Remember a time when you couldn’t keep your hands off your partner? When with one look, one touch, you’d spend all day glowing in what felt like an all-consuming passion?
You used to have endless energy and time for romance and lovemaking, but now that you’ve been together a while, things have changed. Your days are filled with to-do lists and social obligations rather than steamy all-nighters and love notes. When your partner caresses you, you might get sleepy rather than turned on. A nap or watching TV might sound better than sex. You love your partner, but maybe you’re just not “feeling it” anymore.
When we first fall in love, the romantic thrill happens effortlessly because pleasure-boosting hormones create a neuro-chemical cocktail that drive us toward greater intimacy. Nothing is more important than being with that one person who makes you feel like you’re on fire. It certainly didn’t take planning or feel like work to keep the flames of lust burning and your interest in one another growing.
Unfortunately, this euphoria rarely last forever, especially when the demands and responsibilities of real life take over. Suddenly, there’s precious little time or energy left over in your day for an affectionate caress, an intimate conversation or a night of romance.
It isn’t long before your partner seems more like a roommate than a lover. You lay down each night next to a person who feels miles away from you. You begin to wonder if you even know each other anymore. When this emotional disconnect starts to happen, you’re entering the danger zone.
For monogamous couples, is it just a matter of time before the romance is dead and the relationship begins to drift apart?
Not necessarily. It depends on the little things you do on a daily basis that can mean the difference between a passionate, thriving relationship and one that’s on a slow death walk towards infidelityor divorce.
Is it really possible to keep the passion and romance alive after 5, 10, 20 years together?
Absolutely. Giving each other a daily dose of what I call the 3 A’s — attention, appreciation and affection — are the critical factors in keeping any relationship alive with interest and desire.
If taking a nap, watching TV, being on Facebook or chatting with friends sounds better than making love to you, here are six strategies to immediately apply to get the enthusiasm and closeness back in your relationship, pronto!
We’ve never taken each other too seriously and maybe that’s why we get along so well. Not being uptight makes life more enjoyable and satisfying, and it also helps to combat those stressful days where things don’t seem to go right. Whether it’s work or home life, one of our main strategies for a healthy and happy relationship has been about putting the fun into everything we can.
Here are some of our tips for having more fun in your relationship that we have found have worked for us and might be something that could freshen up your romance:
LAUGH MORE, COMPLAIN LESS
Happy people create fun. Fun lightens relationships, and healthy relationships lead to more productive lives. It’s all intertwined. Whatever it takes to laugh — whether it is reminiscing about something funny, telling jokes or pulling faces with each other — is essential to happiness. You’ll be so busy laughing that you will forget what was stressing you out or causing you anxiety. It will also remind you why you fell in love with each other.
THREATEN TO TICKLE YOUR PARTNER
Just the thought of this can start the laughter rolling. The anticipation can be hysterical. Many times you may need to follow through with the actual tickle threat to create an air of fun. So often, we forget to touch each other and be playful. This again is a way to show love and affection while lightening the mood.
PUT FUN TIME ON THE SCHEDULE
Whether it is happy hour and a snack after work or a tee time on the weekend or a day at the amusement park with the kids, plan ahead and put some fun activities on the calendar. This provides some relief from work because you can think about something fun coming up that you will be doing with your spouse or with the whole family. The anticipation goes a long way to helping alleviate the current stress you might have at work.
SURPRISE YOUR SPOUSE
Even if they tell you they don’t like surprises, they really do. It doesn’t have to be anything big like a new car with a bow on it. Think personal and be creative. Of course, if you need help, “just because” flowers delivered to work or a special homemade dinner consisting of your spouse’s favorite dishes are two ideas that always do the trick!
While it is important to schedule and plan for fun, there is a lot to be said for throwing out the plan and going with the moment. Think of a quick weekend road trip or last-minute seats to a concert. Even picking up and leaving work early for the day to spend time with the family is a great spontaneous way to show your love.
Being too serious leads to forgetting what is really important. And, that is the love and support you have in your partner and in your family. They are there to be enjoyed and for you to bring them joy. Have fun and save the seriousness for your next work meeting or conference call!
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