Why is it that at the start of a new relationship (the “honeymoon” phase) we hardly have any conflicts, but later on we really struggle with each other?
According to Stan Tatkin, who integrates attachment theory and recent neuroscience research, it is because at the beginning of our relationship we are fully attuned, curious to explore the other – whereas later on, we start to relate to each other on more of an automatic pilot state of mind:
“You think you know each other already so you stop paying attention, you stop being fully present.”
In his book Wired for Love, he coined the term the Couple Bubble, which means you really need to make an effort to support each other and accept the partner with all their faults, as they are, instead of judging each other.
In this TEDx talk, Stan Tatkin explains the biological reason behind our quarrels. When you listen to this talk you realize that arguing, fighting, reacting and even overreacting is completely natural and normal. Inevitable even. But he also explains that we can make a decision to become a team, and help each other by resolving to be a sound, solid unit. He says:
“A relationship can survive fights. What it can not survive is a loss of safety and security.”
And he gives some amazing tips on how to fight “better”. Really worth listening to his 10 minutes TEDx talk: