My boyfriend and I have dating for over four years, and we act more like best friends than lovers. Sex is predictable, infrequent and passionless. I wish we could have what we used to but my friends are saying this is normal. Is it possible for us to fall in love again, or is this the best I can expect if we stay together?
It is a commonly held belief that love dwindles as time passes - but that doesn't mean its true. Love changes the longer you've been together, but it doesn't have to die out completely.
Just like it didn't take you and your boyfriend a few days to fall in love, it didn't take you a few days to fall out of love either. It took time, neglect, lack of prioritization of the relationship, conflict resolution skills, and a lack of interest in learning and applying what your partner needs to keep things fresh, fun and passionate. Combine these factors over a few months, or even years, and its no surprise that you've gone from being lovers to feeling like you're just really great roommates or friends.
Everyone deserves to be happy in their romantic relationships, and you're no different. Just because you've been dating four years, have lost some of the initial spark, and are struggling to feel like you're in love, doesn't mean its not possible. What it does mean however is that one of you will have to take the reigns and do some work to fall in love again. Here's how:
- Have a quick chat. Sit down with your partner for no more than five minutes. Take a deep breath before you begin, erase all doubt, blame or fear from your mind as you can, and think about how much you used to love your partner. Look him straight in the eye and tell him how much you miss feeling intimate and close. Tell him that you both need, deserve, want more than you're getting out of the relationship, and that you want to change things from the current comfortable existence you share, into something more loving, exciting and fun than you ever thought possible. Then, if you feel like it, give him a quick hug or a kiss, and move on to something else. Let him think about what you've just said, and don't force him to respond. Just let him know, and leave it at that for now.
- Learn how to have fun together again. Think back to when you first started dating: what types of things and experiences did you do together? What made him laugh, what did you both enjoy, why you fall in love? Take those experiences now, and try to create something simple and fun in the same spirit. You don't need to recreate it exactly, and you'll want to start with something small. Aim for one of these events, outings or experiences once a week, with no other intention than to have some fun, laugh together, and enjoy each other's company again without talking about your relationship.
- Make eye contact. In Leil Lowdnes', "How To Instantly Connect With Anyone," she tells readers that folks who are in love spend a lot more time than the rest of us looking into each other's eyes. Which, if you think about it, makes sense -- when you're first falling in love, your partner fascinates you and you want to linger on their every word. So a quick and simple way to increase the loving feelings between you and your boyfriends, and just maybe fall in love again, is to spend more time looking him in the eye when you're talking.
- Learn new communication skills. A few books explain the concept of fighting fairly in a relationship, but none (in my opinion) as well as Don't Break Up, Make Up, by Dr. Bonnie Weil. In it, the therapist explains in great detail what you need to do and when you need to do it to save your relationship, including identifying your relationship styles, how to communicate with your partner about contentious issues, and how to fall back in love again. Dr. Weil has an excellent success rate with her techniques too, boasting a 97% success rate with her patients -- succes, being that the couples not only fell back in love, but found a deeper and more meaningful connection than they'd ever shared before.