Instincts surely serve us. When it comes to filling the love bucket the “Lifestyle” Ring of Desire is often overlooked or ignored but a key to happy relating and true lovematism.
Sex is often at the top of the list as the red hot Ring of Desire.
But what about lifestyle? And even more specifically what about the aspect of spiritual mysticism of lovematism. This can make or break a couple.
Susan Heitler Ph.D. shares this case example:
Robert adored Sherry. She was smart, funny, generous and sexually exciting to him. At the same time, they spent so much time at his apartment that it seemed to him he should think about inviting her to move in.
Yet Robert hesitated. Rather than slide into each subsequent stage of their growing partnership, he wanted co-habitation to be just a short interval before a long engagement and eventual marriage. If he was going to invite Sherry to move in with him, he’d better look ahead down the road and decide if he really was wanting to stay on the marriage track with her.
When Robert did the exercise of labeling the key parts of what he liked best about himself, his alarm bells went off. Catholic was at the top of the list. He was from an Irish Catholic family and had grown up loving going to church. That was the place where his sometimes argumentative family always felt most harmonious and intact. His spiritual side was so nourished by going to church that he had considered for some time even becoming a priest. At the same time, he knew that Sherry was equally committed in her Jewish religion. Religious observances at home such as Friday night dinners were an especially positive part of her family of origin’s closeness.
As Robert thought about how central Catholicism was to his identity and Jewishness was to Sherry’s, feelings of sadness rose up within him. He realized that to build a cohesive family together one or both of them would have to give up too core a part of his identity.
Robert decided that instead of inviting Sherry to move in with him, he would explain his concerns. Together they faced the realities of their different identities, talking openly about what a future together might look like. Their mutual choice at the end was to declare their love for each other, and then part.
Initially Robert and Sherry both suffered a long period of mourning. Eventually however each found new partners. With these more fully-matched spouses, both built highly successful and loving families.
Susan Heitler says, “No one wants to seal the deal and then discover afterwards that they have signed up for serious marriage problems.”
Know what fills your special lady’s love bucket. Lifestyle changes over the years but the core factors that are the foundation of what is important to you should be explored early on.