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How To Re-Romanticize Your Relationship

We soon get into a rut and take our partner for granted.  We forget about all those behaviours that we used to do when we first fell in love.  Read this article to find out how you can re-romanticize your relationship.

Relationships are like all living things - They need to be fed and watered!

Once we settle into a relationship we tend to take each other for granted. The romance of that phase of love and connection begins to fade.
Typically we drop the behaviours that we exhibited to win each other over. Such as no longer buying her flowers. Or cooking his favourite meal. Or even telling each other that we love them.

Bringing back those behaviours will restore feelings of romantic love and connection.

In the early, romantic stages of a relationship we are on a high. We shower our partner with spontaneous acts of caring. Paying less attention to our own specific needs.

It’s as if we have rose coloured glasses, and only see where we are similar to our lover “he/she is my other half”, we are one”.
This causes us to be blind to our partner’s flaws and we say and do anything to get along and please each other.
We only see what we want to see and ignore what we don’t want to see.

This high tends to wear off when we make a commitment to each other. Such as making the relationship exclusive, getting engaged, married or moving in together. It then seems as if the scales fall from our eyes.

Most people assume that their mates will conform to a specific but rarely expressed set of behaviours. When that doesn’t happen we begin to realize that the “other” is not us. They are individuals who also have their own expectations which are different from our own.

Then we move into the next phase of a relationship – the power struggle. All those romantic behaviours seem to have fallen by the wayside. We need to re-romanticize our relationship!

The power struggle often results in us becoming disconnected from our partners. We may withdraw, feel resentful, hurt and angry. We may blame, criticize and judge. This only causes even greater disconnection and a reaction from the “other”.

We may work through our differences with dialogue or therapy but that in itself is not enough. Gaining an understanding of ourselves and each other is valuable. But we often still cling to habitual behaviours.

Those habitual behaviors are counterproductive! Replacing them with more effective ones will help us to re-romanticize our relationship!

We can quickly identify how to restore a sense of love and goodwill. The following exercise helps to identify the behaviours that please our partner.

Each person should write down a list of positive, specific ways our partner can please us. Such as “I would like you to massage my shoulders for fifteen minutes while we watch television”. Or “I would like you to bring me breakfast in bed on Sunday morning”.

It is suggested that the partners grant each other a certain number of these caring behaviours a day. No matter how they feel about each other.

This practice can generate significant changes in the our daily interaction. And can form a firm foundation upon which to build later suggestions for change.

This simple exercise is effective due to the daily repetitions of positive behaviours. This allows the old reactive brain to begin to perceive the partner as “someone who nurtures me”. Painful memories or old hurts are overlaid with positive feelings.

There is another reason that this exercise works. It helps people erode the infantile belief that their partners can read their minds!

During romantic love, we mistakenly believe that our partners know exactly what it is that we want.
Our partner will fail at times to meet our secret desires. Then we assume that they are deliberately depriving us of pleasure.

The re-romanticizing exercise prevents this downward spiral. It requires us to tell each other exactly what pleases us. Thus decreasing our reliance on mental telepathy.

Steps to re-romanticize your relationship

  1. The first step in this process is to identify what your partner is already doing that pleases you.

    Get out separate sheets of paper and complete this sentence in as many ways as possible.
    Be specific and positive.

    Focus on items that happen with some regularity:
    I feel loved and cared about when you……..

    Examples:
    fill my coffee cup when it’s empty
    tell me you love me sit close to me when we are watching tv
    listen to me when I am upset
    check with me first before making plans
    compliment me on the way I look

  2. Recall the romantic stage of your relationship.
    Are there any caring behaviours that you used to do for each other that you are no longer doing?

    Once again, take out separate sheets of paper.
    Complete this sentence: I used to feel loved and cared about when you………

    Examples:
    wrote me love letters
    bought me flowers
    held my hand as we walked
    wanted to stay up late talking and making love

  3. Think about some caring and loving behaviours that you have always wanted but never asked for.
    These may come from your vision of a perfect mate or from prior experience.

    Whenever possible quantify your request.
    Complete this sentence: I would like you to…….

    Examples:
    massage me for thirty minutes without stopping
    take a shower with me
    sleep in the nude
    go out to brunch with me once a month

  4. Now combine all three lists.
    Indicate how important each caring behaviour is to you by writing a number from 1 – 5 beside each one.
    1 indicates “very important”  5 indicates “not so important”.

  5. Exchange lists. Examine your partner’s lists and put an “X” by any items that you are not willing to do now.
    All the remaining behaviours should be conflict-free.

Starting tomorrow, do at least two of the no conflicted behaviours each day for the next two months.
Start with the ones that are easiest for you to do.

When your partner does a caring behaviour for you, acknowledge it with an appreciative comment.
These caring behaviours are gifts, not obligations.

Do them regardless of how you feel about your partner. Regardless of the number of caring behaviours your partner gives you.

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