Love Lingers Here: Intimate Enduring Relationships. X. Forming a Relationship
The enthralling, romantic texture of the forming stage may last for a remarkably long time. Clearly, Tally and Kasha continue to reflect on and renew the intensity of their first meeting through their daily rituals. Among many of the other intriguing and reassuring couples we interviewed, romance was still very much alive. Delores and Bart met in a Texas bar. Out with respective friends that evening Delores spotted Bart across the room, as in “Some Enchanted Evening” and many other wonderful love stories (true and fictional). She eventually approached him (this is where their story breaks from traditional sex role stereotyping) and asked him to dance. They spent much of that evening together, parting later in the parking lot.
On the way home that night, Bart remarked to his friend, “I just met the woman I’m going to marry.” Bart and Delores often met again during the ensuing week. By the following weekend they were inseparable and already considered themselves a couple. ‘They never again dated other people. One year later they were married. In the eight years since they met, Delores and Bart have had no children. Perhaps because of this, they aren’t lacking for romance. They speak of their great respect for and great honesty with one another, and focus in particular on the romance that still exists in their lives. Candlelight dinners are the norm. “I love you” is often scribbled in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. They call each other at work several times a day.
The interviewer initially suspected that Delores and Bart were stuck in some primitive level of development — one that is dominated by idealized and fanciful notions of each other. They seemed overdue for a profound period of disillusionment, as they finally began to suspect that they were not each other’s ideal. Their fantasies would soon come tumbling down, and they would discover each other’s bad breath! This was not, however, the case. From the start, we were struck with how genuinely and authentically Bart and Delores presented themselves.
Surprisingly, their individual personalities weren’t buried within this very loving, merged picture, but seemed strong and very much in evidence. They spoke of passions not shared and of individual pursuits. They teased one another over these obvious differences, often agreeing with the other’s statements of frustration and laughingly pointing out what they particularly found most irksome about the other. They often checked in with the other (asking “is this right?” or “did it happen like this?”) to verify that their telling of events was accurate.