When Love Fades Away: Renewing The Romantic Attraction In Relationships
Updated April 08, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown
Romantic attraction doesn't always remain in relationships. Over time, the spark could fade, leading to decreased romantic attraction. When you are in a relationship for several years, the ins and outs of everyday life can cause us to forget what's truly important. When we aren't paying attention to our partners, the level of attraction we feel will often dissipate.
Even though the romantic attraction might be gone, often, the love is still there. This poses a problem in relationships because you will want to stay with the person you love but may struggle with intimacy and sex. Since these two factors are of the utmost importance in a relationship, something must be done. The good news is there are many ways you can renew the attraction you once had with one another.
Signs You Might Need to Take Action
There are many signs that you will need to take action to renew the romantic attraction in your relationship. Some can be spotted with ease, while others are more subtle. You may need to take some extra steps if you or your partner are:
- Fighting or arguing more than normal
- Not having sex
- Not talking to one another
- Not spending as much time together
- Have general feelings of distance
- Initiating sex only to be frequently rejected
- Feeling undervalued or ignored
- Expressing feelings of frustration or anger
- Spending more time away from home
- Taking one another for granted
First Things First: Understanding the Science of Romance
Most people don't realize that romantic attraction is linked to science. In fact, there have been many studies on falling in and out of love. What scientists have found is that there is an actual cycle that most relationships go through. Anthropologist Helen Fisher classifies these stages as:
The first is when you first begin to feel attracted to your partner. Hormones are at work here (testosterone and estrogen), and you'll want your object of affection to be just as physically attracted to you as you are him or her. Many lust-based connections never make it past this phase. Many times things fizzle out before they ever begin. Other lust-based lovers get straight to the physical part and remain 'friends with benefits.'
During the romantic attraction phase, you begin to fall head over heels. You think about him or her all the time. You sweat, your heart races, you obsess over the next time you'll see each other again. You talk on the phone all night long. You fantasize about a future together. Three chemicals: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine pump through your body. Because of this:
- You're more motivated and goal-driven
- Things seem more unique and exciting
- You'll have a lot more energy
- Sleep and food won't seem as important
- Your body may feel like it's in an 'alert state.'
This stage of the relationship feels so good. It's the stuff that fairytales are made of, what we have dreamed of since childhood. We want it to last forever. But it won't. Read that again. Biologically speaking, our brains are wired for romantic attraction of this kind to fade. But by the time it does, we have usually moved on to stage three: attachment.
Attachment involves a commitment that isn't required in phase one or two. At this point, you may get engaged, get married, and move in together. You may even start a family. Things will seem great for a while, but around year four, scientists have found that something starts to happen.
Remember the chemicals mentioned before? They start to lower. As they decrease, feelings of attraction go away and are replaced by other hormones that make you attach to your partner on a deeper level. Of course, this can happen sooner or later, depending on the circumstance.
Although this change is significant for a long-term commitment, it can ruin an otherwise healthy relationship. So, what is the solution? Keep dopamine and other romantic attraction hormones flowing. Here are some ways you can do so.
Bring Back Date Night
If you want to get back the romantic attraction in your relationship, date night is a good first step.
Making time for one another is going to be instrumental in your journey. Date night is a great opportunity to tune into one another and tune out from the rest of the world.
You are setting aside time to spend solely with your partner. This shows them that you are serious about keeping the relationship on the right track. It also does wonders to prove your dedication and loyalty to the relationship.
Another benefit to date night is making new, positive memories with one another. If harsh words or disagreements have damaged your relationship, this is a good place to start. You can rewrite your future as long as you are willing to put some effort into the present. Once you are reminded why you chose each other in the first place, it will be much easier to bridge the gap of your romantic relationship.
Start a Hobby Together
Hobbies are a great way to do something constructive while working on your relationship. If you choose the right thing, it can also foster working together as a team for a common goal.
The type of activity you choose doesn't make much of a difference. The only thing you need to worry about is that each of you will enjoy what you are doing. When you are choosing an activity to begin, take teamwork into consideration. You might choose a puzzle with one thousand pieces or take a cooking class that emphasizes having a sous chef. Anything you can do to foster completing tasks together will work.
Ballroom dancing classes are another good suggestion for a new hobby to pick up. It is romantic and has levels that everyone can learn and master. When you complete the class, you can go out dancing and show off your new skills. The memories and bond you make in class will last a lifetime.
Kiss More Often
Kissing more often can lead to a happier and more romantic relationship. This happens for several reasons.
When you kiss someone you love, it triggers the dopamine receptors in your brain. Dopamine is responsible for controlling the happy emotions we feel. When you take the time to focus on the little things, like kissing in your relationship, you open up the possibility to feel better inside and out. This could be the difference in a boring relationship and an exciting ride.
Do Something Spontaneous
If the ebb and flow of everyday life are becoming mundane, do something spontaneous together! Disrupting your regular schedule with something exciting and fun could be the perfect cure for your romantic attraction problem.
When you think spontaneous, you might be thinking hopping on the next flight out of town and winging it once you arrive. Going on trips together is a great way to get dopamine pumping again. This is an option, but it isn't the only one. If you have restrictive cashflow or time to do this, maybe you can take a road trip instead. This doesn't have to be expensive. State parks, free museums, and state fairs are all great options.
If leaving town isn't your thing, try going to an exotic new restaurant. Explore the food and cultures of other countries together. Try something risky on the menu and share food between the two of you. Even if you order something horrendous, the story you have left to tell will be the best part. The same can be said of movies, fun events, and activities. The memories you make together will do wonders to repair your relationship in the process, too. It is great for romantic attraction and attachment as well!
Don't be Afraid to be Naughty
When romantic attraction fades away, it probably hits the hardest in the bedroom. Spicing up our sex lives isn't something that many people are comfortable with talking about, but it is a good solution to your problem.
Let's face it: having the same sex over and over can be boring. After months or years of enduring the same routine in the bedroom, your romantic attraction has probably suffered. If this is the case, it is time to kick things up a notch in the bedroom. This doesn't mean you have to go full-blown BDSM, but you can implement minor changes to make things more exciting and sexier.
This could be as simple as buying a new lingerie set and surprising your husband with it. You could also go to an adult store and buy a naughty game to play in the bedroom. No matter what you choose, the changes you make in the bedroom are likely to have a ripple effect through your entire relationship.
When sex and intimacy are the cornerstones of a strong relationship, you can't afford to neglect them. Don't let something so simple be the demise of your relationship. There's no need to rush here. Proceed as your comfort level allows.
Renew Your Vows
By now, you may realize that when we are married for a long period, we can lose the fire that we once had. This is often nobody's fault; it's just the way things are.
Renewing your vows can give you the spark that you need. This is a celebration of the longevity of your relationship and a way that you can rededicate yourselves to one another. If you choose to have a ceremony, it doesn't have to be big or fancy. The most important thing is that you are choosing each other once again. You can be sure that your spouse is on the same page as you are and move forward to a happier future.
Consult a Professional
Even with our best efforts, some relationship problems are too big to handle on our own. If you are struggling to get that romantic attraction back and nothing is working, a professional can help.
A licensed couples' counselor or therapist could be the difference between your relationship now and a renewed affection for one another. A professional can help you to identify the problems in your relationship, and they can help you to form a plan to solve them.
The counselors and therapists at ReGain are fully accredited professionals with thousands of hours of experience helping people just like you. They specialize in several areas, including couples and relationship therapy. The platform at Regain is exclusively offered online, making it one of the most convenient and easily accessible ways to get the help that you need. They also offer their services around the clock, meaning you can access a professional any time of the day or night, from anywhere there is an internet connection.
The stigma that surrounds reaching out to a couples' counselor prevents many couples from taking these steps. Although it is commonly characterized as something only weak couples do, this couldn't be more untrue. Taking the necessary steps to be sure you are doing everything you can to save your relationship is a mark of strength. It means that you care about your partner, and you are willing to do what it takes to make them feel happy and secure.
We all need help at one time or another. If you are a person that values privacy or wants to remain discreet, though, online counseling is a great option. Since you can access your therapist straight from your couch, there is no need to go to extra lengths to conceal your endeavors. The counselors are bound to protect your information, so you can rest easy knowing the therapy you are getting is one hundred percent confidential.
Struggling with decreased romantic attraction in a relationship can be challenging to handle. You may not know where to turn. Even if you have tried several things to improve your situation, you may still need an extra hand. A licensed counselor or therapist could help you find the answer to all your relationship problems. Don't let your relationship suffer another day - reach out now!