Sunday, 2 November 2014

Getting The Passion Back In Your Relationship

Getting The Passion Back In Your Relationship

  • Written by Kemi Amushan

OVERTIME, in our love relationships, we get bored and hope things would just go back to how it was initially when we first started dating, and then we realise we need to get the passion back in that relationship in order not for it to fizzle out and die. 

Sometimes, you are just so confused and it feels like everything seemed so perfect at the beginning; it seemed like the two of you could talk about anything. Now, it is so hard to communicate. 

The truth of the matter is that we need to learn how to communicate with our partners. Some couples confuse romantic love for the entirety of a healthy, authentic and emotionally connected relationship. I have been down that road before too, so you are not alone. 

This is understandable, as our culture presents only one story about what a good relationship should be: Intense idealisation and a perfect union, like Siamese twins or interlocking blocks clicking together, forevermore. This is where the movie ends.

The fact that a real relationship keeps going past the point when the credits usually roll and evolve into something much more complex can make people worry that something is wrong, or that their relationship is dying, when indeed it is actually growing.

In reality, romantic love is one stage of a relationship; it is a delicious, exciting stage. It comes after the great drama of flirtation and chase, after the seduction, and the nervous first months.   

In the swirl of romantic love, couples experience enchantment with the person they think each other is and are so excited that this perfect person loves them in return.

As you know, if you have ever been in love, there is craving for closeness, delight in proximity and an overwhelming desire to connect with your beloved.

Relationships: Fish now for a meaningful relationship

The drive for romantic love is one of the most powerful and intoxicating forces in the human experience. It is like being addicted, in the most delightful way. This is a special, sacred time in the process of developing a relationship, because it is when bonding occurs. 

During this period, you become each other’s “irreplaceable other” and your lives start to entwine.

The key ingredients for this experience are novelty, physical contact and anxiety. You are discovering each other and unwrapping the layers of each other’s stories, hopes and dreams, talents and vulnerabilities with every passing month, particularly for younger people, who have been adrift in the numbness of the “hook-up culture” that has replaced dating, finding a connection with someone that prizes and cherishes them above all others is intoxicating.

Through romantic love, you establish a partnership that you want to protect. You have become the most important person in each other’s lives. The desire to protect your relationship, formalise it, set boundaries around it and create rules for it are all manifestations of the forces inside of you that desire closeness and connection.

Obeying your craving for contact leads you to merge your lives more deeply together, living in the same space, floating under the arch of marriage, joining bank accounts and becoming intensely attuned to each other’s emotions. 

And that is around the time when the ingredients for romance- novelty, physical contact and anxiety- start to run out.

You have heard each other’s stories. You are frustrated with each other. You are too tired for sex. And the sparkling anxiety (aka “butterflies”) that comes with newness has been transformed into the quiet, day-to-day companionship of people who share the same bathroom.   

But you care even more deeply about each other, because now you are dependent on each other. The dark side of emotional fusion leads to hurt feelings, reactivity and miscommunication.

So, how do we get that back? I ask myself sometimes and earnestly. “How do you rekindle the passion and that sense of joyful one-ness that was felt in the beginning?” 

Whenever I think about this, I feel a slightly sinking feeling, because in ordinary dating and relationships, it is hard; not to now talk of in a long-term marriage. 

The truth is that there is no going back when you are married to that person, especially if one party does not see the need to change, but they just live together for the sake of the children. It is sad really.

The process of coming into a relationship and romantic love is enmeshment. It is the exhilarating spring flower of love that attaches people to each other. 

But the mighty oak of a stable, meaningful and passionate marriage can only grow after the flower withers to fertile dust and individuation starts to happen. 

The work of creating a sustainable relationship involves building the trust and deep connection that will tolerate your both stepping out of the emotional fusion of romance to become separate again. 

Only then can you truly be each other’s safe harbour in the storm, deeply emotionally connected and have a self that you can share sexually, intellectually and creatively. That is when sparkles and passion come back, when you are both new and known. Selfless and selfish, safe and sexy. 

It is a maddening paradox and most couples go through this growth process in fits and starts. They ultimately find each other again when they stop chasing the dragon of effervescent, romantic love and find themselves.

All this goes through my mind on a daily basis and I can only hope for the best, because it is actually harder than I thought. May God help us to be better people. Amen!

To the loving relationships we all deserve, good luck in love and life. Cheers!

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