There's no other feeling quite like falling in love. Whether it's chemistry or crazy pheromones, a new romance is like a neuro-toxic rush to the brain, a passion fix designed to make you feel completely and utterly happy. The eager anticipation between dates, conversations that last for days, spontaneous sex, candlelit dinners, holding hands, walks on the beach, the simplicity and thoughtfulness behind a tiny scrawl left on the kitchen counter. Sigh...those frivolous euphoric moments are truly amazing and come so naturally at first, but sadly without the proper maintenance, is not built to last a lifetime.
Any couple worth their his and hers bathrobes will tell you that romantic relationships are hard freaking work. They require time, creativity and copious amounts of personal investment. For some, being in a relationship is as easy as one, two, three, but for others well, let's just call them the romantically-challenged. The effort of loving someone and trying to make a good thing work is simply not worth the anguish, which is why more and more people are taking the single road less traveled. While the joys of having someone special to share the rest of your life with seems like the ultimate grand supreme, living a life of uncompromised and uncomplicated existence is not too shabby for a consolation prize.
I used to think of these people as selfish imbeciles incapable of being intimate with anyone else but themselves, but now I kind of envy them. The freedom to avoid and not give a damn about another human being's emotional dilemma and personal journey seems like such a breath of fresh air to someone who has been in a relationship for nearly four years. It makes you wonder just how relationship veterans managed to hit the silver and golden anniversaries let alone the ten year milestone. True, times have definitely changed, but for the certain die hard couples who refuse to give into this generation's need to quit at the first sign of weakness, how do we relight a flame that has long since fizzled?
They say that when the going gets tough, you should always go back to basics, and just like the great Maria Von Trapp once sang, "let's start from the very beginning." If only it took a spoonful of sugar to make the bitter taste of boredom disappear then perhaps a couple like Aiden and Sarah could actually stand a chance of making it to the finish line. For months now, their relationship had hit a series of lows, the lowest point being the comfortable rut they seemed to be stuck in. The routine of every day life had become so taxing on their relationship that the couple barely spoke to one another, and when they did, they were often words of frustration.
"It does not matter what he does at this point. I think I'm the one who's romantically handicapped. We've forgotten the three most important things in our relationship; affection, attention and appreciation. We haven't had sex in months because we're either too angry at each other or too tired. We tried date night for a while but I kind of gave up on that. We just never followed through. I don't understand. He used to sweep me off my feet and make me feel special, but now I can barely remember the reasons why we fell in love in the first place."
It was a hardcore moment of truth for Sarah, a realization that their relationship was in serious trouble. Could their relationship be salvaged with a simple intimacy intervention or were they perhaps beyond romantic repair? "I've got a box full of memories from the early days including the first rose he had ever bought me. No one had ever bought me a rose before. This one time, he bought me a box of Quality Street chocolates on our 6 month anniversary which he had individually unwrapped and slipped in tiny notes of every date we had had ever had before re-wrapping them again. It was possibly the sweetest thing any guy had ever done for me. Where did all that magic go and why can't I feel it anymore?"
When your partner starts feeling like a room mate or friend with occasional benefits, it's time to get that old feeling back. Try and rediscover the reasons you fell in love with them in the first place even if it's evolved into something new. The whole process of getting your love groove back takes time. Touch, share, communicate, reconnect, compliment, appreciate. The small gestures in life are often those with the largest impact and may be the only thing capable of saving a relationship that has potential to go the distance.
When it comes to long-term relationships, when did romance become so challenging?