The thing about new relationships is the excitement from learning, exploring and being open to ‘new’ adventures with someone. Why do we allow ourselves to be open to so many new things when we start dating someone? BECAUSE! Because you want to learn all that you can about the other person, you want to experience things that make that person happy, you want to share what you know, and you want to find out what you have in common to build a strong relationship or at least give it a fighting chance.
So, what happens when you have been with someone for years? Sometimes we let the excitement die. We allow ourselves to melt into a hum-drum daily routine. Eventually that routine becomes too dull, children or friends become our sense of excitement or adventure and we allow ourselves to drift apart. Sometimes our children become the center of our lives and we lose our connection with each other. Once the children are gone and on their own, what do we have? Two people with nothing in common anymore living in the same house is what usually happens. If your love is there…Fight for it to be great.
Do you know couples who have been married or in a relationship for 10, 20, 30 years or longer? Are they happy? If so, then they know the secret to keeping the love and excitement alive in their relationship. If they are one of those couples who say they have been married for X number of years but don’t seem thrilled anymore, then they have lost touch. Is it a good marriage/relationship? Possibly, but it should be a happy marriage/relationship. I know a few couples who ‘boast’ about the number of years they have been together, but they don’t sleep in the same bed, they don’t enjoy vacations together, they don’t go on dates or even spend time together. That’s not a marriage/relationship…that’s two people existing in the same house.
My husband has a friend who’s been married for more than 30 years. This couple started life like many of us; excited with each other. Unfortunately several years ago they began sleeping in separate bedrooms. That is until recently. Their daughter moved back in with her young son, so his wife moved back into her husband’s bedroom so that their grandson could have a nursery. They haven’t had a ‘romantic’ relationship in years. They have grown apart.
The good news is….my husband has been a good listener. When his friend calls to tell him about another odd situation, my husband actually gives him some wise advice. For example; Doug (not his real name) called to ask my husband what he thought of the following situation.
Doug’s wife came into the master bathroom, knowing that Doug was in the bedroom watching TV. She left the bathroom door open and undressed in clear view before entering the shower. After her shower she dried and entered the bedroom naked and attempted to strike up a conversation. Doug at that point asked her what she was doing and told her to get dressed. She became angry, dressed and went to sleep.
Of course my husband told him he was an idiot. (I’m not a fan of my husband’s blunt and sometimes rude way he tries to help his friends, but they’re friends, so they already know his personality and expect him to say it like it is). He then told Doug that he should have gotten out of bed when he saw her getting undressed for the shower. He should have joined her in the shower. Of course Doug thought his wife would have been upset by this. My husband again told him he was an idiot for not seeing the signs. He told Doug that obviously his wife was encouraging a romantic interlude by getting undressed in front of him. He asked Doug when the last time was that his wife had undressed in front of him. Doug said it had been years. He then told Doug that when his wife entered the room naked, he should have told her she looked beautiful and he should have gotten up, walked to her and kissed her. Doug once again made excuses. Doug then explained that the next morning when they woke up his hand was on his wife’s behind. He said she wiggled a little and asked what he was doing. Doug told her ‘nothing’, got up and left for work. My husband asked Doug if his wife sounded angry when she asked what he was doing. Doug replied, “No”. Once again, my husband called him an idiot and told him that she was obviously looking for some attention.
Now, for some women this is a good step in the right direction. Trying to resurrect the steam can be tricky. Some women are not comfortable asking for what they want from their spouse. This could be due to being embarrassed, shy, scared that he may see you in a less respectful light, or whatever other reasons. If he loves you and you love him, then throw those excuses out the window. Some women are very comfortable telling their partner exactly what they want. Most men would appreciate the open honesty rather than hints. Whether you’re more reserved or boisterous you need to do whatever it takes to get what you want! If you love the person you’re with, then you need to do whatever it takes to bring the steam.
As for the couple mentioned above; they both willingly admit that they love each other. I believe they have a great foundation to rebuild or begin again. Sometimes what’s there is not what either person wants anymore and that’s ok. It’s a decision for both parties to make. Do you want to rebuild what was once there? Or, do you want to create a new beginning? Either choice is good. Rekindling an old flame, remembering what brought you together and rebuilding it can be fantastic. We can’t live in the past, so new memories will be made. If both people like the memories, but want something different or more exciting then create the relationship you want.
As we age, we gain weight, we lose some of that muscle tone we once had, our hair grows grey and we just are not as firm as we once were. But that does not mean we are not sexy, alluring or exquisite!
Communication is the base of any good relationship. So, for those people who are more bashful about asking for what you want, YOU need to remember one important thing…Are you happy? If the answer is yes, then keep doing what you’re doing, but if your answer is NO, then YOU have to make changes.
Start slow; begin with a conversation about wanting to reconnect. Your conversation needs to be one of love and trust. You need to be sure that you are saying what you mean and mean what you say. Do not leave anything to misinterpretation. Making a comment such as, “I want more than what we have” may start a huge fight. You don’t want your partner to think you don’t want them! You could start with an old photo album, reminiscing over old times and how your love was young and exciting. Talk about the things that you first noticed about each other, what attracted you to the other and make sure to let your partner know that you’re still attracted by his/her traits. After that conversation is going well, ask your partner to go on a date. Start with a nice dinner date either at home or out on the town. This is where your decision to rekindle or create will come in handy. If you want to ‘rekindle’, try going to some of the places that hold wonderful memories you once visited years ago. Start remembering and rebuilding those sparks. If you’re wanting to ‘create’ a new beginning, then go to places you have never been, try doing things you have always thought you’d like to try but haven’t. Ask your partner what they want to do. If you’re food lovers try new restaurants that serve a variety of appetizers, Mojito's is great, share and enjoy. If you have always wanted to paint; try going to Downtown Art uncorked and drink wine and paint. Dates don’t have to be romantic to be fun! It’s all about doing something new, learning new things together.
Just like when you met that person, you were willing to learn, grow, experiment, and enjoy another person’s interests; now is the time to begin again. Both people have to be willing to bend and try new things.
I recently purchased the 50 shades of grey trilogy. My husband and I both love to read. I have mostly biographies, autobiographies, informational books in my collection. He loves to read mysteries, crime/murder novels and science fiction. Neither of us has ever read romance novels. This was a stretch for both of us. I read them and decided it would be a good idea if he knew what all these women were talking about. He has completed the first book and he actually liked it. He said it was a ‘good read’. I was surprise but glad that he was willing to give it a shot. This is exactly what I mean by being willing to bend and try something out of your comfort zone.
Be willing to experiment and you’ll experience wonderful new beginnings. The excitement you both feel over learning something new together will be another bond between you, another memory made.
Best wishes and great new experiences for you all!