How it seems to work:
Around the time we turn, say, 11 to 15, we begin to experience a rush of strange and powerful interest in certain other members of the human race. This rush, to one degree or another, typically continues throughout the rest of our lives.
To our surprise, we suddenly find our hearts pounding, our voices quivering, our breath short, we think of “him” or “her” aaaall the time … they transform into the doorway to happiness, holding our trembling heart in their hands, ripe with the promise of ever-lasting bliss …
- or maybe …
this just launches us on a predictable chain of events…
The Typical Cycle
- Step One: “The Catch”
Going through life. Someone catches your eye. Thought: “They can make me happy” “This is what I’ve been waiting for all of my life.” Promise of fulfillment. The future is bright, and bursting with potential.
“Love is what happens to a man and a woman
who don’t know each other.”
- W. Somerset Maugham
- Step Two: “Courtship”
You display your best features, hide the bad ones. At this point, either get painfully rejected several times and return to Step One, or if the courtship is successful, fall in “love”
“When two people are under the influence of the most violent,
most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions,
they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited,
abnormal and exhausting condition until death do them part.”
- George Bernard Shaw
(Note: Marriage may occur at this step, or after any any of the following steps.)
- Step Three: “Romance”
Time moves on. Swell of passion begins to fade. He/she is still perfect … mostly, well except maybe for this one little thing …
“The duration of passion is proportionate
with the original resistance of the woman.”
- Honore de Balzac
- Step Four: “The Honeymoon Has Ended.”
A wide assortment of minor problems emerge, usually each party blaming the other, either loudly or secretly.
“Men are April when they woo,
December when they wed;
maids are May when they are maids,
but the sky changes when they are wives.”
- William Shakespeare (As You Like It, Act 4, Scene 1)
- Step Five: “Rude Awakening”
Problems, issues, and troubles. Infatuation fully fades away. You realize that this other person is just another normal, flawed, breathing, scratching, coughing, fearful, complicated human being, just like yourself, more or less. They find out the same about you. Guys begin to think “Why is she like that?” Girls begin to think, “He’ll never change.” Often this is accompanied by feelings of betrayal, of having been wronged, let down, disappointed, or hurt.
“Love is something that hangs up behind the bathroom door
and smells of Lysol.”
- Ernest Hemingway
- Step Six: “This isn’t what I expected.”
“I realize that what I thought was the real solution, IT, the Answer, the end of loneliness, boredom, unhappiness… wasn’t. Now I’m right back where I started, lonely and in pain. You go to bed soulmates, wake up cellmates.”
“Marriage is like paying an endless visit
in your worst clothes.”
- J. B. Priestley
- Step Seven: “Crossroads”
This step consists of how one copes with the previous step. Here, one is at the following crossroads: Either
1. Break up or divorce;
2. Separate, or take a breather, and resume problems at a later time;
3. Both partners find a way for the relationship to evolve to a deeper level of understanding and maturity;
4. Have an affair (return to Step One); or
5. Resign yourself to a dull, colorless life full of crushing disappointment, barren drudgery, and hopeless resignation.
“Typical love is like two poor people where each believe that the other is rich.
Sooner or later, each finds out that that is other person is just as poor as they are.”
- Roy Masters
- Step Eight: “Rest a bit.”
Ponder on what went wrong, and try to come up with theories and/or explanations of what happened. The quality and accuracy of answers vary, depending on how in touch with reality one is, one’s honesty, and often the quality of relationship books one is reading. Typically, the solution is to conclude that it was the other person’s fault, and the way to not make the same mistake again is to find a “better” person. (Note: this step can, and often is, skipped by those who move immediately to a new partner, thus returning again to the cycle at Step One.)
“There are very few people who are not ashamed of having been in love
when they no longer love each other.”
- Duc de la Rochefoucauld
- Step Nine: “Start looking for a new catch.”
Return to Step 1.
“Love is only a dirty trick played on us
to achieve the continuation of the species.”
- W. Somerset Maugham
is The Typical Cycle
of romance and passion!
U N L E S S
“The Typical Cycle.”
… and how, exactly, do you do that??
“If Romeo and Juliet would have stayed around,
then they would have soon been bickering over the dishes
and who was going to hang the curtains.”