This guest article from YourTango was written by Julie Orlov.
Picture this: you can’t believe it’s summer already. Another school year has gone by, and you’re trying to decide where to go on vacation. Any idea you come up with seems like a lot of effort. And if you’re really honest? The idea of a family vacation seems exhausting.
Taking a long weekend away by yourself sounds so much more enticing. You look across the kitchen table at your husband. He’s busy writing out checks, and reminds you that he will be working late next week so you will need to pick up the kids from their various afternoon activities.
Things are comfortable between the two of you. But where’s the spark?
Your relationship with your long-term partner works. The household runs smoothly and the kids’ needs are taken care of. But you realize that you and your husband have settled into a life together that feels more like living with a roommate and less like shacking up with a lover.
Over the years, your sex life has slowly withered away to an early morning quickie every other month or so. You think back on the days when your libidos were great. You made an effort to wear sexy lingerie. He made an effort to seduce you in the ways you liked. You both made an effort to mix it up and have fun.
Now it seems like passion is the last thing on your minds, settling instead for a comfy night on the couch and watching TV until it’s time to get some sleep. And while you still have warm feelings for your spouse, that flame seems almost extinguished.
Tonight, as you sit across from your husband or partner, you feel lonely and long to reignite some passion — you long to look at him as your lover once again.
If this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. Many couples, after some years have gone by, or when the kids have moved out, look at each other as if they are compatible roommates.
And for many, there comes a time when that level of complacency is no longer acceptable. Couples hit a crossroad every few years and for most couples, this crossroad will be met at least once, if not more, throughout the lifetime of their relationship.
If you are experiencing the roommate blues, here are five things you can do to bring passion back into your relationship:
1. Start dating each other again.
And I mean truly dating. Plan together, make reservations, pick meaningful, fun and varied activities and begin a flirtation. Pretend that you’re still courting each other, and put that level of attention into your dates.
2. Make out, in either public or private spaces!
Kissing creates intimacy. Start off slowly and watch the passion and tension build. Most couples stop kissing passionately on a regular basis after many years of being together. Make it part of your daily routine and see what happens. That quick goodbye peck could turn into something better.
3. Start a new hobby, take a class, or join a cause together.
Begin to connect with each other through something that is fun, meaningful and new. Doing something out of your comfort zone together creates collaboration and builds connection that might have gone stale.
4. Get playful.
Tickle, tackle, wrestle, joke, do karaoke — whatever suits your fancy. Just remember to do it with vigor. Leave inhibitions behind and be willing to feel silly and foolish for a while. I promise any feelings of self-consciousness will pass and be replaced with feel-good hormones and enjoyment for one another.
5. Redefine your relationship and create a vision together.
This process is at the foundation of phase four in “The Pathway to Love,” and is absolutely necessary in order to create a transformational relationship. Take the time and invest in your future. If you need help on how to do this, The Pathway to Love at-home program shows you the way.
Turning your roommate back into your lover is possible, but it takes action. Follow these five steps, and I promise you will be well on your way.
Sometimes there are other factors at play that require professional help. These may include hormonal shifts, mood disorders, medical conditions, or relationship issues that go beyond those of a typical long-term marriage slump.
If you or someone you know is struggling with how to bring the passion back into your relationship, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to provide personalized guidance and coaching. As always, I’m here to support you in creating a transformational life and strong and powerful relationships.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Aug 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Experts, Y. (2013). Relationship on the Rocks? 5 Ideas to Help Reignite that Spark. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/08/23/relationship-on-the-rocks-5-ideas-to-help-reignite-that-spark/