A sexy girl or hot guy; blood rushing to our hungry groin; or the satisfaction of our longing for security, freedom, or belonging; are some things we may mistake for lasting love. Have you ever known anyone who met someone for the first time, spent a few hours partying, dancing, or walking along the beach with them; then spoke of wedding bells or shacking up? They might say things like: “He is so sweet!” “She is so amazing!” “I’ve never felt anything like this before!” “I think he is the one!” All this after a few hours of carefully choreographed theater within which everyone is putting on their pretty faces; while burning red flags with passion, throwing caution to their friends, and painting perfect little pictures of their dreams. They have been bitten by the bliss bug, which like a drug creates a bubble filled with ecstasy, lust, and infatuation games. This bliss bubble encapsulates the pleasure centers of the body, mind, and heart; and blocks the voice of reason, experience, and truth.
Intoxicating effects from this common malady can last six months or longer, until the bubble breaks, revealing what is there. Rather than realizing that the blissful experiences induced by this sparkly little bugger are illusion, many believe that, when the bubble bursts, their perfect relationship has fallen apart, they have lost their magic, or their amazing lover has turned into a troll.
When your relationship has plummeted, when your love has turned to stone; when the life you had has vanished, when you’d rather be alone; in truth, this is all you’ve ever known. In other words, if these apparent changes are the result of truth shining through the broken bubble, then what you are experiencing now is what was always there — you were just too much of a “bubblehead” to see or care 😉 .
What can we do to inoculate ourselves against the bliss bug, or burst its shimmering bubble with the truth?
1. Spend at least 6 months getting to know someone before you consider getting serious with them.
2. Wait on the sex; until after the six months have passed and you know what you are getting into. In the early stages of a relationship sex creates the illusion that the relationship is further along than it actually is; and may make it harder to leave when truth shines through.
3. Listen to your trusted friends and family members. They are not caught in the bliss bubble, and may be able to help you see a balanced view.
4. Identify and track red flags.
5. Journal after every date, and be honest: include strengths of experience and red flags.
1. When you wake up to the truth, if it is unacceptable or dangerous; make a plan for change, or walk away.
2. Let your friends and family help you. Do not let your shame or embarrassment keep you from taking a healthy step forward.
3. Learn from your experience. What can you do differently the next time?
4. Seek the guidance of a therapist, coach, or spiritual teacher if you need to.
5. Believe in yourself, your worth, your capabilities, your dignity.
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