Are you in love? Are you thinking about getting married?
YOU MIGHT BE.
In the US, 40% of marriage proposals occur roughly in the 2 and a half month period between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.
December, which is right around the corner, is the most popular month to get engaged.* Although the pandemic has changed everyone’s lives, the holiday calendar remains unchanged, including the timing about making this major life decision.
It’s common knowledge that when we first begin dating someone that we’re strongly attracted to, we’re prone to experiencing the Halo Effect.
|That’s when our attraction for them is saturated with an aura of positivity. If our partner says or does something problematic, like being perpetually late, we tend to overlook it. Instead, the halo effect magnifies the positives: we focus on our partner’s attractiveness, their sense of humor and fun, or their winning smile. The halo effect makes everything about our love, oh so sun-shiny. ☀️|
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE HALO EFFECT
Interestingly, the halo effect has a physical basis. Neuroscience has identified the brain’s “love” chemicals – a group of neurotransmitters that includes dopamine – that in the early stages of romantic-sexual relations, flood our brains with these excitatory chemicals. Among other stimulating effects, they make our heart beat faster when the phone rings and we anticipate it is our new love calling us (Helen Fischer, 2000). These neurotransmitters help put a smile on our face that we wear for the whole date! And they can make the love-making so memorable. In human energy field studies, we can see the energetic “love bubble” that forms between two lovers. It is a beautiful thing.
Sadly, the halo effect and its underlying brain chemistry wears out in 3 years or less.
(Actually, our nervous system builds up a tolerance to them that reduces their effect on us).
A couple’s differences then show up like nuisances.
Some couples will actively procrastinate from talking about them in an effort to keep the sunny phases of romance going. But the magic can no longer magically make the realities of our human personalities in relationship go away. Those unanswered questions will eventually come to the fore of your relationship with the force of a winter’s gale. At that point, some couples break up. They are unable to transition from the halo period with its fizzy love chemicals to deeper, more complete love and intimacy. How can you avoid that happening to you and your partner?
In my couple’s coaching and energy healing practice, I have found that it is crucial that couples talk about their differences before tying the knot. Yes, marriage is about love, but it also involves a legally binding social contract, time-honored expectations about each spouse’s behavior, in-laws, children, property, and all the rest. It is best to try to explore these questions before these other features of a marriage make answering them too burdensome or anxiety-provoking.
Read the The Love Handbook for the Holidays: Questions to Ask Before Committing to Long-term Relationships (including marriage) next!
* Henriques, M. (2018, December 4). The best time of the year to get engaged? BBC Future. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20181204-best-month-to-get-engaged-married-pregnant-and-divorced
**Fisher, H. (2000). Lust, attraction, attachment: Biology and evolution of the three primary emotion systems for mating, reproduction and parenting. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy. 25(1), 96-104.
*** Stanford, E. (2016, March 24). 13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married. The New York Times. Retrieved from:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/03/23/fashion/weddings/marriage-questions.html