7 Subtle Things That Can Take The Magic Out Of A Relationship
Relationships are always great in the beginning. As time goes on, the magic that was once so present can slowly start to fade. But according to experts, it doesn't have to. All you have to do is be careful of the subtle behaviors that may be taking the magic out of your relationship.
There are many different ways to define the "magic" in a relationship. For instance, Jocelyn and Aaron Freeman, relationship coaches and authors of The New Power Couple, tell Bustle, it's the "authentic, transparent connection that leads to the ongoing experience of love." While Dr. Caroline Madden, relationship therapist and author defines it as "the spark."
Regardless of how you see it, the magic of a relationship is usually felt in the beginning when everything is new and exciting. The good news is, you can keep it alive. "Instead of looking for ways to breathe heat back into your relationship after the fact, consider some ways to keep the magic alive by not killing it to begin with," matchmaker Joann Cohen, tells Bustle.
Nobody wants the magic in their relationship to fade. So here are some ways you may be taking the magic out of your relationship without you realizing it, according to experts.
1. Spending Too Much Time Together
While at first you may have spent some time apart, "now that the relationship is in full-swing you want to be together 24/7," Cohen says. "If all you see is each other day after day, then you are bound to get sick of one another." That can kill the magic real quick. You should always be there for your partner when they need you, but you don't have to be together all the time in order to keep your relationship on track. "Let your partner have their life and you have yours," Cohen says. "At the end of the day meet up to compare and you will actually have something to talk about."
2. Forgetting To Check In On Each Other's "Inner Worlds"
People are constantly changing. When you're with someone for a long time, it's easy to forget that. As licensed clinical social worker, Meg Josephson, tells Bustle, "Sometimes long-term partners make the (understandable) mistake of assuming everything is the same." So to encourage ongoing connectivity, it's important to make an effort to ask and understand your partner's likes, dislikes, dreams, and dears. "Making an effort to make you check in on these things will reinforce your closeness, and will add dimension to your long-term love," she says.
3. Limiting Your Physical Contact To Just Sex
Sex shouldn't be the only time you and your partner touch each other. "Even if you and your partner aren't 'touchy feely,' maintaining regular physical contact outside of the bedroom goes far in fostering closeness," Josephson says. For instance, the Gottman Institute for Relationships, says that couples should try sharing a six-second kiss twice a day. Doing so can help you feel way more connected to your partner than a quick peck on the lips.
4. Feeling The Need To Make Your Relationship "Perfect"
Working on your relationship is good and necessary if you want to see it last. But you should never shoot for perfection as that will only take the magic out of it. "Look for the positives within your relationship versus the things that you see as negative," licensed marriage and family therapist, Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, tells Bustle. When you can let go and focus on the bigger picture, you can enjoy your relationship a lot more.
5. Doing Your Own Thing Before Going To Bed
If you and your partner live together, it's common to want some quiet time to read a book, catch up on social media, or turn in early after a long day at work. But as Irina Baechle, LCSW, relationship therapist and dating Coach, tells Bustle, this can take the magic out of your relationship without you realizing it. If you aren't taking the time to show affection or just talk to your partner before bed, you can lose the connection sooner or later. "Affectionate touch is a powerful way to keep the magic in your relationship and rekindle passion," Baechle says.
6. Keeping Your Feelings To Yourself Because You Don't Want To Start A Fight
Withholding important communication because you fear tough conversations is one surefire way to hurt your relationship. While you think keeping things quiet will keep your relationship in a positive place, it can have the opposite effect down the road. "Over time, this can start to create a rift in your connection and you will subtly find that you feel irritated, disconnected and even resentful because you've been avoiding the tough conversations," the Freemans say. In order to prevent bigger problems, it's important to share your feelings as soon as you notice them. "You might feel vulnerable in the moment, but you'll feel more connected as you communicate," they say.
7. Thinking Your Relationship Is Good Exactly How It Is
You may like your relationship exactly how it is. But thinking it's going to stay that way forever is a big mistake. When you aren't actively working to make your relationship grow, it's easy to fall into a routine. Getting out of it is easy enough. "Sometimes when relationships get stuck in a rut, you just need to do something out of the ordinary as a couple to make things fun and exciting again," McBain says. This can be as simple as trying a new restaurant each week.
It's completely normal for the magic in your relationship to fade as time goes on. But it doesn't have to. Just be mindful about what you're doing in your relationship. If you can keep these things in mind, you can keep the magic alive for a long time.