Love Lingers Here: Intimate Enduring Relationships X: Forming A Relationship
They talked enough to learn a bit about each other, though one wonders to what extent they truly understood one another. Most of us aren’t thinking very clearly during these moments in our lives and can barely understand our own thoughts and feelings, let alone those of another person on whom we have projected a considerable amount of fantastic images. It is probably more accurate to suggest that Tally and Kisha heard their own words (whether actually stated by the other person or not) and assumed that they understood these words.
What happens after this initial infatuation fell away for Tally and Kasha”? Were they successful in adjusting to the realities of their relationship? They have, in fact, been quite successful in adjusting to realities, though they had to go through a major remarriage process. The memory of how they first met is still very clear and compelling. It serves as a stable foundation for their changing relationship. The two hours they spent “looking into each other’s eyes and understanding perfectly” stood as an inaugural experience to be repeated frequently in their life together. This “first time” became the touchstone against which later times together would be tested.
Tally spoke of the daily ritual of sitting together in the evening after work, sipping tea and looking out at the nearby ocean. These are daily celebrations of their growing bond and covenant. When later they could only speak of superficial things or found themselves avoiding each other it was clear that something essential was missing. Finally, years later, when they saw themselves of television (as described in an earlier essay), it was the old ideal images of themselves. This reflection back of an old (now somewhat dim) image revived the hopes and dreams upon which their covenant had been founded. Now, as they reconfigure their relationship and engage the process of remarriage, it is more realistic than during their early years together; yet, it is still faithful to the original, founding vision of themselves as a couple.
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.