Long term relationships take work and if you aren't willing to invest the time and energy necessary to keep them alive and well, they can become rather dead in the way of romance. There are, of course, some people who are romantic by their very nature, but these are not the commonplace. For them, it is a bit easier to keep romantic love alive, but still, it takes some work. For the rest of us, the long-term relationship does indeed threaten to allow the thrill of romance to wear away as we face daily life together, but it doesn't kill it unless we allow it to do so.
When we first enter that initial stage of new love, there is almost always an excitement and exuberance that is almost unheard of for those who have moved forward past that phase. Everything is new and we are fascinated and intrigued at the prospect of exploring this individual that we are finding ourselves so enamored with. We are also both on our very best behavior, which certainly helps things to carry on blissfully for a time.
And then, as we get more comfortable with one another, we begin to let things slip a little. It is a gradual process. Maybe it begins with a "bad hair day", figuratively or literally, and then moves on to sharing our daily stresses, such as finances or family struggles. We begin to see more than just a pretty face that is always smiling; we begin to see a real person, faults and all. If these faults are some that we are comfortable to deal with, we carry on to the long-term relationship.
The long-term relationship often involves co-habitation and/or marriage. Living with another person has a way of making a once romantic lifestyle become one that is rather commonplace. You get used to seeing this person, both at their worst and at their best. You are busy dealing with things that come up in life, such as career decisions, bill paying, and caring for children, and forget to make time for staying in love romantically. There may come a time when you wake up and think that the relationship is over or at least, that part that you so enjoyed in the beginning. That can be a scary feeling. You've went from "the best is yet to come" and entered the mindset of "it's all downhill from here".
You have to make a choice at that point. You can either keep the status quo, which is probably not what you want, or you can take action to rekindle the flame that has been allowed to die down to a smoldering ember. For my husband and I, the choice was clear not so long ago. If we wanted to save our marriage, we had to do something to get that flame burning again.
We began to make time to spend together again and communicated openly about where our relationship has gone. He sent me red roses last week, which I hadn't seen in years and his lunchbox often has love notes slid inside. We ride our motorcycle together and do other things that are of interest to both of us. And, we have taken the romance back to the bedroom, as well. In a nutshell, we are getting to know one another again and remembering to appreciate each other, rather than taking one another for granted. We regained the romance and we are both happier for it. Our relationship has truly never been better and you can do the same thing. It just takes a bit of work and commitment.
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