The longer we are with our partner and the more time goes on, there is a tendency for complacency, laziness, neglect, taking-for-grantedness, and boredom in the relationship.
These are common to relationships after the honeymoon period, the infatuation stage of relationships, is over. They are actually a part of the power struggle stage of relationships, where couples can’t seem to see eye-to-eye and get stuck in repeating unresolved conflicts due to their reciprocal triggering of old wounds. When couples have a hard time resolving issues and don’t have their needs met, they get more and more disconnected perpetuating this cycle further. This can become detrimental if not addressed.
One easy way to tackle this is to treat your partner as if you were still dating.This does not imply to have a fluffy relationship without the commitment and level of intimacy that is present in a more mature relationship. I’m only referring to getting back and maintaining the specialness of being together.
I’m talking about bringing back politeness and respect, planning, caring, mothering and chivalry, romance, caressing, seduction, teasing, playfulness, interest, intrigue, adventure, mysteriousness, surprises, and whatever else your heart desires.
Maintaining these wonderful and tickling qualities in a long-term relationship while it is still in the power struggle phase is very difficult. Couples in this stage are usually combative, self-centered, empty, exhausted, and a lot of times hopeless and resigned. This is all normal stuff but it doesn’t have to stay this way!
Making the effort to have the pleasures of the dating qualities back into the relationship is worth it as it can actually make going through this phase a lot easier. Having these connecting qualities back help couples stay out of the red assisting them do the work that the power struggle stage requires (seeing the reciprocity of behavior and wounding, and stopping the cycle by giving each other different outcomes than the usual, meeting each others needs). Not running on empty allows couples assess to their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual resources and inner strength needed to address their situation.
Give this a try. Do a mind shift and imagine your partner as a possible suitor. What would you do to impress, intrigue, and allure them? How would you treat them differently? How would you behave differently? What areas of yourself would you work on improving?
I know this is difficult stuff as the relationship has picked up a life of its own by now, and add the daily responsibilities and family life to the mix, and you have a complex and tenuous context. But I’m not asking you to go back to dating and throw your current life away or make believe is not there. I’m just asking you to do a minor mind shift and approach yourself and your partner in a kinder more special way. That’s all.