Good morning everyone, and welcome to NF Learning Lab, where together, we access our innate, iNtuitive wisdom as unique, self-valuing, and deeply Feeling women … and share who we are becoming in a safe, sensitive community.
In recent weeks, we have been exploring the ten areas of life that we work with in NF Learning Lab, and using, as our lens, the idea of ‘family of origin’. This week, we focus our family-of-origin lens on the life area of ‘relationship/romance’, which speaks to our significant, personal connections.
An online dictionary provides a robust list of definitions for these two closely related words. One says that relationship “refers to the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave toward each other”; and that romance refers to an “ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love:” as in, “They kept the romance alive in their relationship for 35 years.”
With these definitions in mind, let’s look more closely at why, in NF Learning Lab, we use both words; ‘romance’ and ‘relationship’. ‘Romance’ was chosen by our four, original founders, who wanted a word that reminds us, that for most women, the magic of romance is important to our primary, bonded relationships. Indeed, it might be said that women strongly prefer that romance be kept alive over time. I wonder if this might be especially true of iNtuitive-Feeling type women, because of our openness to magical experiences and our open-heartedness.
We might all agree, that the daily challenges that come with a committed, adult relationship can easily overshadow the possibility of keeping romance alive. Most often, doing so requires us to be creative in some way, but how? To answer that question, let’s take a peek at one more definition for the word ‘romance’; “A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something or someone.” That sounds like infatuation, doesn’t it? Nearly every woman has been swept away by infatuation, and we all seem to understand that it is the infatuation associated with romance that tends to fade, once we settle into a committed relationship. But does it have to be that way?
Ask anyone who has been in a long-term relationship that is still romantically alive, and you will hear that they’ve found ways to be creative with two things; ‘full expression’ and its companion, ‘emotional intimacy’. We’re talking here, about the ability of two people to literally ‘create’ the space to explore together, ever more deeply, their emotions, and to dare to share with each other, their true feelings. This is the kind of creativity needed to keep romance alive in a relationship, and like all creativity, it comes with a challenging edge. For iNtuitive-Feeling type women, it can be especially challenging, because we learn very early to keep much of who we are and what we feel to ourselves.
At first, when we’re infatuated, it is easy to share the positive emotions we’re feeling. In fact, each time we do, we feel really, really good! We love that our heart feels open, and we are fed by the fact that the other person is reflecting the love we feel, right back to us. As our relationship moves forward, we inevitably begin to feel troubling emotions, too, and it can seem almost impossible, at times, to share them. As sensitive, compassionate, iNtuitive-Feeling women, we don’t want to bring up subjects that might ‘rock the boat’, but a huge problem gets seeded right there. Almost always, those boat-rocking subjects are tied to needs we have, that are not being met. All too often, we stay silent, hoping to somehow keep the joys of infatuation and romance alive, without having to share what, for many iNtuitive-Feeling women are needs that we might keep hidden, even to ourselves.