I have a friend who keeps asking how I can be dishing out wonderful love advice while still being unmarried, and I constantly tell him that couches don’t play. We once got into a heated debate, and I realized the reason why most relationships fail. Before engaging in a love relationship, we must first learn the fundamentals. The problem is that we learn these things while in a relationship, and by the time we’re ready to put them into practice, the relationship has already reached its breaking point. Here are three ideas for rekindling the flame of love.
1. Participating in the act of love: Loving is defined as a set of activities that keep a close connection alive and well. Offering emotional and physical affection; exhibiting kindness, sympathy, and sensitivity to your partner’s needs; sharing hobbies and interests; and sustaining honest exchanges of personal thoughts and feelings are all examples of these behaviors. They also include actively absorbing, acknowledging, and appreciating love directed your way.
We find ourselves actively immersed in loving rather than drifting into a passive state of dreaming about being in love when we participate in the give-and-take of love, when we gain the ability to accept love with dignity and return love with appreciation.
2. Maintain your uniqueness while embracing your partner’s: It may seem like a romantic notion to regard your loved one as your soulmate, your missing piece, your better half. However, this kind of imagined fusion destroys romance. It is impossible to feel romantic without the awareness that you and your partner are each a distinct and unique individual. That is why you must see yourself as a whole person and ensure that you are not searching for someone to fill in the gaps in your life or to define or affirm you.
When you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s easy to lose track of yourself as a separate individual and start working as a unit. Therefore, maintaining romance requires a strong sense of individuality and autonomy, as well as a well-developed point of view. You can continue to build and improve your distinctive traits as well as engage in conduct that reflects your interests and values if you make this a long-term aim. Respect your partner by supporting his or her distinctive hobbies and personal ambitions, which are separate from your own.
This entails being aware of your partner’s wants, desires, and feelings, as well as placing equal priority on them as on yourself. It involves thinking about your spouse independently of any expectations you may have or any role he or she may have in your life. This entails perceiving and simultaneously experiencing the nature of your partner using your thoughts, emotions, and intuition. You are aware of what you have in common with your partner when you understand them in this truly empathic way, but you also acknowledge and value your differences.
3. Ignore your nagging inner critic: We all have an internal enemy, a part of ourselves that operates within our thoughts like a wicked coach, criticizing us and giving us poor advice. Your critical inner voice is this enemy, with its damaging point of view. It strengthens your defenses, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless your defenses are, for the most part, outdated. To begin with, you are no longer a small child coping with the circumstances of your infancy. Second, those old defenses, as well as the critical inner voice that encourages them, obstruct your ability to form deep relationships.
When you communicate your romantic feelings, when you describe what you love about your partner and reveal how you feel toward him or her, you are at your most vulnerable. When you are open and responsive to your partner’s love feelings for you, you are also vulnerable. Being so vulnerable and powerless goes against your natural instincts to protect oneself from harm.
It’s important to be aware of how your critical inner voice will try to destroy your romantic interactions. It will mock you for approaching your lover. “You’re such a wretch! You’re making a fool of yourself.” It will make your partner’s loving actions seem insignificant. “Is that what you call loving? It’s meaningless. You deserve more.” It will mock your displays of devotion for one another. It’s disgusting how squishy you two are. “You have a ridiculous appearance!”
Ignore your critical inner voice and continue to be nice and affectionate regardless of what it says. Don’t allow its warnings get in the way of your loving feelings or actions. Allowing it to encourage you to shield yourself and withdraw from intimacy is not a good idea. You’ll certainly feel anxious as you challenge your old defense mechanisms, but if you stick with it and sweat it out, the voice attacks will stop. Your critical inner voice will become weaker and wither, and you will triumph.
When we take these steps, romance will shine brighter, and our relationships and lives will be richer as a result.
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