There is a theory of learning that I like to use when teaching. It’s the 4 stages of competence, and they go like this:
You don’t know what you don’t know. You could also think you know WAY more than you do, a la the Dunning Krugers.
This is a baby crawling, and not yet really aware of walking.
You know what you don’t know. This is a frustrating place to be. Because you are FULLY aware how much you suck at something, and it’s often a painful process to claw your way out of this hole.
This is a baby taking it’s first steps and falling a lot.
This is when you get good at soemthing through practice, but while you are GOOD, you are not yet great. You still have to really think about it while doing it, and check back with instructions once in a while.
This is a toddler, walking and even running, but still falling alot, because when they get distracted from their movement, they are not yet coordinated enough to stay upright and catch themselves.
Mastery. You don’t have to think about it now. It comes naturally. This is where muscle memory comes into play. You’ve practiced and learned so much that you live, breathe and think this.
This is an adult, walking while talking on the mobile, carry a metric ton of groceries, and juggling the car keys to open the door. You don’t have to think about walking any more.
Love is like that.
Sure, some people are “naturals,” and they skip through the stages faster than others.
But everyone needs some practice, and it takes a while, especially with a new partner, to get to the point of conscious competence, much less mastery.
We have to communicate and teach each other/learn our rules, and once we have those all figured out, we discover together how to riff off the sheet music we’ve created to make new and loving compositions.
Just remember, however good that feels, we had to go through all of those stages to begin with, and will with every new partner, friend, and child that comes into our lives.