There was a time when the first person you thought of when you woke up in the morning was your significant other but now, whenever they run across your mind you get that gut-wrenching feeling that the magic is gone. You wonder: where has the love gone?
If you’re beginning to feel like the spark is fizzling out, you may not be quite sure what you should do. Your eyes have started to wander, the attraction has started dissipating and you begin to feel like something is missing. Rather than living with that constant pit in your stomach for longer than you need to, there are a number of actions you can take to determine what the next steps are in your relationship future.
First, really assess what you’re feeling and how much you value the relationship. New love is great. During the honeymoon phase of relationships, we find ourselves waiting by the phone, talking all night long and feeling butterflies fluttering in our stomachs. Unfortunately, many people walk away from potentially great relationships simply because they don’t feel the butterflies anymore. Yes, butterflies are a part of the attraction process but over time, these feelings may reduce when we enter new stages of the relationship. It’s unrealistic to think that you will be on this high forever. People who believe that the butterflies should last forever jump from relationship to relationship before they discover what the next stage has to offer. Contrary to popular belief, the post-butterfly stage of a relationship has a lot to offer. It can provide stability, trust, respect and contentment which are all essential to building a strong, lifelong relationship. Before you decide to call it quits, make sure you’re not running away simply because the butterflies aren’t fluttering in your tummy anymore.
It’s also important that you assess what vibes you’ve been sending your partner’s way. Have you recently been acting differently towards them? Have you been distant, distracted or standoffish? You may be giving them the signal that you are no longer interested and they are responding accordingly. At this point, it’s important to ask yourself if you want to or are willing to do the work to get your relationship back on track. On the other side, it’s important to read how your partner has been behaving. Have they been acting differently, recently or for a while? What is the source of this shift? It’s important that you communicate the patterns you’ve noticed and your concerns. If it’s clear that the person you’re with is no longer excited when you come around, less than enthusiastic about your phone calls and agitated when you address certain issues, you need to have a heart-to-heart with them about what’s going on. If you don’t address these issues now, things will only get worse.
In order to make any relationship work, it’s important that both parties are intentional about the relationship and committed to working hard to ensure it does. If you both want to salvage the relationship, it’s going to take some work. There are a number of things you both can do to bring the excitement and passion back. If you’re looking to reignite that fire, remember what kindling worked when you first started dating. Be intentional about going out to some of your favorite dating spots. Do little, sweet, sentimental things for each other that you did at the early part of the relationship that remind you why you fell in love in the first place. You can also bring the fire back by being active together. Pick something you are both interested in or something you’ve both never tried before. It’s not the activity that matters as much as it is the opportunity to reconnect.
It’s also important to communicate your concerns. If the fire is missing in the relationship, it’s important to confront the underlying issues that brought the relationship to the place it’s in. It didn’t get where it is overnight. There could be a number of factors interfering with passion including stress, medication and financial issues. If these factors are in the way for either of you, it’s time to talk. Voice your concerns and be a listening for your partner’s concerns as well. Open communication is a huge step towards rekindling the fire in your relationship.
Next, allow your defenses to come down. Relationships have their ups and their downs and it’s very easy to put on your fighting gloves when the feelings begin to fizzle. Whatever your relationship problems are, the two of you need to talk things out. If you can’t forgive the person you’re with for whatever pain you feel they’ve caused you, you should ask yourself if you are truly committed to the well-being of your relationship. Take the fighting gloves off and open yourself up to being vulnerable.
If you want to get your relationship back on track, you both need to be intentional about each other’s happiness and bringing fun to each other’s lives. Many people say that boredom is one of the big reasons why they are tired of the relationship they are in. You may be at a point in your life where daily stresses have caught up with you, and you have trouble taking the time out to laugh with and enjoy your partner. If that’s the case, it’s time for a change. Go out and do something that makes you both happy. These little moments can really reignite the flame.
If you’ve determined that you’ve truly reached a point of no return, the key is honesty. You both owe it to each other. Appreciate the relationship for what it was and what it offered you. You may not see it now, but there is a reason you both met each other at the specific time you did. Your relationship was an opportunity to learn and grow. Be grateful for what you had and prepare to move on. Sometimes, we just have to let people go so that we can prepare for what God ultimately has in store for us.