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What Makes the Excitement in a Relationship Go Cold?

by Mitch Reid, studioD

After about two years of marriage, even content couples notice that the happiness boost that accompanies the initial thrill of love begins to fade, reports professor of psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky in her New York Times article, " New Love: A Short Shelf Life." She bases her observations on a 2003 report by American and European researchers who monitored over 1,000 married people over 15 years. While couples often find ways to keep the spark alive, others find it difficult to maintain the warmness of the relationship. Some couples, whether they are married or not, might even feel attraction fade long before the two-year mark. Discover some common reasons relationships lose their luster, and then you search for ways to revive your love life.

Becoming One

While some level of dependence is expected in a typical relationship, a merged identity can kill the romance, suggests clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone in her Psychology Today article, "Why the Spark Fades in a Relationship." In the case of merged identity, you and your partner lose sight of boundaries and begin to view each other as one, rather than two separate people. With a loss or decrease in individuality, you can lose interest in each other's unique traits, which are no longer as obvious as when you first met, suggests Firestone.

Lack of Self-Care

Once you feel comfortable in a relationship, it's easy to lose sight of your personal appearance, suggests Firestone. This could lead to a decrease in physical activities, or an increase in poor dietary choices, such as drinking more often. A partner who is afraid of hurting your feelings, or perhaps even initially unaware of your physical changes, might assure you of her constant love. However, over time, your lack of self-care can begin to wear away at your partner's physical attraction to you.

Lack of Adventure

Perhaps your relationship is less exciting because you engage in less exciting activities, suggests Firestone. Just as it's easy to lose track of your own appearance, it's also easy to forget to seek out novel activities and practice spontaneity. Some routine is expected, especially if you both have classes or work hours to maintain. However, remember to keep romance alive by doing out on dates and trying new things together.

Poor Communication

Some couples talk, but they fail to actually relate. For example, there’s a difference between talking about your emotions, dreams and future goals and talking about household chores and bills. Meaningful conversations remind couples of their loving feelings, suggests Firestone. In addition, the presence of stonewalling, or completely dismissing your partner's words and perspective, can quickly cause a relationship to turn cold, suggests consultant in family violence Steven Stosny in his Psychology Today article, "How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Relationship." Some people tend to stonewall to gain control in a relationship, while others are simply avoiding a partner’s complaints or opinions.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.

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