We lose interest in our love interests. There. We said it. The ugly truth is out. But here’s another truth: We can get it back.
Disinterest, often characterized as “lost chemistry” or “a missing spark," is not the death knell of a marriage. In fact, it’s quite normal. Look, when you live with someone (picking up dirty socks, negotiating car pool schedules and grocery lists), ennui is as inevitable as spring snow. Put another way, we lose interest when we no longer see our partner for who he truly is. He becomes part of the household machinery, as familiar as the fabric on a weathered couch.
Here are a few strategies you can use to re-ignite the home fires.
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How much do you really know about your partner? I mean, you used to know everything there was to know. But people change. Have you stayed in step with his evolving nature? Does he still have an egg salad on rye at every lunch, or has he taken up kale smoothies? Don’t assume anything. Play your best Barbara Walters, and dive deep. The great couples’ counselor Daniel Eckstein calls this the “Tell Me More” method. Make that your new mantra.
Remember that game you played as a teen — likely in some friend’s stinky rec room — called Truth or Dare? Ever played it with your partner? Here’s how it works: Take turns offering each other a truth or a dare. Doing so is a great way to deepen your knowledge of your partner and take your relationship to daring new heights. Have fun. But a caution: Don’t ask questions you don’t want to hear the answer to.
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Remembering the past can pave a path to the future. A trip down memory lane not only fills you with love and optimism, it also reveals winning formulas. What worked in the past? What moments prompted the biggest laughs, the greatest successes, the fondest memories? Those revelations may act as guideposts on the way to, well, warmer relations.
In his book, The Couple’s Match Book: Lighting, Rekindling, or Extinguishing The Flame, Eckstein invites couples to share their best-case-scenarios, their dreams for the future and even the fantasies (sexual and otherwise) they have of each other. Reconnect with each other by reconnecting with your shared vision of the future.
In the movie Avatar, the people of Pandora declare their devotion with the phrase, “I see you” — the ultimate expression of love. It’s a wise and wonderful aphorism; you and your partner need to start “seeing” each other. And that means (yup, you knew this was coming) date nights. Picture me writing those two words on a prescription pad. Go out. Court. See each other again — as the friends, confidantes, helpmates, lovers you once were.
And, remember: There is a world of difference between desire and love. A need to rekindle chemistry is not necessarily a reflection of your love. Don’t catastrophize.
Feeling bored in your relationship? Liza Finlay offers tips for revving up the romance.
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