Where Did Our Love Go?
A painting of some flowers to your left and another painting of some flowers to your right. Comfortable chair and comfortable carpet. You both sit there, speechless and upset. We bet you didn’t think it would ever come to this - sitting in the counselor's office with the person you once loved.
This isn’t an uncommon scenario. Thinking back to the first moment you met, the first time you fell in love, the moment you moved into together, you were both sure that there was no chance the love could ever break.
But it did.
And the question is …. WHY?
When your current spouse asked for your hand in marriage, you most likely imagined what most people envision a marriage to be: your spouse would be well groomed and well dressed each and every day. You both would embrace after a long work day, loaded with passion by the sight of each other spending the whole day unbearably apart. But here’s the funny part: that vision was true! It wasn’t just a vision! Your partner once did dress that way. You did have that passion.
So where did it go?
One of the most common issues that couples run into is assuming the world of those initial butterflies and fireworks will last forever. Even worse is that when it inevitably reduces, many of us feel confused - even dumb - for having felt those feelings in the first place. But the reality is that those the feelings were 100% right and accurate. The problem lies in the fact that couples don’t think to reinvest those feelings to keep the momentum going.
To understand this concept more deeply, let’s take a look at this from the spiritual perspective.
A good question may be as follows: why did we receive that beauty of falling in love in the beginning, only for it to be taken away? Answer: to show what was possible. It's very hard to desire something we have not tasted.
But it’s double sided.
We can’t fully appreciate something which was given to us for free. We were given this I’m-in-love! feeling to taste and understand the possibilities of love, but we can only truly appreciate it permanently if it’s earned through our effort. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before it fades and you both are sitting in those comfortable chairs in the flowery counselor’s office.
This paradigm is our blueprint on how to move forward from day one of marriage. It should always look like day one, but that day one will require more and more effort to achieve until the dance and beauty of marriage is deeper, brighter, and permanent.
Now that we are clear that effort is the glue to sustain that in love feeling throughout your marriage, it’s time to get practical
Take a second and think back to your first date. Odds are you spent hours on google searching for the perfect restaurant, found a way to leave work early in order to get ready and showed up in-style.
Gradually, those dates - and the exciting preparation for them - took a back seat. It’s an unfortunate reality, but the natural grind of life and routine in relationships can weigh heavy on our ability to be fresh and exciting. But it’s not too late!
Revisit that first date spark and the depth of love and commitment will climb back!
Here are the rules:
- Make the date
- Keep it consistent but not routine
- Try to get out -- If you can’t go out, stay in - but change the lighting and music and add a bottle of wine
- And always look your best!
Chances are when you first started dating, you’d wait to take your phone back out at the end of the night and find 5 missed calls and 20 unanswered texts. But now a call can’t wait and our thumbs are glued to the next text.
Somehow, our phones and computers have become a second (or first…) spouse to many of us.
What's the fix?
It all comes down to bracketing out time. If we set aside time dedicated to our spouse, then it requires our full attention. Would you text anyone or even think about taking a phone call in front of your boss? Of course not! So why is that acceptable with the most important person in your life? The answer: It’s not.
Technology can play an amazing role in the service of our relationships, but it can also cause subtle destruction.
Here’s the rule: the time spent together should be without distraction. In other words, when you set aside time to relate to your spouse, do not relate with your phone.
We strive to be creative in our careers, strive to reinvent ourselves in the workspace in order to earn our keep and make our boss justify our salary.
On the other hand, once we get to marriage, our creativity “A” game seems to drift away. We tend to think that marriage is not a “job,” but in truth the responsibilities we have to our spouse are endless. With the recognition that I am responsible for this person, that this person deserves my best, my drive for creativity and performance shoots up.
Think outside the box.
Buy something special.
Go somewhere different.
Explore yourselves and explore the world. Coming up with creative solutions to build your marriage keeps the energy high, the moments fresh, and will show your spouse how important the relationship is to you.
Let’s get rid of that painful question of “where did the love go?”, and change it into “what am I doing to bring it back?!” Love is a metaphysical idea and experience that helps us touch eternality. It’s never too late to make good on it - especially by returning to those glorious and thoughtful actions that got us there in the first place. Take the practical steps to heart, and let us know your thoughts. The road can be hard and for sure it takes effort. But every step makes a difference.