The second most voted question in our Ask Me Anything series has been answered (see our question board here).
If you are wondering what this is all about, visit the post where I launched the Ask Me Anything board.
After last week’s most voted question, readers asked, “We are married for a long time and have no more passion. How can we reignite our passion?”
When we think of the word ‘passion’ in the context of relationships we often imagine fiery, colourful, strong and positive emotions. And yet, the word ‘passion’ comes from the Latin verb pati, which actually means 'to suffer'.
This is a little at odds with the romantic picture we are often sold of relationships, where we expect our love, passion and connection to come naturally and spontaneously.
We worry when the initial, fiery phase of a relationship disappears. We are told that this phase is the norm we should aspire to in a 'healthy' relationship, and we go to great lengths to recreate it when it has gone.
No one actually teaches us that our energy would be better expended to design a new type of connection, instead of attempting to recreate the old one.
Being passionate with our partner is an every day choice.
Let’s explore some of the ways in which we can rediscover the passion in our relationship.
I am playing with words a little to drive a point home.
It’s true, passion is linked to suffering, but not the negative type that may first emerge when you hear the word.
Suffering in this context relates to longing. It is the suffering that emerges from the yearning for the object of our passions.
The first step into rekindling a stagnant relationship is to rediscover that yearning.
In long term relationships, we often come to a point where we feel we know everything about our partner. We stop being curious, we stop wanting to discover their ideas, desires and aspirations. We stop wanting to explore their bodies and discover what excites them. In short we stop being open and connected to them.
So, step one is to maintain the openness and sense of curiosity about our partners. Approaching conversations with a genuine intent to discover something new, asking questions with a desire to learn, modelling disclosure to invite your partner to do the same, are all safe ways to rekindle curiosity.
As well as evolving physically and intellectually, with age we also evolve sexually. Our experiences inform our preferences and new likes and dislikes emerge.
When we loose the curiosity to learn about our partners, we also miss the opportunity to stay tuned to their sexuality. We keep doing the same thing out of routine or we stop having sex altogether.
Step two is about staying tuned to our sexual preferences and those of our partners.
One fun way of doing this it to share fantasies. When you do this, you give yourself time to connect to our own sexuality, as well that of our partners. The very act of thinking and sharing is a sure way to keep it alive and nurture it. This keeps the mind curious and excited.
Once we share fantasies we can decide whether to act on them or not, and it is important to know that sharing is not the same as demanding. When we share we must stay open to the possibility that our partners won't like what they hear and may not be interested in it.
That's OK, on to the next idea!
PUT IT IN THE SCHEDULE
I once read the case study of a couple who had been married for over four decades and were still strongly connected emotionally, intellectually and physically.
On being asked what their secret was, they described a routine they had committed to for the past 40 years without fail:
- Weekly date
- Monthly weekend escape
- Yearly escape abroad
Of course not everyone is in a position to book monthly weekends away and a yearly holiday somewhere aboard, but that is not the point. The point is about scheduling time for each other and honouring it.
When couples do that, they intrinsically remind each other that they are important, that they are worth scheduling time for and committing to.
It is a simple step, but it is amazing how deep this regular connection can impact our desire for longing and connectedness.
It is my experience that in most couples where passion has all but disappeared, healthy communication has also disappeared. I find that when couples rediscover a way of being intimate with each other the passion evolves with it.
The opposite would also work, but most find it easier to start with restarting a dialogue and moving into passionate connection than the other way around.
We all have the power to rekindle our relationships and if we approach them with an open heart and an open mind, we may be amazed as to how much pleasure, fulfilment and satisfaction there still are.
Thank you for reading my post.
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