By Susie and Otto Collins
Julia is bored. She's worked at the same job for 10 years now. She's lived in the same town for almost her entire life. She's dated the same guy for 5 years.
More from YourTango: Power Women: 4 Must-Know Dating Secrets Of Successful Ladies
Sure, she loves her boyfriend, Dave, and she doesn't want to break up with him. But, she misses those early days of their relationship when everything was a fabulous and delightful surprise. Dave used to show up at her office and “kidnap” her for an extended lunch break that often included heavy make-out sessions in his car.
When they first started dating, Julia and Dave couldn't get enough of one another. They were always texting, e-mailing or spending time doing fun and passionate things together.
“What happened to those days?” Julia wonders.
She doesn't blame Dave for the ho-hum relationship that's developed. She knows that it's her responsibility too. Julia sadly wonders if this is just the way things are when it comes to love. Pretty soon, she and Dave might get married and continue this content-- but passionless-- drudge through life together.
This is a depressing scenario that far too many couples go through.
All is passionate kisses, romance and more in the early days of many relationships. Then, as the two people settle into a commitment to one another, some of the excitement wears down. There can be a dwindling of passion that might be considered natural, normal and “just the way things are” when it comes to relationships.
In some cases, this boredom can combine with other disconnecting habits to lead to cheating and/or a breakup.
We've said it before and we'll say it again. It doesn't have to be this way.
We don't care how long you and your partner have been together. The passion and sheer excitement for being together does NOT have to die away.
Here are 4 ways to put the spark (and more) back into your love relationship or marriage...
#1: Remember (or discover) what makes you feel alive and excited.
Renewed passion starts with you. If you're feeling bored with your relationship, it's probable that you're also bored in other areas of your life.
Don't make your satisfaction with life your partner's responsibility. This isn't fair to him or her AND it's really impossible for anyone other than you to determine your ability to feel fully alive and excited.
This means, if your relationship seems dull to you, look within yourself first. Look at your life as a whole and invite yourself to live more fully. Take wise risks and step “outside of your box.” This could happen at work, with your interests and activities, with your appearance or in some other aspect of your life.
More from YourTango: Win The Classic Timbuk2 Messenger Bag!
Remember what used to make your heart sing and ask yourself if you'd like to do that again. If you've not yet discovered what helps you feel more vibrant and excited, perhaps it's time to do some exploring.
As long as you're clear with your partner that you're not planning to leave the relationship and that you still love him or her, these changes that you're making on a personal level can spill over in positive ways to your relationship.