By Yvonne Haase, LMHC
Too often couples come into counseling with the complaint that the passion that once ignited their relationship has fizzled out. Even the most romantic of couples every now and then hit dead ends with regards to the passion and spark in their relationship. The truth is, if you want to have a relationship where you are falling in love again and again with your partner, you’re going to have to do the work. The good news is, you’ll have some fun doing it!
Pay attention to all the good: This one seems simple enough, but if we’re honest with ourselves, how often do you fall off track? Remember when you first met your partner and you were so head over heels for them that you were willing to overlook just about any annoying little habit they had? Well, a couple of arguments later and some hurt feelings, and we become more focused on their faults. The truth is, the more we nag about their habits or complain to our friends about them, the less attracted we become to our partner. Before you lash out or complain over cocktails, remember to ask yourself if it’s worth dulling the spark.
Be passionate: One of the biggest requests I get from couples is, “How can we improve the passion?” My response is always, “If you want passion, you must be passionate!” This does not mean just inside the bedroom. No one finds someone who is always coming home from work complaining about their day sexy. To be passionate, you must do the things that make you feel passionate and alive! It may not be possible to leave our jobs so easily, but it is possible to stop complaining about them every night and instead come home to do something you love. Get up and get active in your life again. Surprise your partner with passionate kisses and touch. Speak to them with a spark in your voice. Remember, you can only create passion in the bedroom if you also create it in other places in your life.
Learn to laugh: Life is funny, and honestly, you probably just need to get over it. Remember when you used to laugh about things rather than take everything so seriously? Life is not meant to be serious all the time. I always say that laughter heals more than it hurts. When couples are able to laugh at some of their own behaviors, they move through things more quickly and are more apt to forgive each other. We are more attracted to people who smile and laugh and who are able to roll with the punches. Do things to laugh together; share private jokes that make you smile, and be silly. One of my favorite moments in session is when one person looks at their partner and says, “I remember that smile.”
So take a chance to create some change before simply deciding to let the passion die out. Remember passion is a choice, not a given.
Until then, happy home building!