4 Ways to Fall in Love Again (Without Getting a New Partner)
Most of us remember that incredibly blissful feeling of being "in love" at least once in our lives.
You couldn't breathe, you couldn't concentrate and all you wanted to do was to be with your beloved, basking in that delicious magnetic pull toward each other. You couldn't get enough of one another. You felt like it was "right" and you were "home."
Now we know that it's not realistic (or even desirable) to go through life like this--feeling so ungrounded, scattered and unfocused all the time that you can't get much done.
What happens for most couples is...
For some mysterious reason in the process of "settling down", we lose all or most of this excitement and powerful
feelings of love and attraction we felt for one another.
We settle into comfort and routine and those intense feelings get so watered down that we have trouble finding them.
Most of the people who begin to question whether they want to be in the relationship they're in or not (and the ones who are living with the question of whether to stay or go tell us that what happened for them is what happened for many couples...
Somewhere along the line they lost the passion, spark and desire that they once had. It all sort of faded away and they ended up wondering "what just happened?"
We've discovered that it doesn't have to be this way...
While you probably don't want those exact feelings you had when you were first in love (we don't), but what you may want is a more seasoned hybrid of it. In other words, you may want a little more spark than what you have now without all the drama and intensity that's over the edge.
The good news is that you don't have to get divorced or go find a new partner to find it.
Here are 4 ways that we and other couples use to fall in love over and over again with each other...
1. Go on a no-criticism diet
If there's one thing people tell us that kills love and passion, it's constant criticism, even in your mind.
Criticism is one of those habits that we learn from our early care-givers and others--and we keep on doing it sometimes in the guise of "helping" our loved one become a "better" person.
Criticizing another person also might help us feel superior or better than someone else--for a moment at least--even though we may not be aware that that's why we're doing it.
The only thing criticism actually does is let that other person know that you don't think they're okay the way they are.
And that pushes the two of you away from one another and certainly kills passion.
If you can recognize that criticism is an unhealthy pattern in your relationship, put an end to it.
If one person is doing it, both of you are probably guilty of it.
So start with you and pay attention to where you are automatically thinking or saying that your partner is wrong.
And then stop--and suggest that maybe the two of you could take the no-criticism challenge together.
Substitute something you like about him or her in place of the criticism you have.
Your thought--"Why doesn't he/she ever close the cabinet door?"
Your substitution--"I like the way he/she sat next to me on the couch last night when we were watching one of my favorite shows on TV."
Of course there are times when you do need to talk about things that are bothering you and give healthy feedback.
We're not saying that that never happens...
What we're saying is to monitor your thoughts and what you say for even one day to see where you are focusing
on what you don't want rather than what you do want.
2. Get curious about your partner.
In order to fall in love again, you have to look with new eyes at your partner and at your relationship.
This might take some doing if you've been hurt in the past but if both of you want to recapture what you had, you'll
need to wipe out your preconceived ideas about him or her.
We all change in every moment and we might think we know what our partner's thinking and feeling but we really don't.
Instead of making up stories about what we think is going on with our partner, be open to listening from a very different perspective.
It's a perspective that says we really don't know what our partner is thinking or feeling and that we're open to finding out--without getting defensive..
One of the "magic words" that we use a lot to open both of us to listening more deeply and lovingly to each other is this phrase...
"Tell me more about that..."
Instead of jumping in and taking over the conversation with something that was our experience, when we use
this phrase, we're saying to the other person that "You are important and I want to know more about what you're thinking and feeling."
3. Fall in love with yourself.
The old adage is true--you can't love another until you love yourself.
If you're constantly thinking you're not worth loving, then these thoughts put up walls between you and others.
We're just not open to fully loving others when we're overly self-critical.
So instead of thinking that it's a lost cause because you have so many faults and shortcomings (we all feel a little of this)...
Start finding ways to love yourself.
Remember what we said about going on a no-criticism diet?
Well that goes for criticizing yourself too.
Most of us feel like we are our own worst critic.
While it's certainly healthy to see what you may be doing that hurts another person or yourself and then make changes that would make your life better...
It's not healthy to have a string of constant criticism that says "You're stupid," "You'll never succeed," "You can do anything right," or whatever it is that you tell yourself.
Start monitoring your mind to find out what you say to yourself about you.
If you're constantly putting yourself down, tell yourself something that is true about yourself and will take you in the direction you want to go.
Do something nice for yourself every day--something pleasurable--and really bask in the pleasure of it.
That's loving yourself.
And it's true...
When you can love yourself more, you open the door for others to love you more.
4. Open yourself to finding a common passion together and do things that take you beyond what may be comfortable for you.
We can get in a rut and when we do, all passion withers and dies--whether it's in the bedroom, our work or in other areas of our lives.
If you want more passion, you have to prime the pump.
You have to find some new ways to connect--possibly the way you used to when you were first together.
It might also be some new ways that possibly could stretch your comfort level.
The other day the two of us explored a new area of the bike path that's near our house.
Now we love to bike together so that wasn't new but that day we rode further than we had before--spending
the afternoon enjoying each other and the day.
The ride turned out to be really fun for the two of us but we may not have done it if we had planned to ride for 14 miles that day.
It was a little out of our comfort level and a little different from our regular rides.
The point is to find some things that you like to do together and be open to some surprises.
You can fall in love again.
It may not happen overnight but it can happen.
We've seen it happen.
But it won't unless you take that first step toward it.