The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#265: I See You as Lover - the importance of attention in loving well

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, September 22, 2019

Our brain is such an interesting thing. It stores away memories and impressions, and then when we are met with a similar situation, it immediately goes ‘oh that old thing’ and presents a pre-formed idea based on the past. Which means it’s easy to get complacent in our experiencing of life, including our experience of our partner.

When we first meet there is so much newness and excitement – our brain is bedazzled by our new object of interest, we find this person fascinating. Our brain is engaged and releasing lots of dopamine and the endorphins and oxytocin are flowing in our body. It feels sooo goood! Often this is fuelled by pre-existing beliefs around ‘happy ever after’ and ‘finding one’s soul mate’, which enhance the interest and positive feelings.

But, over time, that person is no longer new. They become a bit ‘same old same old’. Our brain gets used to them, we no longer see them as new and interesting, and often this is exacerbated by beliefs around sex and love getting boring with time, and maybe memories of our own parents’ complacent marriages mixed in. We go into automatic mode with our partner, with our impressions and expectations of them. We get bored and boring, in all aspects of our relationship, including sexually, we become a slave to our preconditioning.

But, the good news is…our brain is also very good at paying attention - when we consciously direct it to. This is one of the important elements of mindfulness. We can intentionally pay attention, and when we do, we can override those automatic old impressions and continuously see our partner afresh, as they really are. They are not the same old person we wake up next to day after day, year after year…no, they are an ever-changing person with whom we interact and can discover anew day after day, year after year.

This person we chose is not just co-parent, co-mortgage-owner, co-mustn’t-forget-to-put-the-garbage-out. That is undifferentiated fused dullsville! This person is partner, friend and most importantly, lover.

This skill of intentional attention enables us to see our partner as lover, no matter how long we’ve been together. We see them as other, we notice them, we appreciate them, we enjoy them. We are drawn to them as lover, and when we make love we do so with open awareness, present to the moment, to the experience, to them as erotic, loving partner in life.

It makes relationship more interesting, more engaging and more conscious.

It makes love-making more connected, more intimate and so much more meaningful.



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