For most of us, as time passes, the excitement and intense passion that we experienced early on in our relationship dies down. This can impact your sex life, your sense of connection, and feelings of love and belonging. When couples prepare for this, they’re able to move through it in a way that helps keep them together. When they don’t prepare, there can be conflict from blaming and criticizing each other.
The following tips can help you stay out of these traps, and remain connected to each other through a process that can really be disruptive.
1. Take responsibility
We often think that our sense of passion is created by the person who we’re with. So when it dwindles, we think that this person is responsible for that as well. The truth is that you hold a lot of responsibility for your own sense of passion. Think about things that you can do to help you feel more passionate about your partner and relationship. Try them out.
2. Avoid blaming and criticizing
Constant criticism will have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. It’ll make your partner shut and even avoid you. Tell your partner that you’re noticing some changes and explain what you’d like to do about them.
The feelings and concerns that you have are based in your own personal story. Ask for permission to share this story with your partner. Correlate your story to your personal past, prior to your partner. This will help you both realize that it’s not only about your current relationship, but feelings that come from earlier in your life. This can even help you to connect.
4. Listen to your partner’s story
Listening is hard. But if you’re the only one getting stuff off of your chest, this can cut into the connection that you both feel. Both of you need to feel seen and heard. This means that you both have to practice listening and validating each other.
5. Uncover mystery
Relationship expert Esther Perel has cited mystery and intrigue as core factors for relationship passion. Use this to your advantage in your relationship. Every person has some level of mystery to unpack. Learn about pieces of your partner’s mystery. This can help you to feel excited to know that there’s always more to uncover.
This sounds so simple, but many couples fall into the trap of staying in silence when they’re struggling. This makes the struggle a secret. You should never have to keep such concerns a secret. Doing so will lead to them mounting up, and inevitably creating unnecessary frustration.
7. Practice generosity
Realize that these things are difficult to talk about. Most people don’t want to sound like they’re getting critical. Remember how difficult this can be, and appreciate each other for the bravery it takes to open up about this.
Relationships can be wonderful when the passion flows. However, the intensity is bound to change at some point. Although most people recognize that this will happen, many still don’t know what to do about it. By practicing good communication, and uncovering mystery, you can make through these challenging times. In fact, you’re likely to thrive and grow closer to your partner.