One of the most famous sayings connected to the month of March is the psychic in Shakespeare’s play
who warns Julius Caesar: “Beware the ides of March!”
This psychic was telling Caesar that something terrible would happen to him no later than the date of
March 15 – which is the “ides of March”. I was curious why this date was so important.
It turns out that early Romans measured time by the phases of the Moon rotating around the Earth.
They counted back from three fixed points of the month which divided the month into three lunar phases:
Kalends is the first day of the month. This denotes the first phase of the moon: the new moon;
Nones refers to the first-quarter moon. This fell on either the fifth or seventh day of the month;
Ides denotes the full moon, which fell on either the 13th or 15th of the month.
The 15 of March, the Ides of March, or full moon, marked the first day of the New Year in this
early Roman calendar.
So how the Romans divided time by the three phases of the moon gave me the idea to think about love
in three phases as well. What do you think about love as . . . .
Phase 1: Love as New Moon: limerence.
Phase 2: Love in First Quarter: in transition to full moon.
Phase 3: Love as Full Moon: ‘til death do us part.
More specifically …
Phase 1: Kalends (Love as New Moon: limerence)
Operas and poetry are famous for
their impassioned expressions of limerence. Some dictionaries define this as the first three to six months of falling in love. It’s a time when we see only the idealized aspects of our new love. Love at first sight…
across a crowded room… hormones popping… head in the clouds (or in the sand). For the
majority of couples, this phase does not last too long.
Phase 2: Nones (Love in First Quarter: in transition to full moon)
differentiations between your self and your love.
When novelty wears off, you increasingly know one another. Realities of personality traits clear
through the fog of passion. For many, we are still “in love”, but it’s different. Hopefully, love deepens. But for approximately 50% of American couples who divorce, love does not deepen; instead, the
opposite occurs. Differences start to grate and may trigger insensitivities, even conflict.
This transition may last many years, or forever. A couple may or may not cycle into full moon
relationship or Phase 3.
Phase 3: Ides (Love as Full Moon: ‘til death do us part)
This is a phase of commitment
and resolution. A secure, committed relationship where trust, mutuality, and respect reign. Where values
and meanings are shared and sustained. A deep, loving friendship and romantic relationship is what
I’m calling a “full moon” relationship.
If you did not make it to this phase, you are not alone. Many partners did not grow up in homes
where they saw parents functioning in a secure, committed way with one another. They did not see
their parents differ, have conflict, get angry, but then repair and soothe the other.
So when I think about the three phases of love that I’m suggesting, I say beware the ides of love.
That’s the transition phase of your love that needs to deepen in order to reach the full moon, the ides,
phase. BEWARE: there are warning signs of a relationship in trouble. I detail these in a written blog
on my website, which you can find on my Divorce Magazine profile page.
So when you next look at the moon, perhaps you’ll think about the three moon phases. And, I hope these
three love phases piques your curiosity to look into your relationship and ask what’s best for you both.
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