Most relationships start out with a BANG! They are fun, invigorating, full of energy and can be just about the greatest thing since sliced bread. During the beginning of a relationship, we get a surge of dopamine, a brain chemical that sends shockwaves running throughout our bodies, also known as the pleasure chemical. This is the same chemical that is flowing through your brain at a high rate when you go skydiving and bungee jumping.
This feeling tends to last somewhere between 6 and 18 months. You want to spend an enormous amount of time together. You feel the urge to merge—you merge your interests, activities and friendship groups (sometimes even to the point where you become a two-headed inseparable monster).
How do you know when the spark starts to disappear? When it stops being cute that he's always running late for your dates, and instead you know that it’s going to happen AGAIN. What once seemed so bright, shiny and perfect, can now seem dull, tarnished and broken.
But never fear, you can get that feeling back with a few simple ideas.
- Space. I know what you’re thinking, this seems like the exact opposite of what someone should do. But space is good. Find some sort of activity or a friend group that has nothing to do with your significant other and relish in it. Space gives you time to miss someone and even more important, time to be autonomous and by yourself.
- Change your perspective. Yes, she’s always late. But why? Does she spend 45 minutes getting ready for your date? While it can feel annoying that it’s occurring, changing your perspective can change your feeling. Maybe it’s because she wants to make sure she looks good for your date. Maybe she was finding your favorite shirt to wear. Or maybe, it doesn’t actually matter.
- Appreciate each other. Part of excitement is finding something new and exciting again. You can do this with your partner. Ask yourself, “What new characteristic or action of my partner can I appreciate today?” However small, it can provide that same feeling all over again.
- Do something different. Do something different in your relationship. It can be a new activity, a new hobby, a different date night, or even something new in bed.
If you’re thinking, “It’s been this way for 20 years, it’s never going to change!," think differently. These tips can work for all types of partner relationships: married, unmarried, short or long-term. Now stop reading, talk to your partner, and see which one of these things you can to do rekindle that flame.