Couples don’t usually come into my psychotherapy office because their relationship is working well. And yet they wouldn’t have gotten together or stayed together if they didn’t share some positive experiences as a couple at some point in their past.
Generally, the “courting” phase of the relationship is a positive one for couples. This is when everyone is on their best behavior, going the extra mile for each other, really focusing on the other, what makes them happy, what will make them special, what will make them want to be with us.
So we’ve experienced success in our relationships. We have a sense of how to make them more positive. And yet, at some point in the relationship, we stop doing the things that work! We stop treating our partners as these special, precious, extraordinary gifts in our lives. We start to take them and the relationship for granted. And then we wondered, “What happened?”
It’s an old metaphor, yet nonetheless still valid: a relationship is like a garden. If we don’t nurture it, feed it, weed it, it begins to wither and die. And we know exactly what to do to bring it back to life. If we begin to do what we did at the beginning, we may be able to resuscitate the relationship.
If you truly want to revive your relationship, re-romanticize it, re-ignite the passion that was once there, you know what to do! Just take a few minutes and remember how you were at the beginning. Remember WHAT you did.Remember what you said and how you said it. Remember WHO you were and HOW you felt being that person.
Make a list of your behaviors, of what actions, what steps you took to make your partner feel special. Maybe you surprised them with love notes or card or special trips. Or perhaps you rubbed their neck or their feet at the end of the day. Or took them to that special place that you shared only with them. Or gave them an hour of alone time, to renew themselves.
Whatever those actions are, consider at least one that you might perform in the next week. COMMIT to it and DO it! And be ready to be thrilled with the results.
Dr. Adam Sheck
P.S., Do you have a question for me about relationships, romance, intimacy or sexuality? I hold a free teleseminar every month where I answer your most important questions. You can find out more at http://askadamnow.com