What did you have when you stated your relationship that you don’t have now—beyond more sex and intimacy? Have you found yourself thinking, how can we rekindle our spark?
You had a burning desire to be with your partner. He or she was in your thoughts all day. He or she was in your body. You wanted to be with that person all of the time. Your love, and your hormones, were driving the bus over the speed limit.
Now you have thoughts of getting off the bus. What happened? Is fixing a relationship even possible?
You may think it’s your partner—or you or even the relationship. I doubt it’s any of them. It’s not having the right map. You ended in a dead end. It’s natural to want to get off the bus.
You can back the bus out. Sure, it will take a little work and cooperation. Yet, that team work is part of what will help you get the spark back.
One thing that happens that Esther Perel beautiful lays out is how we are trapped in the dichotomy of safety vs. excitement. Think about it. When you were falling in love, there was no guarantee you would make it. It was exciting if not occasionally scary—you weren’t in control.
We drive our relationships towards safety. We need safe havens. As Sue Johnston champions, we are hardwired for connection, and without it our health suffers.
So, what do you do stuck in a double bind? Like any double bind, you get out by not accepting it.
It doesn’t need to be an either or. You can have both.
To do that both of you will need two things: a source of excitement in and out of the relationship and new ways to connect with each other.
One strain most relationships suffer under is complacency of safety. We first relax in knowing our partner loves us. That is good. We get lazy and not feed that relationship any of the excitement it had in the beginning.
Rekindle Our Spark
We, and our partners, want connections. In other posts, I speak about the Art of Connecting. Here it’s about bringing excitement back. Once you have excitement, and with that connection, safety will return.
As you back up your bus, go back to how you were when you were dating. Plan different kinds of dates. Go to places you haven’t gone. We have couples rotate on designing a date or a vacation. Also, bring excitement into your life beyond your relationship. The best relationship cannot be everything. If it tries, it will suffer.
Finding emotional support outside of your romantic relationship can also help the health of your romantic relationship. Seek companionship with likeminded friends or people in support groups. If your work is not giving you pleasure and that good excitement, have something in your life that does. It could be a hobby, sport or a volunteer activity. When each person has his or her own source of excitement and safety, in the form of emotional connection, outside the relationship creating it inside becomes much easier and sustainable.
Getting the Spark Back
Create your own weave of excitement and safety. When you want to rekindle the spark, go beyond merely fixing what you think is wrong with the relationship. Go for crafting a new enthusiasm and security through stepping out of your current behaviors. Be okay with trying things that don’t work. Take healthy risks.
Fixing a Relationship
In the next day, create a tentative plan with your partner that will help you do this. Take immediate action, even if it’s making a reservation to that new restaurant.
Let us know if you have any questions and how it goes. I will respond.