Do you ever wonder: why do relationships go stale?
How a couple deeply in love turn into having a dull, uninterested, and boring life? Fun and passion seems to fade away from our lives. We hardly feel excited, thrilled, loved, and appreciated.
Now I questioned myself:
Is this the same person I fell in love with?
We married thinking our lives would be different from others. We have a spark. We love each other so much.
When we started out, it was all flowers, hikes, and coffees. He frequently travelled all the way to see me when I moved to a different city. I’m still the same person.
What happened now?
Why did he stop complimenting me, paying attention, and making an effort?
Why does he take me for granted?
Why do we mostly end up arguing? Why can’t we talk without ending up fighting?
Why does there seems to be no interesting conversation left?
Are we pretending that everything is hanky dowry and we’re going rock solid ?
Why have we lost what we had?
When did we get into this rut?
Do I have a faulty expectation?
May be I do, like any other couple who think they are different. We expect that the heightened emotions we feel at the beginning of the relationship are going to last a lifetime.
Sadly, those initial feelings wane off over time. Research suggests that these early stages of passionate love begin to decline by about 12 to 18 months after starting a romantic relationship.
Once that starts to wear off we get into a comfort zone, not putting any extra effort.
However, getting in a comfort zone is natural. There is nothing wrong with being comfortable in the relationship. It shows how the relationship has gradually advanced.
It is a good thing. In fact, compassionate love is more profound and much more intimate, as it is marked by commitment, trust, and affection. There is a sense of trust, and intimacy in it. It marks moving from fleeting love to enduring love.
However, you need to avoid being worn-out—unsatisfied, tired, or just plain uninspired.
Is lack of effort causing boredom in your life?
Sometime there is nothing wrong with the relationship. It just lack of effort and that lack of effort causes boredom. To thrive in a relationship and stop it from stagnating, you need to infuse some excitement; add in some spice and flavor to make the room energetic again.
Helpful tips you can use to rekindle your flame:
Shake things up and bring in some novelty:
We get into the habit of doing similar things day by day. However, our mind yearns for something different; something new. Research shows that novelty (taking risks or trying something new) can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.
In order to add novelty to your lifestyle, look closely at your established routines and familiar activities to see if there is anything you can do differently to switch things up.
How about taking some joint activities or changing your environment?
Could you make some small changes in your daily lives that are novel, energizing, and positive?
Reappraise the situation:
Choosing how to interpret changes how you feel about it.
I realized that sometimes the situation isn’t bad. It is the meaning we give that makes all the difference. That’s why in ambiguous situations, I avoid misinterpreting the situation of what is being said or what happened.
I question my reasoning when I felt upset.
Is the situation really bad or do I perceive it to be bad? Did he really mean what he said?
Emotional reactions on the basis of the wrong assessment of the situation can spoil the relationship.
Researchers call it cognitive appraisal.
You can give it a try by interpreting situations in different ways to change how you think and feel about them and see how it helps in de-escalating stress and tension. This could be used to reduce unnecessary arguments.
Changing outlook can make a lot of difference:
In our pursuit of what we do and enjoy, we were going in different directions. The realization hit me that we no longer had much left in common.
My realization led me to find out what we both enjoyed. Baking was one of our favourite things. So we enrolled in a baking class together. We tried some other fun activities to savour some time in our busy lives. Doing things together got us back on track. Research also suggests to do shared activities, as it can be an effective way to combat boredom in relationships.
Tell how you feel:
Rarely do we share what we appreciate and like about each other. Like when he takes away the children so I can sleep a bit more. When he puts a blanket over me.
Somehow we all start overlooking those small things. Without realizing how we are taking the power of gratitude for granted.
Why can’t we tell our partner how much we appreciate them or how happy we feel when they do something for us? How much they mean to us.
After realizing this, I picked something he did nice to me and complimented him on it. Slowly he started doing it more and more too.
Tell them often what you appreciate about them. It drives closeness and affection. And it isn't that difficult.
Gaze and look deep into each other eyes:
Looking into each other's eyes is a perfect way to bond. Remember those days when you lifted your gaze and got locked deeply into one another's eyes?
How did you feel then? Connected, charmed, excited, and magical?
Over time, we lose those connections and excitement by getting trapped in our daily routines.
So, let's just gaze into each other's eyes deeply and see if we can bring in the charm back.
Laugh with each other:
In the past, he made me laugh. We fell in love because our time together was enjoyable. After marriage, we hardly laugh. I feel as if something I fell for does not exist anymore.
Laughter improves bonding and is therapeutic. By looking at life from a funny angle, we can spice up any dull moment. Now we laugh at silly mistakes together.
Let go bad stuff:
Fights are part of every relationship. However, if you hold grudges and try to settle the score and mumble about those negative feelings, your relationship can be ruined.
Fight when necessary, but let grudges go; clear out what is inside your heart.
Include those slight nudges in the middle of the conversation if you think that it is a good time for that. Make hugging morning and evening a part of the routine. These close proximity can surely reignites the dying flame.
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