Do you remember the beginning of your relationship, when you felt totally connected and attracted?
Have you lost that lovin' feeling? Do you remember the beginning of your relationship when you felt completely connected and attracted to one another and wonder where it went? My goal is to help you get back the connection and intimacy in your romantic relationship. Even if you're still feeling the warm fuzzies toward one another, it's good to look at where things have the potential to go wrong so you can be prepared.
The beginning of a relationship, the honeymoon period, is a time of close connection and intimacy. You've got that potent cocktail of physical attraction and the crazy-awesome hormones your body pumps out when you start something new. These two will sustain you for a while, but sooner or later the hormones level out. You've still got the physical attraction, but if you haven't worked out some key communication points, you're going to notice a decline in your level of connection and intimacy. Here's why:
Everyone experiences giving and receiving love in different ways. "What, there's different ways to do it?" you say. Or maybe you're like, "Sure, but what makes us so compatible is how similar we are in every way." This may be true, but if you're noticing a decline in your level of connection, take it from me, you're not meeting each other's needs in this key area. The good news is turning this around can be fairly simple.
Like with most issues, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Take a deep breath, exhale, and say it with me, "I have a problem." I'm saying it with you because I've been there. It's how I know what you're going through. It's also how I know you can make the change. I'm going to give you a real life example. I know it's really real, because it comes directly from my life.
My wife and I are the kind of people that look for similarity in the world. We like to know how things are alike, and this translated into our relationship. We loved finding out the ways in which we were similar, and we used that as the foundation for our relationship early on. Where this stopped serving us is after the honeymoon period wore off. We kept doing nice things for one another, but it seemed like we were missing a step somewhere.
My wife would keep doing things for me that I felt I could do myself. She would want to do more around the house and take care of things that I normally would. Obviously, this is something nice and a way that she was trying to show me love, but somehow I felt like she didn't think I was capable of taking care of these small items around the house.
For my part, I would make a point of physically touching her as often as possible: at home, in public, in front of her parents. Again, I was wanting to do something nice. I wanted her to know how much I love her and that I still found her attractive. She's not so excited about PDA, however and ended up feeling like I was being clingy.
It wasn't that we didn't appreciate what the other person was doing, it was just that we were each missing the mark. It went on long enough for us to start feeling like our needs were not being met. In the end, we realized we were giving the things we wanted to receive. My wife feels most loved when I do things that make her day easier. It makes her feel important, respected and ultimately connected to me. I feel most loved when I receive a lot of physical touch. It makes me feel attractive, wanted and very connected. Once our needs were being met, we also realized that we felt like we were most successful at giving love when we saw the other person actively receiving it.
How do you feel like you're giving love, and how do you feel like you receive love? There are no right or wrong answers here. If you're not sure how to sort out how you give and receive love, you can take a cue from Gary Chapman's "The 5 Love Languages". It helps simplify things by giving you categories. The categories he talks about are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.
Everyone has a different order in which they value these things and sorting out which are most important to you can be a good place to start. Once you do, you can look at what specific actions work best for you. A quick hint: it's very likely that the way you give love is how you would like to receive love. Another quick hint: your partner is probably giving you love in the way she would like to receive it. See, it's not rocket science.
What it is, is tricky. It's tricky because we get caught in the trap of, "I keep giving and giving, and I don't get anything back." What's really happening here is that you are giving, and you are also being given to. But if what you are getting isn't what you need, it will feel like you're on the losing end of things. News flash: the same thing happens to your partner. After you've taken some time to sort out how you give and receive love, ask your partner to do the same thing. Give her the hints from above.
Once you've each had a chance to work on this, sit down and talk about what you came up with. This is an important time to set aside expectations and your ego. Remember, this is the path to more connection and intimacy. Sharing is caring, so do both. The last step is the most crucial: do the things you talked about. All the talking in the world won't fix your issues if you never take action. And, you can write it down so you won't forget We've all got super busy lives and tons to keep track of.
If you'd like more support on this journey, come check out my program “Relationship Magic: How to Re-Ignite, Re-Invent, & Re-Define your relationship to create deeper connection, love, and passion!” You'll find a support network and great advice on how to keep creating the relationship of your dreams!
For More Relationship Advice From YourTango:
- Why Men Are More Distant Than Women In Relationships
- A New Twist On The 80/20 Rule For Relationships
- Find A Relationship Expert
This article was originally published at Lesbian Love Guru. Reprinted with permission from the author.