A true man does not need to romance a different girl every night, a true man romances the same girl for the rest of her life.
[Picture: Carl & Ellie from Pixar's Up]
THE LOVE NOTE
There are two great loves in my life: 1. You. 2. Love. I am in love with you and I am in love with love. Loving you reminds me of how great love is and loving love reminds me to love you anyway when I may not quite feel like it.
PS: Love #1 gave me the Four Treasures of My Life which are but subsets of the two great loves of my life. Thanks baby. Love #2 keeps me in check so I never run the tragically foolish risk of losing any of the above.
THE GREAT RELATIONSHIP PRINCIPLE
Life-long Romance is a Choice. "We fell in love... we fell out of love." Sounds like a lot of accidents happening around something as big and important as love and all that goes with it: Marriage, money, children, property. True men, who know how to love truly, romance their women daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and repeat for life. Create love by choice. Don't wait for it. Too many people base their behaviors on their feelings (and then defend it like it's normal):
"You need to treat each other as friends."
"Yeah, but I don't like him."
"How can I treat him well if I don't feel it? I'm not fake."
"Oh, so your sincere contempt, nitpicking, criticisms, snide comments, sarcastic remarks, and yelling are somehow ennobled because they aren't 'fake'?"
Here's the problem: Most relationships start with, "I feel loving so I act loving" and then as partners get to really know each other they get annoyed, irritated, hurt, upset, etc and then it is, "I don't feel loving so I won't act loving." People feel this is acting out of integrity. I say it's specious emotional reasoning. There's a point where your feelings matter. I'm a therapist, I get that. There's also a point where your feelings don't matter. Invalidation of emotions is bad. We know that. Overvalidation, though, is just as destructive.
The principle here is Correct Behavior GENERATES (over time) Desired Emotion. So the GR Work involves a LOT of learning to treat each other well in loving, compassionate, patient, rule-disciplined ways so that the stance now becomes: "I act in loving ways even when I hate you." This keeps us from trashing the relationship just because we don't feel good. Still skeptical? Okay, try emotion-driven behavior at work for a month and see how long you have a job. We behave well to get well. We behave good to get good.