationship. I don’t want to become resentful or unsatisfied, and moments of what seems like disconnect are hard for me. I have a strong desire to accept my husband as he is, not only because I just believe he deserves that kind of love, but because even though he’s not perfect, he is great, we get along, we laugh, and our values align. We do also argue, lol.
Briana: Yes, thats exactly the kind of struggle this course will help you address.
Okay, I have a question. I don’t have relationship anxiety, and I wouldn’t even say that I’m in a relationship, but I’m wondering if this course might be helpful.
Last week I asked this guy that I’ve been talking to for awhile to a movie (you may remember from the forum, his name is Brian), and to my surprise, excitement, and then huge amount of nervousness he said yes. We went to the movie, and he’d given me a ride so he drove me home and we ended up talking in my driveway for four hours. I’m still not sure that he knows I have a crush on him cause that didn’t come up, but everyone keeps telling me that he must have some kind of feeling for me because otherwise he would’ve found someway to get out and go home instead of talk to me for four hours. We also made definite plans to hang out again when I got back from a trip.
Anyway, my intrusive thoughts always tend to go towards thoughts of a certain kind of harm, which suddenly turned their attention towards him leading up to and especially after the “date” (or the not NOT a date, whatever it was). I’ve really been trying to remind myself that this is more of an indicator that you care about him and don’t take your thoughts literally, and I’m starting to get to a place where I know that avoidance is not the answer.
My question is, would this course help with something like that, or is it more specifically towards relationship anxiety and for someone who is for sure in a relationship- rather than a potential one?
Hi Riley: It’s more for people in a committed relationship. But I’m excited to hear about where the leads for you ;). If it moves forward, I recommend starting with the Break Free From Relationship Anxiety course, as that course focuses more specifically on the intrusive thoughts that arise in relationships as protectors.
Hey! What is the difference between this course and, Break Free?
Good question 🙂 –