When Love Fades Away: Renewing The Romantic Attraction In Relationships
When you first fall in love with someone, it can be difficult to imagine that feeling ever going away, or even growing dimmer. Suddenly, the intense passion you felt for your significant other has dwindled, and you may find yourself wondering if you are attracted to them anymore. Further, you might not feel that you still love them. These emotions can be challenging to come to terms with, but they don’t have to last. Just as love and attraction can fade, they can also be rekindled with time, effort, and patience—so long as both partners are willing to put the work in.
Signs You Might Need To Take Action
There are many signs that the romantic attraction in your relationship has faded. Some can be spotted with ease, while others might be 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
Feeling unattracted to one another
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
Many relationships undergo stages of love, and much of what makes two people come together in the first place is linked to science. There have been many studies on how love can wane even within the strongest relationships. 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 to them. Many lust-based connections never make it past this phase. Most 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 falling in love. You may think about them all the time and talk on the phone, hangout, or text constantly. You might sweat, experience a racing heart, and obsess over the next time you’ll see them again. Maybe you fantasize about a future with them. 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 have a lot more energy
Sleep and food may not seem as important
Your body might feel like it’s in an ‘alert state.’
This love stage of the relationship can feel very good, and we often expect it to last forever. However, because our brains are biologically wired for romantic attraction of this kind to fade, it often doesn’t last. By the time the love has faded within a relationship, we have usually moved on to stage three of love: attachment.
Attachment involves a commitment that isn’t required in phase one or two. At this point, you may get engaged, get married, or move in together. You may even start a family. Things may seem positive and even near perfect for a while, but scientists have found that something starts to happen around year four.
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? Try to 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 or love in your relationship, date night can be a productive first step. Making time for one another can be instrumental in your journey to fight fading love and attraction. Date night is an opportunity to tune into one another and tune out from the rest of the world. During this time, you set aside uninterrupted time and devote it to your partner alone. This can help show them that you are serious about keeping the love in your relationship alive and on the right track. It can also do wonders to prove your dedication and loyalty in the relationship.
Another benefit to date night can be making new, positive memories with the person you love. If harsh words or disagreements have damaged your relationship, you may be able to rewrite your future by putting more effort into the connection you two share. When both partners are willing to work on and fix things, it can do wonders. Being reminded of the reason why you fell in love in the first place can help you bridge any gaps in your relationship.
Start A Hobby Together
Hobbies can allow you to do something constructive while working on your relationship simultaneously. If you choose the right activity, it can also foster creativity, fun, and relaxation. Likewise, you may be able to work together toward a common goal.
The type of activity you choose doesn’t have to make much of a difference. What matters is to find something that each of you can enjoy. While choosing an activity, consider looking for those that involve teamwork. You might choose a puzzle with one thousand pieces, take a cooking class that requires one of you to be the sous chef, or try ballroom dancing. Anything you can do to foster completing tasks together can help improve your sense of belonging and importance within the partnership. Additionally, the memories and bonds you make in class can last a lifetime.
Increase Physical Intimacy
When love fades away, it may hit the hardest in the bedroom. What should you do when the love is gone, and intimacy issues start to arise? The answer can depend on the couple in question, but in general, increasing the amount of physical intimacy in the relationship can help. Kissing, holding hands, making love more often can lead to a happier and more romantic relationship. This happens for several reasons. When you kiss or make love to someone that you have strong feelings more, it triggers the dopamine receptors in your brain. Dopamine is responsible for controlling the happy emotions we feel. Increasing the physical intimacy in your relationship could be the difference between a boring relationship and an exciting ride in love.
You might try new things in the bedroom, buy a new lingerie set, or go to an adult store to shop together. Instead of having the same sex routine over and over, you can spice things up by initiating sex at a different time or trying something you two have never tried together before. Even implementing minor changes can make a difference. No matter what you choose, the changes you make in the bedroom are likely to have a ripple effect throughout your entire relationship and reaffirm your love for each other. When sex and intimacy are the cornerstones of a strong relationship, you often can’t afford to neglect them. However, there’s no need to rush here. Proceed as your comfort level allows.
Renew Your Vows
If you’re married and find that your love has faded, you might consider renewing your vows. Renewing your vows can give you and your spouse the spark that you need to reignite your fading love. This is a celebration of the longevity of your relationship and a way that you can rededicate yourselves to one another, even after the initial attraction has dwindled. If you choose to have a ceremony, it doesn’t have to be big or fancy. The most important thing may simply be that you are choosing to love each other once again. Renewing your vows can also help ensure that you and your spouse are on the same page and allow you to move forward to a happier future in love.
Online Counseling With ReGain
Even with your best efforts, some relationship problems are too complicated to handle on your own. The counselors and therapists at ReGain are fully accredited professionals with thousands of hours of experience helping people just like you rekindle their love. They specialize in several areas, including couples, love, and relationship therapy. This means that no matter what you and your partner are struggling with, a ReGain counselor could help you sort it out. They can equip you with new tools to support the love within your relationship and help each of you grow as individuals and partners as well. Taking the necessary steps to ensure you are doing everything you can to save your relationship and reignite your love is a mark of strength.
The Efficacy Of Online Counseling
Couples who are struggling with reigniting the spark in their relationship could benefit from online couples therapy. In one study, researchers found evidence that couples therapy via videoconferencing was a viable alternative to face-to-face interventions. This was especially true for those couples who didn’t have proper access to the support and treatment they needed. The results of this study determined that there were also improvements in relationship satisfaction, mental health, and all other outcome scores over time.
It can be common to feel varying levels of attraction toward your partner throughout your relationship. Still, struggling with decreased romantic attraction or love that fades in a relationship can be challenging to handle. Even if you have tried several things to improve your situation, you may still need an extra hand. An online couples counselor could help answer your questions and get your relationship back on track.
Does love fade for everyone?
How long does it take love to fade?
How do you know when love fades?
Can Faded Love Come Back?
Does attraction fade over time?
How quickly do men fall out of love?
Does love fade after breakup?
How do you know if your partner doesn't love you anymore?
Why do romantic feelings fade?
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