In our work as a couples therapists, one of the most frequent questions we hear from couples is: How can we bring the romance back into our relationship? For many couples, their relationship has turned stale and empty, and feelings of tenderness and passion are replaced with resentment and/or boredom.
There are a number of factors which are responsible for this phenomenon in committed relationships. First of all, it is crucial to recognize any unresolved resentments that are present in the relationship. Resentment is the cancer that will eventually eat away at the tender and loving feelings in a relationship. It is impossible to feel resentful and loving at the same time. Secondly, couples often take each other for granted as time goes on, and make the relationship a low priority in their lives relative to jobs, children, hobbies and other activities. Thirdly, pleasurable and passionate activities which the couple used to engage in often drop out of the couple’s repertoire over time.
These issues can be resolved, though putting changes into practice requires some effort and commitment:
- Resolve any past or present resentments! If you don’t know how to do so, learn how now! There is no greater gift for yourself or your partner than learning how to resolve conflict and resentments. These are skills which any motivated couple can learn, if they are willing to put in the time and effort. In fact, if you and at least four other couples you know want to learn this, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us up at (248) 546-0407 and we will design a special workshop for you to learn and practice these essential skills.
- Create special alone time for the relationship on a regular basis. This means time without children, without TV, without computers, without distractions of any kind. Many couples find having a “date night” once a week to be a fabulous addition to their relationship.
- Review the things you used to do when you first met. How many of them are you still doing? Bring those activities back into your relationship on a regular basis.
- Be willing to try new pleasurable activities, especially those that are physical in nature. Learn a new sport together. Buy a sex manual and try out some ideas you’ve always fantasized about (and some you’ve never thought of before). Take a dance class. Play on a league together with a sport you already both enjoy. Learn how to associate each other with arousal and excitement and you will find yourself looking forward to being together.
There is no reason why your relationship can’t be exciting, romantic and passionate. Put these ideas into practice. Be open and receptive to trying new things. But if you find that you just can’t do it by yourselves, get some help! Couples Therapy can help you break out of unfulfilling patterns you may be stuck in. In relationships as in health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.