Despite conventional wisdom further bolstered with compelling new research revealing the importance of intimacy in fostering relationship happiness and longevity, millions upon millions of couples struggle to keep the relationship flame lit. Theories abound as to why partners, once “madly in love,” fall into the complacency and apathy trap, with recent data even suggesting active social media use can be to blame—leading to greater amounts of conflict among romantic partners, which in turn leads to infidelity, breakup, and divorce.
Many individuals in long-term relationships find themselves lamenting the excitement their relationship used to hold. Many try various things to rejuvenate the passion and, when those methods don’t work, they may feel lonely, desperate and needy and even begin to seek a solution outside of their committed relationship.
Passion is an intoxicating ingredient of any relationship–one that makes us swoon and feel true joy despite the challenges of everyday life that can have a dulling effect on our senses and psyche. The pressures and natural transitions of life—from financial and career concerns to raising children to evolving personal interests—can make it difficult to remain emotionally engaged and romantically attracted to someone as we were in those electrifying formative years of the relationship.
The good news? There are proactive measures couples can take to regenerate sparks that can make a relationship as spectacular and exciting now as it once was. Consider these tips:
- Identify and rectify mood killers. Mood killers are those things that shut your partner down. Also known as hot buttons, the longer you have been with your partner, the more buttons you know that you can push to get them to react in a certain way. Usually and unfortunately, pushing buttons does not involve anything fun and romantic but rather is more about creating drama and emotional conflict with the other person. For the sake of renewing a healthy connection, stay away from those actions and words that you know your mate feels entrapped by, shuts them down, or breaks off communication. Vow to never willingly engage those triggers to wound one another. Instead, identify new hot button words and concepts that will have a favorable and even titillating effect on your partner’s disposition and get them in the “right” mood laden with anticipation. Give your partner just enough information to engage their imagination and make them eager to see you.
- Remember you’re married your spouse, not your children. Children are a wonderful addition to any relationship, however all too often their role in the family unit can encroach on your partner’s needs. Some believe that, due to the biological bond and inherent dependency kids have, a child’s needs should “come before” that of a spouse or long-term romantic partner. It has happened to the best of us, and, when it does, it’s important to set boundaries—especially when married–that allow you to stay true to the hierarchy of spouse first and then children. If a life partner is placed on a back burner and not deemed a priority, there may one day be no partner to prioritize and the family unit on the whole might dissolve.
- Be bilingual in communication styles. Many relationship issues boil down to the different way brains are wired for women and men, including differences in communication preferences and motivators. Men are more visual and respond quickly to queues, while women often need to engage multiple senses, and their emotions, to get into an intimate mindset. While lingerie can do the trick for many men, for women even something small and helpful around the household, like coming home to a clean house, can be a real turn on. It is also essential to learn how each party in the partnership prefers to communicate. You must then make the conscious effort to deliver and receive messages from your mate according to their personal style, which may differ from yours. Knowing when and how to disseminate information is a key relationship skill that can be a saving grace unto itself. During moments of passion, what you say—and the delivery of that information—can turn a routine interlude into a thrilling new adventure.
- Make passionate moments a priority. Passion is an imperative intangible that adds spark and fire to any relationship, taking it from mundane to a magnificent expression of raw emotion. When correlated with spontaneity, oxytocin-fueled passion adds an exhilarating bonding element to a relationship that no two other people can share. The passion between two particular people is as unique as the individuals, themselves. Without passion and intimacy, marriages and other relationships are more vulnerable. Many people under underestimate the importance of passionate kissing, which can help trigger many of emotions and can keep the heat turned up in a relationship. So, no matter how busy your or your partner’s schedule, ensure there is time for private, pro-active, desire-driven interludes free from cell phones, computers or other interruptions or distractions that can undermine the experience and actually breed debilitating resentment with your mate. Rather than passivity, taking the initiative is a sure-fire way to create a spark with the potential to blaze.
About Author : “America’s Marriage Coach” Jacqueline Del Rosario is President and CEO of Recapturing the Vision International, an organization dedicated to promoting healthy marriages and family strengthening. Also a published author, speaker and nationally regarded media personality, Dr. Del Rosario has been a certified pre and post-marital counselor for more than 20 years. Her cutting-edge series, Marriage Solutions and The Marital Constitution™, help couples successfully work through problems and find healthy solutions. She has two children and currently resides in Miami, FL with her husband of over 20 years. Dr. Del Rosario may be reached online at www.DrJacquie.com.