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How to get the 'spark' back

We can’t spend our entire life in a love bubble, at some point it has to burst and we have to resume a regular life. Many couples really struggle with the shift between the initial honeymoon phase of a relationship, and transitioning into a more sustainable balance; the time spent on romance reduces, time spent doing chores increases, it’s just part of learning to live with love.

The honeymoon stage is the initial infatuation with a new romantic interest. In the honeymoon stage lovers often focus entirely on their new love prospect, forsaking life obligations like getting to work on time, sleep, friendships and eating regular meals. The spark of new love takes all the attention, leaving little time, energy or care for regular life.

During the honeymoon phase we often experience heightened rates of our love and connection fuelling neurotransmitters - dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and norepinephrine – which drive our feelings of attraction, and the need to spend every waking moment with our new found flame.

Psychologist Dorothy Tennov first described a type of honeymoon phase called ‘limerence’ in 1979. Tennov suggested there were two types of love, limerence – which she suggested was an initial fixation on an object of affection (the limerent object) – and loving affection – deeper less pronounced connection of love.

While we can’t prove that the honeymoon phase is real, some research does suggest that it does exist and lasts roughly for the first two years of a new relationship.

Couples often expect the ‘spark’ to come back – will you ever get the same rush of love drunk chemicals as when you first saw your partner? Probably not every day for the rest of your life, perhaps occasionally.

We generally move from the honeymoon phase to a power struggle phase, where we negotiate how to integrate our romance into our existing life. This is when the bubble usually pops for many couples, as the lust fades and they begin question the long-term potential of their partner.

If it’s not the same as it used to be, try to let go of your expectations and take the pressure off your relationship. You may not be able to get the past back, but perhaps the future is richer, more colourful and will sustain your soul in deeper ways.

Often, we let life take over and forget to cherish the romance of our relationships. Couples become administrative and the focus on who is cooking dinner, did you take the trash out? – we forget that love can also be exciting and spontaneous, but that takes a concerted effort to implement in the later years of love.


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