Many couples begin drifting by becoming caught up in the various distractions of life: getting kids to soccer practice, cooking meals, care of the home and even church life. Slowly, inexorably, drift happens.
One day, you notice the change. You look across the table at your mate seated across from you, and don’t feel anything. You’re not attracted to him/her. You’re not excited to be with him/her. You wonder where the feelings have gone. But, if you’re like most other couples, you do nothing.
Here are some tips written by Dr. David Hawkins to rediscover your mate:
1. Become intentional about rediscovering your mate. Learning about anything takes an initial decision and intentionality. When we make a solid decision on anything, we set aside time, determine what we want to accomplish, set specific goals, and follow through. Talk to your mate about a decision to become best friends again.
2. Cultivate an inquisitiveness and curiosity about your mate. Even if you don’t feel interested at the start, you can cultivate an interest in your mate. While you may sense they aren’t the same person you married, you aren’t the same either. These changes and differences can now be a source of interesting discovery. If you sense you don’t know them, don’t fret. In many ways, this can make the experience all the more interesting.
3. Experiment with new experiences. The foremost creator of boredom is an absence of sensual experiences. It is very difficult to be bored when our senses are awake and alive. Recently my wife, Christie and I went away for the weekend. We left work behind, slept in, went to the movies, out to dinner, and even wandered around a bookstore. We worked out at a gym, browsed the local shops. And we talked about these experiences. Our buckets were filled with experiences, excitement of our senses, and simply being available to each other.
4. See annoyances in a new light. Yes, your mate is different from you. They laugh different, think different, even believe different about things. These differences are not a hurdle to overcome, but aspects to be appreciated. Don’t try to coax your mate to be more like you, but see differences through new eyes as sources of new energy for your relationship.
5. Give one another feedback on your experiences. Learning to date again is really a matter of trial and error. In the early days of dating, you gave each other consistent feedback on your experiences. You based future decisions on earlier ones. If something was exciting, you did it again. If it was less than exciting, you changed directions. The same applies today. You and your mate are fully capable of awakening your excitement for each other, but it will take trial and error, seeking experiences you both find pleasurable.