Keeping Things Exciting When They Become A Bit Same-Old
It’s been a week. Everywhere you went, people were either fretting about forgotten restaurant bookings, whether red roses are still a thing, or cornered you before you even got to your desk with the dreaded question, “What did you do for Valentines?” Never before have you hoped you could change the subject to something work related before your first (work) coffee, yet here you are, recalling what you got up to on the one day of the year dedicated entirely to l’amore, thinking to yourself, “Have I lost my sense of romance?” Even Wednesday Addams isn’t immune to Cupid’s bow. Are you alone in this?
You do what any thinking, feeling, lusting grown-up would do. You take to Google and drown yourself in the syrupy sweet pop cultural gloop of it all. “Honeymoon phase,” you type. Enter. What follows is an endless scroll of infobesity, but you can’t look away. Your eye catches the words, “period of enthusiasm,” “easy-going and happy,” “filled with laughter, intimacy and fun.” Could this Valentines hangover get any worse?
Then your eye lands on, “inevitably, everyone falls out of the honeymoon phase.” Print! This is one for the motivational noticeboard on the way to the toilets. The one that usually has pictures of cats on it. But you read on, “but that doesn’t mean you’re no longer in love or living unhappily.” You take pause. It’s true. You’ve been shacked up for long enough to have forgotten what first-date jitters felt like, but you’re not unhappy… are you?
Well, if you have to ask… no! Bury that negative little ninny right now. You are happy. You are in love. All you might be missing is that certain something. That… spark. And sparks can be rekindled. No, Google isn’t a source in serious journalistic circles, and it definitely doesn’t replace a trained therapist, but it’s a start – especially when some kind soul from honeymoon-phase rehab weeds out all the negative sentiments floating around in the ether of the interwebs. Here’s the skinny:
GET MORE SKIN-ON-SKIN TIME
You’re thinking something sweet and strong, aren’t you? And no, we’re not talking about tea. Well, get as much of that action as often as you can, by all means, but sometimes, just a good cuddle will do. Sweet and strong, let’s face it, doesn’t (always) travel well, but a hug works anywhere. Best part is, the more you do it, the more it elicits feelings of being in love. Feeling that spark yet?
SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IS A LITTLE SPACE
There’s that old saying (or more recent song lyric) that goes something like, “If you love me, let me go.” Usually, that means “for good,” but this isn’t that. When two people become an item, “me” so often becomes “we,” which some embrace more than others. But soon enough, a life crisis of some description sets in, and you don’t know who you are. By giving your partner the freedom to pursue their own interests – to tap into what makes them tick without someone else to weigh in on it – you’re letting them maintain their individuality by staying tapped into their emotions. True love doesn’t mean spending every hour of every day together. This isn’t Jerry Maguire. We don’t need to complete each other. By having the space to be our best selves, we become more intriguing to each other, more confident, more exciting.
Ok, so ritual is the same things as rut, right? Isn’t ritual what we’re trying to avoid here? Yes and no. Some mindless rituals are simply there to make sure we take our pills, get to work on time and feed the dog. So far so wake-me-when-this-is-over. But then there are rituals that can really dial the excitement up all the way to 10. Think 20 Questions, but sexy. Example one: “what has been your most surprising turn on?” Then, set a date for the next time you’re going to play this game. It could be next week or two weeks from now. But make it a regular thing. Something to look forward to. Other rituals could include taking turns to plan special dates, going on a monthly adventure together doing something that scares you a little, or plan a pleasure hunt. What’s a pleasure hunt? It’s like a treasure hunt, but after you’ve collected all the (sexy) clues, the treasure is, well, pleasure. Anyway, Google it.
KEEP THE LINE OPEN
Another one for the inspiration board is the classic, “communication is key.” Duh. But it’s so much easier said than done. To really connect, you can’t talk “at” your partner – or vice versa. For any relationship to work, or to keep the spark alive, you both need to have a voice. Get it all out. Talk about your problems as individuals and as a couple. If you want your partner to respect your opinion, give voice to it. Very few things are sexier than bonding over words.