Relationships almost always begin with wild, head-over-heels feelings of devotion. On its own, however, love is not enough. Tamara Star reveals eight common barriers between us and long-lasting passion.
My take on love and how not to lose the juice.
Ah…love. Obviously a hot and tricky topic—and while I agree that good love takes time and effort, I also know that love falls apart when the ball gets dropped in eight common ways.
We all say we want it; but once we find it, why is it so damn hard to keep it? Here are eight ways we unwittingly ruin love:
1. Skim over past pain.
This one is a biggie. Once we pass the age of 16, the likelihood of experiencing hurt, disappointment or betrayed is 100%. Not taking the time to feel the pain from our past keeps it alive and present in the here and now. We may love the one we’re with, but we also project all over them.
When we have old pain that hasn’t been processed, we carry it into our current relationship. You can’t skim over or positive think your way out of emotional pain, and when we try to stuff our emotions, we’ll find a way to make our current partner pay for the past sins of others because pain wants to be processed. Take care of your past so your present can be happy.
2. Over-thinking everything.
Remember the phrase “paralysis by analysis”? Over-thinking and over-analyzing someone’s every word, move or intention kills any chance of intimacy or connection.
Worrying and trying to figure out someone’s intention versus taking them at face value is a sign of emotionally operating from the past in an effort to stay safe in the present. It’s hyper vigilance at it’s best and that best, brings out your worst. Even if your current lover has hurt you in the past, expecting them to hurt you again almost guarantees they will because you’re hyper sensitive versus relaxed and present. Remember, we see what we expect to see—stay in the now moment.
3. Protecting yourself emotionally.
Keeping one foot out emotionally to protect yourself just in case things don’t work out is like trying to consistently drive 65 mph while tapping your brake every other minute. You’re not going to get anywhere in love by holding back. Sure, respect your own boundaries, but remember falling in love is just that—freely falling. Too often we experience hurt and never really let go again. Take your foot off the brake and trust.
4. Confusing drama-free with complacency.
We all agree that a drama-filled relationship is bad, while feeling a sense of safety in love is good—right? Unfortunately, it becomes too easy to fall into complacency when we’re not feeling mentally challenged or aware of any need to be on our toes. There’s a place of balance between safety and complacency.
Taking for granted that you have someone forever and forgetting to turn on the charm and attention you give towards others fosters feelings of complacency, boredom and being taken for granted. It takes two to do the hot passionate dance of tango, don’t drop your partner’s hand and expect them to keep dancing for you.
5. Stop making eye contact.
Eyes are the windows to the soul.
Let’s face it, life is busy and over time it becomes a little too easy to navigate getting out of the house in the morning without even making eye contact with the one we love. It may sound small, but eye contact is intimate. Intimacy in the bedroom starts with intimate contact throughout the day. Look at one another.
6. Assume you know your partner inside and out.
Even if you met at birth, spent every day together and have talked for hours, there is no way to know everything about another human being. We are all individuals with individual thoughts, perceptions and emotional experiences.
People change over time, so don’t assume that your partner’s hopes, dreams and desires haven’t—continue to get to know your partner as though you don’t, because the truth is, it’s not possible to know everything about one another no matter how long you’ve been together.
7. Forget that the past does not equal the future.
Whether you’ve been hurt by another or hurt by your current partner, remaining in the present moment is non-negotiable when it comes to love. The past does not equal the future. It never has and it never will. Have a relationship with the person in front of you now, not the ghost from yesterday.
8. Stop touching.
The two largest influences on our sex drive come from our skin and our brain. Relationships are hot in the beginning because we’re touching and kissing, as well as talking and questioning one another—constantly. Stimulation of the brain got covered in #6 above, so lets move on to touching.
As time goes by, too many couples get lazy about touching for no particular reason. When we touch the one we love, the hormone oxytocin is produced and provides a huge opportunity for connection. Oxytocin is one hell of a powerful love drug. Talking stimulates the brain, while touching stimulates everything else. Touch one another (a lot).
[image: via Martin Sharman on flickr]