Losing the spark in a long-term relationship is often inevitable. The longer you’re with someone, the more likely you are to transition from “passionate” love into “compassionate” love. Passionate love is more about sexual arousal, while compassionate love is what helps you forge a deep emotional attachment with your partner. That’s a nice way of saying as time goes on, you’re probably less interested in break-the-bed sex than you are in curling up and watching Friends reruns together.
Even though your compassionate love will grow, the passionate love doesn’t have to completely disappear. If all other aspects of the relationship are generally good, then couples can view this development as absolutely normal. It doesn’t mean that your romantic life cannot be rekindled.
Here, 5 ways to infuse your relationship with some of that old excitement.
1. Find your reason
When it comes to finding a reason to keep passion alive in your relationship, it all starts with how you feel about your partner. What are the positive traits that you most admire and respect about your partner? What attracted you to them in the first place? When a relationship develops and grows, it’s important for you to always keep in mind what brought you two together. When you are able to find out the reason behind keeping the passion alive in your relationship, you will always keep this reason in mind. When it comes to building a strong foundation in your relationship, it starts from the bottom up. Finding out your reason is where it all begins!
2. Take space
Space is a necessary component for fueling passion in a relationship. Fire needs air to burn. When we take space from the people we love, we inevitably long to be close to them again. This is a good thing! Notice that you have to separate first to want to come back together.
Hot relationships include waves of being close and waves of spending time apart. It’s a dance. Sometimes the dance is a little uncomfortable, but believe or not, that discomfort isn’t the worst thing; it can add fuel to the fire. Consciously incorporate space into your relationship to heat things up again.
3. Leave room for mystery
Contrary to popular belief, your partner does not need to know everything about you. In fact, it’s probably better if he or she doesn’t.
Sometimes we confuse intimacy with sharing every little detail. Intimacy is sharing the vulnerable parts of yourself with another person; and yes, this will produce a feeling of deep connection in your relationship. But divulging every little detail is not being vulnerable; it’s just too much information.
Keep in mind that mystery helps you feel alive in a relationship. This doesn’t mean you should withhold from your partner; it just means that you get to consciously decide what to share, and what to keep to yourself.
4. Revive the activities that helped you fall in love in the first place
In addition to sex, that is. Start a list of things you used to do together that brought both of you pleasure. As you move from constantly feeling head over heels back to regular life, you may have let some of those plans fade into the past. Whether it’s meandering through your city to discover hidden gems or cooking elaborate meals together, reintroducing them can make you feel that heady, so-in-love-I-might-actually-die feeling all over again. Don’t just say you’ll do them and forget—aim to do at least once per month so you have a steady stream of dates to look forward to.
Passion inevitably dies down when the mundane takes over, and new experiences fade into the distance. Some people believe that this how long-term love goes. But I disagree.
Passion comes from having new experiences, and lucky for you, you’re human, which means you’re growing and changing all the time. If you can show up for the growth that’s happening within you (and in your partner), it will inspire a passionate connection that renews itself over time.
A commitment to your own evolution is the fuel for a passionate life; your personal expansion will expand your relationship, too.
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