Relationships are motivated primarily by unconscious forces. Romantic relationships are no exception! Attraction is primarily visceral, though many dating websites and our own need to be in control of things would prefer it to be otherwise.
The major unconscious dynamic at play in romantic love is "enactment," which is the universal unconscious process of you being drawn into a set of unresolved issues from your partner's past, and your partner being drawn into yours. The strong feelings of romantic attraction (the butterflies we may have) that often initiate relationships are essentially a neurobiological signal of high enactment potential. Unfortunately, once enactment ensues, the relationship is usually doomed.
The antidote to enactment requires a mindful, disciplined approach to dating and relationships, one that is not seduced by butterflies. This approach requires that you adopt the position of catalyst. From the field of chemistry, a catalyst bonds with another compound and activates a set of processes that ultimately transforms the compound into a product with a more advantageous state and structure. This is an apt metaphor for romantic love.
In the next meeting of the Dating and Relationship Group on Saturday, July 15, 2017 (12:00 to 1:15 PM),
I will unpack this metaphor and describe the position of catalyst. Our discussion will emphasize three major ideas as they apply to romantic love: (1) bypassing the attachment trap; (2) developing a membrane; and (3) introducing the reflective function.