You may have heard that passion is fleeting and that all marriages are doomed to routine, but if you have always been a die-hard romantic, take heart. Research published by the American Psychological Association shows that romantic love can indeed last a lifetime. Moreover, when it exists in a relationship, it helps make couples happier and healthier. To enjoy a piece of the magic, start off by differentiating between obsessive love (which includes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety) and romantic love (which has sexual chemistry and intensity, sans the obsession). The following tips may help you strike the perfect balance.
Ensuring Your Partner or Spouse Feels Cared For
It may sound basic, but taking steps to let your partner know you are ‘there for them’ can make a big difference, say the APA researchers. There are many important ways to do this – including really listening to them when they are voicing concern about any aspect of their lives, honoring the promises you make (even if they are small, like taking out the garbage), and using humor to deflect tension. Reminding yourself that you are a team — and that your success as a couple depends on everyone doing their share — can help you stay on track and give yourself fully to your partner and the present moment, even when you feel distracted or stressed.
Speaking in the Right Love Language
The Five Love Languages is a classic best-seller by Gary Chapman. It postulates the idea that people generally express and enjoy receiving love in one of five manners — through words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, or receiving gifts. You can do simple online tests to determine yours and your partner’s and try to ensure you are using the right language with each other. If your partner’s chosen love language is time, then on your anniversary, taking the whole day off to be with them may strike a chord. However, if your wife or husband prefers commemorative gifts, then taking time to really think of something they might like — be it a watch, cufflinks, small yet funny gifts and the like — can help make them feel special.
Being Confident in Your Relationship
Romantic feelings and levels of commitment are more intense when partners are not fearful that their relationships could come to an end, as found in a study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion. When someone feels that the risk of their relationship is ‘too high,’ said researchers, positive feelings are reduced and the risk of breaking up actually increases. Therefore, if you have issues you think need sorting out, discuss them calmly and try to reach a more secure state instead of thinking about the possibility of life without the one you love.
If you thought passion only existed in the initial, ‘velcro’ stage of a relationship, think again. Studies have shown that non-obsessive passion can last, but couples need to work at it. You can do so by taking both small and large steps to make your partner feel heard and loved, by attempting to match your love with the preferred ‘love language’ of your partner, and by remaining confident in your relationship to foster loving feelings and commitment.