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Why it is hard to stay in love

I can remember my first kiss.

It was on a lazy Sunday afternoon at the popular East Coast Park in Singapore, facing the sea. We were both 18, with no experience with the opposite sex.

There, at a certain moment in time, I found her arms around me. I went in for my first-ever kiss.

As our lips locked, it felt…exactly like dry lips touching each other. There certainly wasn’t any magical feeling.

“What was that all about?”

“Maybe we didn’t do it right.”

“Let’s try again!”

So we did, for the rest of that sunny afternoon.

When I remember the times in my life that I have been in love, this is one of those times.

I remember the adventurous attitude. I remember the lack of judgment and expectations, and laughing at each other and at ourselves. I remember just being in the moment together and enjoying the present.

I’ve begun to see that staying in love depends highly on keeping that attitude.

Why it is hard to stay in love

When we first fall in love, everything is new and exciting. What she does in her job, what he does for his hobby, it is all so fascinating that it distracts us from our possibly mundane lives. He or she introduces possibilities, and that’s always sexy.

As time goes by, the distraction subsides, and we focus back on our own lives. The fact is that what we do everyday, eating sleeping working is the reality of our lives. Whether we know it or not, that is the adventure we chose for ourselves. Does our partner choose the same adventure? That is an important question.

It doesn’t help that society likes to treat relationships like they are possessions. He has a beautiful girlfriend. She has a successful boyfriend. They have an amazing life. When you see your relationship as a possession, like your security blanket, you start imposing your expectations on it. You(or your partner) think that you are deserving of love and attention just because you are the husband or the wife. And then you start thinking, why doesn’t this person excite me anymore? 

You (or your partner) forget that being in love is not about scratching your specific itch. It is more about choosing to be on your specific adventure with another person, and thereby enriching that adventure. Like two teenagers trying to figure out what kissing is all about.

Sometimes, people realise that their respective adventures are headed in different directions, and they move on. Other times, people forget that they are on an adventure at all. And of course, we all want to find someone who wants to create our adventures together.

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