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Re-Connect and Find Romance

 

By Dr. Brenda Shoshanna January 2007

 

Some believe that romance should just come naturally, and if it doesn’t, or if the closeness you once shared starts to subside, it means that something is wrong. Nothing is further from the truth. Keeping romance alive requires time, attention and the willingness to begin fresh over and over, to learn how to constantly reconnect. There is nothing as lovely as taking time to re-kindle the closeness.

Here are some steps that help develop the ability to reconnect with our partners and with ourselves.

Step 1: Are You As Close As You Can Be?

After the initial excitement of being in a relationship is over, many fall into a routine and begin taking one another for granted. They assume they know what their partner is feeling, that it doesn’t matter if they come late for a date, don’t look so good, or choose a night out with friends too often. However, there are many tiny ways in which we sabotage relationships. It’s important to be aware of what we are doing to either keep the closeness going, or to subtly push it away.

Romance is heightened by ways in which you view your partner. Do you view him as a hero? Someone you can look up to and respect? Or are you mostly dwelling upon his faults? After a relationship has gone on for a while partners often begin to view each other as ordinary, or focus upon their negative traits. This is a sure-fire technique for creating distance and putting out any fire that might exist. Instead of doing that, remember, when you first fell in love. You only saw the best in your partner and focused on how wonderful they were. In order to re-kindle the fires, start doing that again.

Here are two exercises to do to help. Get a personal notebook that you can write your experiences and feelings in. It will be helpful to look over your responses, and to keep working on these as time goes by. In this way you will be able to note changes in the relationship and also change in yourself.

 

Exercise A – How You See Your Partner

Take some time and write down a description of how you see your partner. Who is he to you now? How do you feel about him? Write this down without censoring your thoughts and feelings. Just let whatever you feel come out.

Then, write down how you saw him when you first met, and how you felt about him then. There may be differences between these two responses. Just notice. See how your feelings of closeness are affected by the way you perceive him.

Now, consciously choose to see the best about him. Stop focusing upon his faults.  View him in a way that is similar to the way you viewed him in the beginning. He will feel this, and begin responding in kind. When a person feels admired, they feel good about themselves and are able to come closer again.

 

Exercise B – Stop Pushing Him Away

There are many, tiny little things we do (consciously and unconsciously) that push our partners away. Take a little while to write down ways in which you push him away. This is not to blame yourself, but to become aware of the times when you are not inviting closeness and romance, but putting on the brakes. Some examples of this could be, criticizing him in public, not really listening to what he’s asking of you.

After you have made your list, decide to change the way you behave. Each day take one item on your list (the way you’ve pushed him away) and stop doing it. Do the opposite. For example, rather than criticizing him in public, say nice things about him with friends. A few small actions can have huge effects. Try it and see how good both of you will feel.

 

Step 2: Understanding Hidden Expectations

There is nothing that can cause us to disconnect from each other as much as expectations that have been unfulfilled. We all enter relationships with many kinds of expectations and goals, some we are aware of, others not. There is nothing that causes more disappointment than expectations and dreams which are not being met. When we are disappointed, it is important to stop and become aware of what we are expecting of our partner and of the relationship. Is it possible for him to fulfill them? Does he want the same thing from the relationship that we do? Are we holding onto these dreams in the hope that magically he’ll change?

More often than not, it is our expectations, not the other person, which are making us upset. In order to feel close and satisfied in a relationship, a crucial step is uncovering your expectations and making sure they can be met. When we become clear about what our expectations are, and whether they are realistic in this situation, we can begin to look at our partner with fresh eyes.

 

Exercise C – Finding Out What You’ve Been Hoping For

It may come as a huge surprise to uncover our secret expectations, what we have been hoping for, and how they measure up to what we’ve got. Take some time to write down what it is you expect from your partner, and what you expect from yourself. In this process you may discover things you were unaware of. Don’t let that stop you. Continue on.

Next step is to take time and look over your list carefully. See how your expectations measure up to the person you’re with. Also take time to see if anyone can fulfill them? Are they simply childhood dreams you are still carrying with you?

 

Exercise D - Letting Him Fulfill Your Dreams

Now, make a list of which expectations your partner meets - or perhaps other things he offers you that you have been unaware of.

In order to reconnect, to feel close and happy with someone, you must feel that they are fulfilling at least some expectations you have.

Are you willing to revise your expectations a little - to give up a few that he cannot meet? Are you willing to put new ones in that he is able to fulfill? Sometimes just giving up one or two expectations can make the entire difference in a relationship working or not. Sometimes just deciding that what he offers is good enough, can dissolve barriers that have been created.

Then, let him know he’s good enough. Let him know he’s making you happy. This is the biggest aphrodisiac for many men.

 

Discover the surprising truths about love that will save your relationships, in Dr. Shoshanna’s new e-book Save Your Relationship (21 Basic Laws of Successful Relationships).

Dr. Shoshanna is a psychologist, relationships expert on iVillage.com, speaker, and author of many books, including The Anger Diet, (30 Days To Stress Free Living), Zen And The Art of Falling In Love, (Simon and Schuster), Why Men Leave (Putnam), and many others.  You can contact her, or visit her personal website.

 


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