Understanding how passion works is a key secret to making your relationship last.
Many people crave passion, take it for granted, and assume the intensity and excitement will last forever. Unfortunately, these assumptions are wrong.
Understanding how passion works is a key secret to making your relationship last. It allows you to have completely different expectations of yourself, your relationship, and your partner.
Instead of thinking, “What’s wrong with us?” you’ll be able to calmly say, “Hey, my relationship isn’t in trouble after all! I should expect passion to fade over time. This is totally typical.”
You might even decide to work harder on your relationship and give it another try.
Even if you reset your expectations, that doesn’t mean that your relationship should only be about friendship. The elements of passion, romance, and sexual desire are still essential to any long-term relationship.
My long-term study of couples finds that you can rekindle the passion and sexual desire by adding three behaviors back into the relationship: newness, mystery, and arousal — the same behaviors that created the passion in the first place.
Engage in new activities with your partner
This can be as simple as finding a new restaurant in a part of the city where you never go. Or you could try water skiing for the first time, or attend a cooking class together. Here are some creative date ideas to spice things up.
Add some mystery or surprise back into your relationship
Yes, all of what you’re thinking regarding role playing and lingerie counts. My research also finds that other activities reduce boredom and predictability, such as spontaneously going to play miniature golf at midnight or surprising them with tickets to a basketball game.
Seek arousal-producing activities
If you do an activity together that creates an endorphin and adrenaline rush, this state of heightened arousal can actually get transferred to your partner and relationship. In a sense, you’re tricking your brain to attribute these pleasurable sensations to your partner.
A vigorous workout side-by-side at the gym will work. Or watch a really scary movie — the kind that makes your heart race. You can also scream your head off on a roller coaster ride at an amusement park.
After you reset your expectations about passion, try adding these behaviors to your relationship. Assuming that your relationship has trust, compatibility, and you can manage your differences, the passion and sexual attraction should return.
If you’ve exhausted all options and you’re still unhappy, it may be worth taking a break or ending the relationship. Relationships should still be fun and you should continue to grow with a partner. If they aren’t the right fit, don’t forget: The world is full of interesting people.