THE psychotherapist Marina Moscow writes today about relationships, about romance, about connection. About how we can keep the magic between us, how we can stay in love…
It is a fact even today, in a more harsh and materialistic age, that society and the way we grow up create romantic, unrealistic images of what it means to be in love and of the eternal duration of love.
Let’s think, what attracted you to your partner in the first place? A skill, an achievement, a personality trait, his beauty and charm? There are not a few people who admit that physical attraction was what drew them to their partner. But most are somewhere in the middle. They felt an attraction that gradually cultivated through chemistry.
It takes two to tango says the famous phrase. Therefore, it takes both partners to make sure to keep the magic alive, as well as a realistic picture of what it will involve. One way to rekindle romance is to focus on genuine admiration and appreciation, as opposed to false flattery. Of course, to do this, the romance needs to be somewhat grounded in reality. The couple must know that in a healthy relationship it is unlikely that the basic characteristics of one or the other will change, so we are talking about accepting the partner and his personality traits. For example, when they mistakenly believe that they always have to agree or that the relationship would improve if the other person “changed”.
Obviously, couples can’t always agree because they are different people with different views of the world and life experiences. Regarding false hope for change, people are unlikely to change their basic characteristics. It is very important to accept responsibility for our own happiness, instead of thinking that love has just passed and we need to fall in love again.
Loss of love and red lines
We often hear about red lines in the relationship. Red lines that signal dissatisfaction but also demarcation, e.g. “it’s a red line for me to badmouth me in front of others,” warning both parties that the dynamic of their interaction needs attention. Unfortunately, however, many couples are color blind until tension and problems arise in the relationship. We must respect each other’s red lines and try to see how strong they are by challenging, instead we can consider the positive elements of our relationship instead of focusing on the negative. Researchers recently examined the factors that lead to the loss of love, explaining that as couples develop a love relationship, they are likely to overlook factors that may ultimately negatively affect their relationship.
Reinvigorate through fresh focus
Couples who want to rekindle their romance have only to look at their partner with a fresher eye. They need to accept each other as a mix of positive and negative traits, because vulnerabilities like temperament, personality, and attachment styles may never change. Couples therapy can help partners recognize enduring traits, as well as the need for partner adjustment, which can contribute to an effort to honestly give the relationship another chance.
When fresh eyes see both the bad and the good, partners can focus on cultivating the positive, often uniquely attractive qualities that fueled the flame in the beginning of the relationship.
So stay in love by staying grounded, realistic and resilient…