In the beginning, most relationships seem like a match made in heaven. Love for starters is head over heels. Everything about a relationship is spontaneous and sparkling with robust positive energy. At this stage, you both have the hots for each other. But as time goes, your relationship may hit the rocks. Funny thing is, there may be no love lost, it could be either because you were so blinded by love at the start that you couldn’t see your partner clearly for who they truly are, or you just got bored.
Now, to the question we’ve all been yearning for the right answers; how do you maintain the thrill and passion in your relationship just as it used to be in the beginning?
Relationship experts have revealed the secrets to long and enduring love. Here are some of these secrets.
Forget about the soulmate or twin flame drivel
First, you must understand that no relationship is perfect. The frivolous idea that we all have a “twin flame” or “soulmate” who is perfectly made for us is absurd. In any two persons, there are numerous differences. Even twin flames can be sometimes exact opposites, yet they find it hard to stay apart. It is these individual differences that spice up our relationships and makes our love lives more interesting. Experiencing a different angle of life through our partner opens a whole new way for us to see and understand the world. Enjoy what your partner has to offer, rather than trying to tame them to fit your own template.
Find something to laugh about
Laughter they say is the best medicine. A good laughter creates an effect similar to that experienced after a good lovemaking. When things get rocky, all you need is a good laugh. Laughter is a good way of bridging the distance between you and your partner. Laughter instantly unites two beings into one. In a relationship, no moment feels better than when you exchange a look with your significant other and end up laughing out loud together on recalling a memory you share. This is the best way to understand each other again. It feels pretty great in bed too, just make sure that you are both laughing together.
Show your partner more love and care
It takes twice the effort to get back more intimately in love than it takes to start a relationship. If you hope to reconnect with your partner– especially after an affair, you must prove to them beyond any doubts that things are going to get better. You must explore every way to show them that you care and wants to get more closely intimate with them. Busying yourself with other people and activities will do you no good. Yes, people want to feel loved before they reacquaint with their partners but it works either way. Actually, feelings of love may blossom even more after you’ve taken a fair share of blame and responsibility for what went wrong, recommitted yourself and earnestly start working to repair your relationship.
Understand the necessity of forgiveness
As the saying goes, forgiveness is the key to overcoming resentment in relationships. Forgiveness kickstarts the roadmap to the healing process. It shouldn’t be seen as a gift from the heart of a hurt partner but a transaction between the duo, held in place by a violation. When trust gets broken especially as a result of unfaithfulness, both parties must work hard at encouraging their partner to take responsibility, own up to their own mistakes, learn from the past and work towards a more promising and romantic future.
Strive to rebuild your intimacy
All relationships may go through some challenging and troubling times. When this happens, it is normal for distance to creep in. The fire-passion and intimacy that hitherto existed get lost. It feels like things will never be the same again and you may feel like giving up. Getting back to being sexually intimate is often complicated and challenging, particularly after a troubled time. But you both can reignite the passion and have a fresh start. You must reach out to each other with affection, love, and compassion. Put aside your expectations, and work to achieve that closeness just as it was in the past.
Understand that your partner is not infallible
No one is flawless, not even your partner. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is much more when it comes to matters of relationships. Expecting your partner to be everything you expect them to be is a recipe for disaster. Be patient with them, find ways to overlook certain small errors they may unknowingly make. It is only by learning to forgive their misdemeanor that you can grow the kindness to forgive the bigger transgressions in future.
Develop a habit of talking about the ‘why’
What you love, do or say may sound ridiculous to your partner. The fact that they don’t complain doesn’t mean you are perfect. The same way some things they do may sometimes appear unreasonable, illogical or inappropriate to you. But resorting to derision and mockery is not the best pathway to follow. Instead, you should both learn to talk honestly about what you love, and what irritates or upsets you and why. Being honest with yourselves is the surest way to growing trust, which is the yardstick of how good a relationship is.
Accept that love-making may not be as it used to
Relationship counselors have classified different qualities to love-making at different stages in a long-term relationship: first, there is the passionate; the urgent reproductive se× and snatched se× which comes in the early years of parenthood; then the much slower intimacy of midlife onwards. But we may not explore any of these options. Our cultural and religious inclinations have greatly limited our chances of enjoying great se×. Only the usual youthful, vigorous and conventional method seems ideal to us.
But it is possible to have a happy se×-life for decades with the same person. The thing is, it may not be as often, or the sort of conventional se× that you are conversant with. Just don’t limit yourself, explore other options, relax and enjoy the best intimacy with your love.
Cherish what life has to offer now that you can
Growing up kids have all the time to experiment and explore all adventures they want. At middle age, we are still very much adventurous but we know our time is now limited. For those who have already managed to overcome the ups and downs of bringing up children, work and making ends meet all within the same relationship, the rewards can be substantial. When you reminisce the past, you both can recall shared memories to laugh over. You have come a long way together, and that’s why you have eventually become so accustomed to each other.
Don’t be afraid of getting older. Remember that many couples in a long-term relationship find these to be their happiest years together. Just as the saying goes ‘old wine tastes better’.
Dwell on the facts, forget about being right or wrong
Don’t be feeling right all the time or talk down on your partner to make them feel wrong. Arguments should be avoided as much as possible because they set the mood for quarrels. Rather, strive to learn to have conversations about hot subjects without getting it heated. Always find points to agree on rather than disagree about. Utilize every opportunity your relationship presents to rise to the occasion of being the best person you can imagine.
Relationships should feel like belonging to each other, so everything you have is owned by your partner and vice-versa. Especially if you had been unfaithful, the only way to reconnect again is by ‘giving’. Most people rely on receiving instead but it goes both ways. First, think about what matters to them the most then consciously reach out affectionately. This will help you reconnect more deeply on an entirely new level.
To get past an affair, find its exact root and ‘nip in the bud’
An affair happened, you have forgiven your partner and moved past it, but it is important that you still find out why it happened. The immediate reaction is usually by blaming the one who cheated. But, you have to do better than that. Ask yourself what the affair says about you, your partner and your relationship? It could have started when one partner got ignored by the other. Maybe one partner only wanted to feel a touch of happiness and having an extra-affair made them feel that way. Or you just got bored with the conventional marriage rules. Making promises never to stray again are meaningless if the “fault lines” within and between partners are not properly cemented.
Listen more than you speak
Learn to communicate effectively with your partner and understand each other perfectly. Always give your partner a chance to speak. When they know that you are listening, they’ll say more than they meant to – even more than they are thinking. Most of the time, we tend to jump in with an opinion without letting each other make their point. Screaming and arguing makes it no better. Keeping cool, listening and learning make a positive difference.
Create some quality time without the children
This doesn’t mean you don’t place a high value on your kids. Some lone time without kids reminds both of you how things used to be at the early stage of your relationship.
It feels good to recall why you are together, why you got married and decided to have children in the first place. You may decide to set aside a specific time in a week, drop your kids off with a relative or hire a nanny and create some quality fun time together.
Be a bridge-builder in both of your families
Relationships can sometimes be rocky, but you can spice yours up by remembering important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Butt out of family disputes, and never push your partner into the position of having to take sides with you against their siblings and other family members. Do not forget that those relationships go back a long way. Respect her family and work to build bridges when inter-family relationships get broken.
Understand that showing vulnerability doesn’t mean you are weak
I had explained this in more detail in an article “how to take control of your relationship without being controlling”. At the beginning of a relationship, we may want to be in control of our own half. We fight hard to guard ourselves against the vulnerability that comes with falling in love. This attitude may be triggered by disappointments and hurt we carry over from our previous relationships. However, no relationship has ever achieved tremendous growth if both lovers at every opportunity assert themselves over each other. It is through the mutual exploration of your fears, anxieties, and imperfections, that you create true connections.
Don’t be cold-blooded
Talking down or ridiculing your partner are the shortest possible tracks to relationship destruction.
People in successful relationships hardly ever speak to each other this way, even in extreme anger situations. If you see yourself as being cruel to your partner, take a step back and ask yourself what’s really going on. Whatever they did or did not do is not even the issue. Focus more on what is triggering your virulent outbursts. But there is another way other than being so hostile. You can show them love and teach them.
Create and enjoy some solo-time
Apart from the benefits actualisable from spending time alone, slowing down, and taking care of your mental health, not allowing yourself down-time in your relationship to relax, and do your own thing will eventually get you burnt out. It is good to develop a relationship with yourself. Invest your time in personal hobbies and solitary pursuits. Keeping yourself busy but away from work and your partner will greatly reduce the routines of your relationship which leads to boredom. You will return to your partner refreshed and repositioned to express yourself better.
Respect your SO’s boundaries and privacy
The fact that you are now a couple doesn’t mean you should stick like glue. Understand that just as you need some lone time, there are moments your partner also craves some privacy. Allow them to set their own boundaries, know these borderlines and learn to respect such limits. Permit each other to have a private space and avoid pushing your partner to do things they would prefer not to do. This will help a lot in creating sustaining happiness in your relationship.
Learn to compromise
There are two sides to this, getting your needs met and meeting your partner’s needs. Learn to balance the two. This can be hard, but the key to all happy and successful marriages is the ability to compromise. It is true that today’s society is more disposed towards individuality or “self”. However, for any relationship to work, we need to crawl out of that self-centered shell and put ourselves in the shoes of our partner. Perfectly understanding their feelings, thoughts, and perspective makes compromise much easier.
Change is a constant thing, don’t fight it
Things and people always change, relationships are no exceptions. This is a fact of life and not something you should be complaining about. Learn to always expect change, such that you will acknowledge and celebrate it when it eventually takes place. Appreciate the need for diversity if you and your partner want to be happy. There are extreme cases where a relationship may be damaged beyond the point it can be repaired. In such cases, it is necessary to let each other go — for the sake of mutual happiness.
Create healthy romantic conflicts
Sometimes, fights or healthy rivalry in relationships can be good. If you go into a relationship expecting never to fight, you may not enjoy the best of your relationship because the first fight might well lead to the end of the relationship.
Yes, it isn’t a bad thing to disagree. However, you must learn strategies for healthy conflict resolution, and always talk about them with your significant other.
The best way to start a healthy conflict is by highlighting how greatly you care about your partnerDo away with the usual blame game and instead be as generous as you can be in interpreting the other person’s actions. When you realize you made a mistake, be flexible enough to apologize quickly and sincerely. Forget the past and focus more on the future. After a fight, channel your energies into reconnecting and rebuilding the strained emotional bonds.