How often have you yearned for the past lately, wishing that things could go back to the way they once were in your relationship? When things were new and exciting, and you were getting to know each other?
When you both made huge efforts to make time for each other, and really paid attention to each other.
Perhaps things seemed simpler when everything was new. You made promises. You planned your future together, dared to dream big. There was so much hope. It was a time of innocence in your relationship. You had a deep connection and could talk for hours.
There was true intimacy.
But now you find things have changed. What used to be passionate and exciting is now routine and predictable. You seem to spend hardly any time together and often feel that you take each other for granted.
Where there was hope you find disappointment. The reality of everyday stresses and pressures take the place of those dreams, which now seem unrealistic. You feel disconnected and don’t really talk to each other about the things that matter, struggling to communicate. Intimacy feels like a distant memory.
You feel disappointed.
What happened? What changed? It’s often at this point that couples ask for my help.
It is true that at the beginning of a relationship, all sorts of things happen to help us create that initial bond, including physiological processes, such as having a rush of hormones. As humans we are programmed to bond strongly with our partner. Because in the wild, it was Nature’s way of ensuring our ancestors’ survival.
So, early-on in the relationship, we tend to present only the best side of ourselves, the side of us that we think our partner will want to see. We might take more care with our appearance, over-analyse every text and email, hide our annoyances or frustrations and generally paint a positive image of ourselves. We want our partner to find us exciting and be captivated by us! That’s not to say that we aren’t genuinely enjoying ourselves or that it necessarily feels like hard work. It often feels intoxicating and euphoric!
But once the initial rush of hormones settle down, and we spend more and more time together, moving towards bigger commitments, it becomes harder work to maintain this “perfect” image of ourselves. Once we start to experience the shared responsibilities of a committed, long term partnership, there seems to be less space to dream and be creative. We start to notice the downs as well as the ups.
And of course, initially, we rationalise to ourselves that this is a normal and natural process, because it is!
But over time, fast forward a couple or even a few years, we find ourselves looking through rose tinted glasses and dreaming of the early stages of our relationship again, with a longing to get that feeling back.
The thing is, whilst it might have felt as though we had a deeper connection at the beginning, we were only revealing our best selves to our partner as we feared if they saw the real us, they might not stick around. So we weren’t being truly authentic with each other.
And even though you might now feel disappointment that you don’t have the relationship that you feel you were promised at the beginning, what you do have now is potentially something much, much more precious.
Because now you know each other so much better, and if not, you can truly get to know each other without being so concerned about whether your partner might leave. Because you have shared experiences behind you. Even negative experiences can help us to bond more deeply – particularly conflict – because they are an opportunity for growth!
Allowing our partner to really see us, and experience us emotionally and sexually, with all our imperfections, can make us feel more safe and secure, yielding a much deeper level of intimacy that often isn’t possible at the beginning of a relationship.
And safety and passion aren’t mutually exclusive! You can explore new ways of being passionate together from a foundation of trust, commitment and safety.
In Nature, security is our biggest need. If we don’t feel safe and secure, it’s virtually impossible to get any of our other needs, even food and drink, met; because we feel threatened and at risk. We might not live such wild lives now, but our core needs and impulses are the same as they were hundreds of thousands of years ago.
The more disconnected we are from Nature, the more we forget that, like everything in Nature, relationships move in cycles, and ebb and flow like the tides. By tuning in with our Natural rhythms, and understanding ours and our partner’s innate, natural needs – which we often suppress and de-prioritise due to the demands of modern life – we can remember how to have a more Natural, deeper bond with our partners.
You can have a relationship that is based on the strong roots of something much longer-lasting, enabling you to welcome change and able to cope as a partnership with whatever challenges life throws at you.
Part of the challenge in getting there is that you might be so consumed with wishing for the past that you’re not looking in the right direction. In Nature, you move in the direction that you look. If you constantly look to the past, you become trapped there.
A relationship is alive. As a living, breathing thing, with it’s own, natural rhythm, it will change over time.
It is by recognising this, you can celebrate the changes in your relationship and move forward with them, creating new dreams and hopes and passion and intimacy, rather than lamenting over what has passed.
Want to connect more deeply with your partner and re-establish intimacy? Not sure where to start? There are so many ways that I can work with you on this. Just by reaching out to me you can take that first, all important step together on that lifelong journey into the wilderness together, with me as your guide. The best place to start is by signing up to my Relationship Coaching Newsletter, which is always full of helpful tips and advice, and news about my latest offers. So contact me today by clicking on the button below.
I look forward to connecting with you!