Do you remember what it was like to fall in love with your spouse or partner? While relationships evolve and grow they can also hit lulls and dry spells. And it takes work to keep the passion alive, interesting and engaging.
If you have been with your love for a year or more and want to inject new energy, excitement, love or passion into your relationship, then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve got an easy (and free) formula you can grab below, that you use to reignite the passion, experience more freedom and connection with your partner than you ever have before. It can help you feel again like you did in the first year of your relationship.
For most people, it goes something like this:
- At times, you felt physically addicted to your lover.
- They activated your physiological processes, made your palms sweat, heart race, pupils dilate.
- The world felt perfect and peaceful when you were with them.
- You couldn’t stop thinking about them.
- Being in love with them made you do silly, nutty things to make sure they were happy and to keep them as your mate!
For most couples, the first six months of their relationship are the most passionate. Often they’re the most satisfying.
Overtime, while the relationship may change and may maintain its greatness, the first six months or so always stand as the those days when you were falling in love and it was “electrifying”.
Most couples lose the passion that existed in the early stages of their romance overtime. Many accept it, think that’s how it goes. And to a certain extent this is true. Of course relationships mature. So this is not a bad thing. passion can evolve into deep, connected love. And it can also fade, stale or go stagnant.
Early in a relationship, your brain releases euphoria-inducing chemicals
All humans in the early stages of love go through brain chemical changes. During the early stage your brain releases euphoria-inducing chemicals — hormones including dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, and vasopressin.
In a 2010 Syracuse University study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a team of researchers observed the brains of people looking at pictures of their romantic partners. They learned that this fired brain regions similar to those triggered in cocaine addicts.
But here’s the other common phenomenon that happens that has couples lose passion and satisfaction. In the beginning of a love relationship each party is all about satisfying the other person, that’s their focus. But overtime, the relationship becomes more and more about YOU, and your satisfaction levels and what you’re not getting.
Still, you can do something about it today to immediately reconnect with your partner, experience more freedom in your relationship, and reignite the passion.
First it’s important to understand, this loss of passion is normal, natural, and there’s nothing wrong.
Here’s why it happens: Human beings at a base physiological are self-serving. Why? Because our brain’s first priority is to manage our survival needs. Part of that, means having us move towards things in life that are pleasurable and away from things that aren’t.
So, since you and I and everyone is always unconsciously self-serving. When it came to choosing your partner, you looked for someone who matched what you wanted in a partner, someone who made you better. And then you got them to love you by showing them how great you are – being loving, buying them nice things, taking an interest in what they love.
At this stage of “woo-ing” and getting them to love you, you make an effort and it comes naturally.
If the relationship continues and you don’t make an effort to adapt, naturally what happens is you keep focusing on what you want. Because this how you’ve learned to operate for years. Nothing wrong about it, but here’s what usually happens.
Now that you’ve got your partner, you don’t have to try to woo them you just have to maintain their satisfaction so they don’t leave, and of course, you’re going to make sure you are getting what you need to be satisfied.
Bottom line: both parties tend to focus less on what the other person needs, and their selfish needs are instead.
As your life together changes, so will your personal needs
It becomes more complex when what each person needs change as time goes one and the relationship changes. For instance, if you go from being a couple to having a baby, the entire relationship dynamic changes and each party needs different things to feel satisfied.
The solution: Both parties need to forget about what they need and focus on what the other person needs, solely.
For example, if my partner wants to retire, feels fulfilled by spending time with me and appreciates when I make dinner for him every night then that is all I need to do.
Doing this will change the entire relationship dynamic.
Now, here’s the other component to know what each person needs and wants with regards to their satisfaction in the relationship regular communication needs to happen. It doesn’t need to take a long time, but you do need to check in with each other in a “how is our relationship going for you?” kind of way.
To do this, it helps to have an assessment structure. Similar to relationships and in business and school we have performance assessments. Especially when you consider that humans aren’t robots. There are factors that affect our performance. We’re also not mind readers. In order to work in teams or in partnership we have to communicate so we can make sure everyone is on the same page.
Since there is obvious value to having assessment structures in partnership, why do most people fail to review, renegotiate terms and have conversations about their marriages with the same resolve?
Many couples also don’t have conversations about obvious deal breakers before they get hitched. If you’re not married yet but will be soon it’s good to ask your potential lifetime partner if they want kids, etc. If you are not committed to the same lifestyle you should call it quits sooner than later.
Rarely do husbands and wives say what they need to say to each other when they need to say it. And when they do say it, is there ever a time where they can say what they need to say without their partner being deeply hurt or angry or holding it against the other in a state of quiet resentment.
(As an aside: This is especially true if your partnership is traditional. Men and women have different communication styles.)
So, here is the process. It’s quite simple and I’ve provided a tool to help you in the process:
Implement a bi-annual or annual relationship assessment
Implement an annual assessment where you interview each other at a scheduled time.
That either sounds simple. Or scary. Or both. Or neither. Whatever your reaction to this, stay with me while I share the rules.
The assessment should follow this structure:
Step 1. The Interview
Person A interviews Person B. During this time Person A is only allowed to listen and ask questions. Person A is not allowed to respond in any other way. They should do their best to listen calmly to the other person without getting upset in any way. They are simply to listen like they would if interviewing a stranger. Anything that is said is not allowed to be used against Person B at a future date.
Step 2. Switch
Person B interviews Person A. During this time Person B is only allowed to listen and ask questions. Person B is not allowed to respond in any other way and is to do their best to listen calmly to the other person without getting upset in any way. They are simply to listen like they would if interviewing a stranger. Anything that is said is not allowed to be used against Person A at a future date.
Step 3. Create structures
Create measurable structures for fixing anything that’s been communicated that expresses frustration from one of the parties.
I’m serious when I say: You need to do this! Grab the rules and interview script provided below and schedule a time with your partner to chat. Make it fun. Go for date night.
Oh, and make sure you have the house to yourselves when you get home. No children, no TV, no distractions. Just focus on each other.