The wild and wonderful brain chemicals of romance diminish within the first four years of a relationship. In the old days of desperate survival — this got us pregnant and a child to two in the protection of two bonded people. Thousands of years later, we now marry 10–20 years after 'the urge to merge' has possessed us, marry for this precarious thing called love and seek to marry for life.
We do this because we are hard wired for intimacy and pleasure … even after these brain chemicals have faded back. But this is not an easy task. It requires an awareness of what is going on in and around us.
After the brain chemicals have faded, couples must create these delicious sensations through regular and deliberate eye gazing, intentional listening and loving touch.
Intimacy and erotic desire are fostered through both comfort and familiarity and variety and wonder. Anticipation, longing, deliberate attention and loving surprise are needed to keep anticipation and appreciation alive and well. This requires your attention and planning! It won't happen on its own.
If you have been in a relationship for several years, I invite you to think for a bit about your early love story. What kind of attention and open presence did you bring to your beloved? What kind of fun did you plan? What were the joys you shared? How did you build anticipation? How did you demonstrate your appreciation?
Now think about the love story you have been consciously or unconsciously writing in these last few years. Has the vibrancy and intention of your story taken a back seat? Is it like the secret garden — long forgotten and ignored? Is it the story you want to write together? To live daily? To leave as your legacy of love?
If not, I invite you to take your story off the shelf, dust it off and read the first chapter again. Then grab a pen and find the next blank page. Bring back the kind of intention, attention, planning and presence that is crafted into every good story. Make a point to do something fun and pleasurable together each day — from flirting in the kitchen, to sending a saucy text, to a long peace-filled hug at the end of the day letting all the stress run off, as you feel your body pressed close to your beloved.
This is your love story; your miracle; your gift — write a story you love.
If you'd like a phenomenal weekend guaranteed to bring you back to the first chapter of your love while giving you the skills you need to write the story of love and desire for the rest of your life — I recommend you join us for our next Eyes Wide Open – Couple's Intimacy Retreat. It promises to be one of the best weekends of your marriage.