Love is possibly the best thing that can happen to us, while at the same time, it’s the most complex, especially when we are well aware that we are well past the initial infatuation stage and we start to see the the shape and form of love stubbornly changing. There is a lot to be read about love turning into friendship over years, about the importance of respect and how passion is a thing of beginnings only. But everything points to the fact that theories have shifted slightly. The recipe for perfect love requires three ingredients: passion, intimacy and compromise. As a foreword I can only write that everyone navigates towards these things, but the real problem arises when we get the feeling that love is taken for granted, or think that our partner will be there forever. It’s not about whether you’re married or not, but rather more about forgetting how full of surprises life really is and how we never know, what’s waiting around the corner. I’m not saying we should stand guard – that would mean we would constantly live our lives under stress – but it’s important to nourish our relationships on a daily basis and take enough time for our love.
So, if you’re in a crisis, you should know that it’s not yet time to accept defeat, but you should certainly try to find the three magical ingredients, the ones that were once on the menu every day. The key is to tackle everything together, because as long as only one side is trying, the relationship will be difficult to repair. Synergy between partnes should always be present.
Passion. Of course it’s nice to know each other for so long and feel that everything is about tenderness, but you shouldn’t forget about passion. This is what Dr Anna Papacarne believes, a specialised sexologist who discovered that a lack of passion is a “killer” that spreads its influence to watching too much TV or killing time on the computer. So when the evening comes, the kids are in bed and both you and your partner are finally home, you should turn the distractions off and have a conversation instead. Open all the drawers where the flashback from the past are put away, I guarantee you’ll find heaps of moments when things were just incredible between the two of you. Even visualising these moments can be therapeutic and can help you find a new balance. You can help the process along by using different /accessories/, such as candles, beautiful lingerie, a steamy bubble bath … Dr Papacarne says these are all perfectly normal tricks that we stop using a couple of years into the relationship and start feeling as if they weren’t necessary. They are necessary. Just remember your beginnings, how important it was to put a bit of perfume on, or a laced bra, how important it was to get flowers or a box of chocolates … all of this can be a new introduction into passion. It really doesn’t take much.
Intimacy. Intimacy is actually a rather complex matter, because it demands us to be 100 % sincere and trust our partner completely. This includes telling him anything we don’t like. Don’t worry, you can do this, but it’s important to find the right words and realise that every human being on the planet keeps changing, so you have to be flexible and understand that we change as well. Maybe our goals or tastes were different in the past, so don’t let anybody tell you: “You’ve changed, career didn’t used to matter to you”, or anything like that. It probably just didn’t matter, because you didn’t have one yet. Everybody has the right to find their own path, even if it is completely different from the one you were on ten years ago. But of course you should be sensible and sensitive enough to find the right words to explain to your partner, how you feel. There is always a way and there is always a moment, you just have to find it.
Compromise. Now, don’t think you’re always right. This attitude is misguided, it leads nowhere. Of course you have your demands and wishes, but so does your partner. Learn to say “Thank you” and “Good job”, we usually don’t hear those words often enough and it makes us forget to use them: wrong. Both partners’ wishes should be satisfied in a healthy relationship, both partners should take care that their wishes come true. A couple is a living organism that needs lots of food and water in order to survive. Some people aren’t even aware that they inhibit their partner’s ideas and wishes; that they’re letting their partner know they’re not going to succeed. Don’t make the same mistakes. Learn to listen. We’ve become too deaf or immune to things that don’t have to do with us. This is in a way a reflection of the modern times and one of the reasons that love suffers so badly.