How To Renew Love in a Long-Term Relationship
A romantic relationship is a wonderful thing. Renewing love between couples is often neglected entirely and most will end up separating after discord has begun, before having even tried to reconnect.
The feeling of falling in love is something most will aspire to experience. The subconscious need to make that reviving connection and the emotional satisfaction it comes with has made for the most popular topic of western music in the turn of the century. With love being such a desired emotion we wish to kindle in order to form a committal relationship, why does it so often end poorly with discord and resentment? Whether these issues arise in the newly developed romance or later on, it can have an impact on the mental wellbeing of the individuals involved.
Falling in Love
Professor of psychology, Stephanie Ortigue at Syracuse University, reveals in her study, “The Neuroimaging of Love” that falling in love only takes one fifth of a second, and once it happens, the emotions it can provoke are just as exhilarating as those that of a cocaine high. This itself should show the benefits of renewing love.
The other quintessential aspect that the experts discuss is the misconception of love coming from your heart, though it may feel so, love is actually developed and triggered in your brain and is the corresponding reason as to why one may suffer from depression at the stake of it failing.
Dr Farzana Mohideen-Botes, a clinical psychiatrist at the Akeso Clinic in Milnerton suggests the following,
“Sometimes our yearning for idealised love, to be adored unconditionally, to be fully met by our beloved is unrealistic. Our expectations set us up to fail. Often, we demand from our partners that which we needed, and perhaps didn’t receive, as very young children.”
With this in mind the greatest task at hand is to perceive, as adults, what it is we can use to develop our relationships and form those bonds that rationalise our expectations. Renewing love requires patience and dedication from both parties.
Dr Mohideen-Botes further goes on to explain the key components she believes are essential for a long lasting and healthy relationship including:
More often that not, these modules do no come with ease and have to be taught, many aspects of what make an adult relationship, often come from the inner child.
“We forget that we need to be playing, have fun, laugh and have a sense of humour. Just to be able to play together is really important for any relationship.”
The Key Elements for an Exciting Long-Term Relationship
One of the first connections one often craves with their newfound partner is intimacy, however it also seems to be the main cause for detachment and separation later on. It is easy to get distracted when a stable foundation in the relationship has been formed, ones daily routine is often stressful and tiring and time can rarely be set aside for reconnecting on a physical level.
Physical touch with another human stimulates the release of your love hormone, oxytocin. This does not only apply for sexual partners, but for all relationships, including that of your family and friends. It is a key component in renewing love for one another.
Dr Mohideen-Botes feels that this physical connection between loved ones is often lacking and advises them strongly to reform those bonds regularly in order to maintain stable and healthy relationships:
“I tell couples and families to hug often and hug long.”
With life often getting in the way of your personal re-connections, it is stressed that making the time to be intimate is the most effective way to be together. Prioritise it as you would a meeting or doctors appointment. The dates do not have to be expensive, going for a walk, having a picnic or star-gazing are all affordable options that give you the occasion to be romantic.
“It is easier to prevent a relationship breaking down than to fix it after.”
A frequent topic of discussion with regards to attraction between a couple, is whether or not like-minded people attract one another, or rather those who are completely unalike. It has been regularly debated and analysed as a theory, and so from there stemmed the commonly used expression today, “Do opposites attract?”
Dr Mohideen-Botes explains how the answer is within both extremes.
“In a healthy relationship there needs to be enough difference between the partners to keep it interesting; but enough similarities to keep it safe. It’s like the excitement of a brand new world but also thee comfort of your well-loved blankie.”
The bases of a stable and safe relationship allows for a platform in which adventure can grow from. Renewing love from that stage can always come with a lot more ease.
What Makes for an Unhealthy Relationship
Once communication and intimacy starts to fall away, people begin to feel very lonely with their partnership.
Where healthy relationships affirm us and give us strength, unhealthy relationships break down our emotional security and leave us vulnerable. It is through that means that one will often seek comfort elsewhere, whether it is through an affair or another form of reckless behaviour, the consequence of not stabilising our emotional bonds can cause severe depression and anxiety.
If the relationship does come to an end, being surrounded by your friends and family and having the support will allow you to mourn in a healthy environment, using that time to focus on yourself and work on your own personal happiness is the most effective way to move passed the hurt.
“The first thing you should do to deal with, and mentally recover from a broken relationship, is to commit to a lasting, kind, loving relationship with yourself.”
Renewing love is often overlooked, however Many committal relationships are often worth repairing says Dr Wallace Goddard, Professor of family life from the University of Arkansas says,
“If commitment is primarily about attraction for the couple, a helper such as a family life educator might invite them to think about the best times in their relationship. If commitment is largely based on moral obligation, a helper might invite them to think about the promises they have made. If their commitment is based on constraint, a helper might invite them to think about the effects of relationship failure on their family and friends…
Of course there are some destructive relationships that need to end. But most relationships probably need a tuneup rather than a trade in.”
Relationships are a two-way street and communication is indispensable if one wants to reconstruct the fragmented bond. The ability to speak openly with both honesty and trust, can allow for each partner to admit to their faults, flaws and guilt within a non-judgemental environment.
Dr Mohideen-Bote stress the importance of a healthy communication platform:
“One may commit the act of infidelity and carries more responsibility, but there were also certain things in that relationship that were out of balance and which need to be addressed. Couples need to be aware that if they want the relationship to continue, both parties need to work at the issue and let it go. An affair cannot be used as a whip every time there is a problem.”
The dedication and time needed in renewing love is a commitment within itself, it requires self exploration and understanding before it is possible to do such for another. With great persistence, it something that anyone can achieve in their relationships and have the life long love they often dream of having.
“To love and to be loved in return is a gift that should be cherished. To live a witnessed life with another frail, brave human being demands mutual respect, trust, compromise and compassion. The best way to learn to love another is to love yourself first.”