Overnight you went from being a single rather cranky woman dateless for lo these many months to Miss Adored Sunshine of His Life in THE most amazing relationship you've every had. You've never felt so beautiful, so wanted, so loved. This is a fairy tale come true. He was wonderfully passionate, intense, right from the beginning. He'd bring you a rose, a single red rose, every time you had a date. After the first week, well, you were together pretty much all the time. You blush to admit that you went to bed with him on the second date, but he was so ardent, he wanted you so badly, how could you refuse? On your third date, he told you that you were the woman he'd always dreamed of, that you made him forget all the others. Sigh . . .

You are getting everything you ever wanted in a relationship. So much attention, romantic and otherwise, so much affection, so many compliments, that you're carried along on a veritable sea of wonderful emotions and it all feels so good. You never want it to end. And yet . . . you aren't ecstatic. You have this slightly odd feeling that something's not quite right. Why, when you're getting everything you ever wanted? What is wrong with you?!

You're getting too much, too soon. The problem is that all those flattering words, all that attention and affection, are acting like a drug. The brain has a "pleasure center," which when stimulated produces endorphins, the neurotransmitters that make you feel good. When we're flooded with so much of what "feels good", nothing else matters. It's as if our ability to think rationally is put on hold. In scientific experiments, rats who are given cocaine when they press on a bar will literally press that bar until they die. They cease to eat, drink or do anything else that is "normal." So too do humans. When given their "drug of choice" over and over and over they seemingly lose the ability to think straight. Make no mistake, romance can be a particularly potent drug. We forget that it is just as possible to be emotionally overwhelmed with positive feelings as it is to be overwhelmed with negative ones, and just as mind-numbing.

It isn't just the amount of attention and affection that sends people into an emotional tailspin, it's also the timing involved. In other words, if your partner becomes more romantic or sexually attracted to you over the months and years of your relationship, you have a way of integrating the increased attention and affection within the context of the whole of the relationship. You are able to take it "in stride." When such attention or affection comes all at once at the beginning of the relationship, there is no way to put such behavior in context. There isn't enough experience of the other person to formulate a realistic assessment of what his or her behavior means. But when you're being showered with attention and affection, you don't look at the giver of such delights with any degree of objectivity. You want to believe that it's for real. There is little if any thought given to future consequences or implications. That's why you have that slightly scary feeling that something's not quite right. It's frankly too early to tell if all is well or not.

So – breathe. Back off. Take some time in between seeing each other. Don't move in together yet. See your friends. Spend time alone with your friends and family. Spend time together with your friends and family. Get to know his friends and family. Take some more time.

It may be frustrating to hold back on your desire to match his constant passion with yours, but if this is real love time will tell, and the passion will be there for a long, long time. If it's not, better you should discover who the person behind all that romance is now, when it's relatively easy to disengage, than later when your lives are thoroughly enmeshed.

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D. is a respected psychologist, consultant, speaker and author. Her most recent book is "The Power of Appreciation in Business (MindLab Publishing, 2005). For more than a decade, she has helped people live happier, healthier lives--at work, at home and in relationships. Dr. Noelle welcomes your comments via email (nnelson@dr.noellenelson.com). You can visit Dr. Noelle anytime at www.dr.noellenelson.com or www.PowerOfAppreciationInBusiness.com.