Keeping the Passion Alive | Holidays | Blog | Better Marriages | Educating Couples - Building Relationships

Keeping the Passion Alive

by Marianne Oehser

Marianne Oehser is a Professional Member of Better Marriages


Years ago people may have accepted boredom in their relationship but not anymore. Today our expectation is that our love relationships will be satisfying, vital, and fulfilling. In fact, according to a survey conducted among 100 family lawyers, boredom and monotony are now the number one reasons for divorcing.

What is passion? Most of us think “lust” when we hear that word. In the early months and years of a relationship the endorphins surging through our brains definitely create lust. What happens to passion when those sexual opiates fade – as they certainly will? That is the time when a couple can choose whether or not they will continue to have passion in their relationship. Yes, passion is a choice.

I know what you are thinking – “but I can’t will myself to feel something I don’t feel.” That is true. But you can choose the things you focus your attention on. One author puts it this way:  “passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do.” When you consciously and consistently bring more of you into your relationship, passion follows.
Bringing more of you into your relationship shows up in the little things you do. It shows up when you focus in a positive way on what your partner is saying and how he is feeling about what he is saying. Doing that tells her she is important to you. Many studies have shown that feeling important to your partner is one of the keys to a fulfilling relationship.

You also bring “you” into the relationship when you choose to focus on the everyday things going on in your partner’s life. Remember how you wanted to know every detail of your lover’s life when you first met. Boredom often creeps in when you stop focusing on the little things about each other.

The everyday things you do for each other make a big difference in how connected you feel – and there are lots of little ways to connect. It can be as simple as taking 10 minutes to share how your day went or even just touching each other. We know from research that when a couple touches each other their bodies release that powerful hormone called oxytocin – often called the “love hormone”. It makes us feel content, reduces anxiety and stress, helps us feel calm and secure around our loved one. That’s true for both men and women.

One of the most effective expressions that you care is telling your partner that you appreciate something he did that day. In our hectic lives it is so easy to over look the things we do for each other. According to Psychology Today, studies show that gratitude can not be deliberately cultivated and can increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who do cultivate it. Grateful thinking especially expressing it to others is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.

You also choose how you look at things. When you focus on the things that are missing in your relationship you feel a sense of lack and disconnection. Looking at it through a lens of appreciation you are focusing on what is working and what you are enjoying about it.

Choosing not to do things helps too. Criticism and nasty zingers destroy affection and create distance between partners. World-renowned relationship researcher, John Gottman, says that it takes five positive actions to make up for one negative one.

In an excellent documentary called Happy Academy Award nominated producer and director Roko Belic examined the factors that impact our happiness. He found that our genes make up 50% of what determines our happiness. Only 10% is determined by our circumstances, such as our financial situation and our status in society – pretty much the opposite of what our culture suggests. The real insight is that 40% of our happiness is based on the things we choose to do on a regular basis like appreciating what we have, focusing our time and energy on family and friends, physical activity, and focusing attention on personal growth and helping others.

Choosing to bring more of you into your relationship will fuel passion and keep the boredom demon away.