We all love the first part of a great relationship where even the simple act of holding hands raises your heart rate and your temperature. But somewhere along the line, that “magic” seems to just disappear. So, once it’s gone, how do you get it back? Well, the answer might surprise you. The reality is that if you want to spice things back up in the bedroom, you have to start outside of it. In order to get the “magic” back that you had when you first started dating, you have to go back and do some of the same things you did when you first started dating.
When you first started dating, you most likely wanted to know every tiny detail about each other and nothing seemed too trivial or too small. These details are called “!nt!mate” details for a reason – because it’s this intimate sharing outside of the bedroom that creates the intimacy we all want to share in it.
According to relationship expert Dr. John Gottman, there are nine things that couples can do that will help bring the spice back into any relationship.
1.) Build Love Maps
Every human being has a unique and slightly different psychological road map. One key to healthy relationships is to know your partner’s “map.” The more you know about your partner’s unique rhythms, habits and patterns, the more you will be able to offer them what they need to connect best with you.
2.) Share Fondness and Admiration
When we first meet someone, we tend to see them through “rose colored glasses” and love everything about them. But over time, those traits and qualities we initially found so endearing can actually cause us to be repelled by the very person we once found so attractive. Even more importantly is that couples express to each other what it is they find attractive, which invites admiration in return.
3.) Turn Towards
While you might gladly attend the ballet or a monster truck rally with a person you are dating, there may come a time when you tire of those things. However, if you generally love and care about a person, it’s important to show interest in what they are interested in. When a person attempts to share their interests and passions with you, these are called “bids” – it’s important to learn to turn towards bids rather than away from them.
4.) The Positive Perspective
This is also more commonly known as giving someone the benefit of the doubt. When they are late, you can choose to assume they did so simply because they don’t care about you or value your time, or you can choose to believe they do value you and respect you but just ran into an unavoidable circumstance. How you choose to frame things will go a long way towards determining how you view them on the whole.
5.) Manage Conflict
Rather than trying to solve the conflict by changing the other person, Gottman teaches couples to manage their conflicts in order to keep them from significantly interfering with the overall relationship. In this blog article, relationship expert Dr. Wendy Walsh teaches couples how to turn every argument into a love fest.
6.) Make Life Dreams Come True
A mate should be a partner in life, and too often one person in a relationship gives up their dreams for another. It’s important to keep sharing with each other your dreams and aspirations because even if you can’t help each other make them a reality right now, the process of continuing to talk about them and continuing to reach for them will help one day make them attainable.
7.) Create Shared Meaning
Couples often grew up in families with certain traditions that created meaning for them as a family. It’s important for couples to develop their own rituals and collect momentos that mean something to them as a couple.
To be intimate with another human being is to be vulnerable with them and it’s very difficult to be vulnerable with a person we don’t trust. Whether it’s trusting that our secrets will be safe with them or that they will have our backs when things go wrong, trust is crucial in a relationship.
Commitment goes hand in hand with trust. It’s hard to create a future with someone that you’re not entirely sure is really in it for the long haul. Without commitment, there is no trust and without trust there is no intimacy. When things go stale in a relationship, the culprit is often a lack of trust in how committed both parties are to the relationship.
Once you begin to change how you relate to your mate outside the bedroom, the effects are almost guaranteed to translate into a more positive experience in it.