It is completely natural for excitement to fade after the initial few months of a relationship. The excitement of newfound intimacy is difficult to replicate as months and years of monogamy wear on. While you and your partner of course grow closer and develop a meaningful emotional connection, that intimacy can come with a price. The bond we form at the beginning of a relationship is often based on a passionate physical connection and emotional distance. That distance allows us to fill in the gaps with a fantasy that fades as reality creeps in. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a pattern to look out for.
It can be difficult to communicate these feelings with your partner, which is where relationship therapy can help. In the meantime, consider these factors that can cause the spark to fizzle:
- Harboring resentment— When you get to know someone very well, live with them, spend years with them, there are going to be nagging issues about their personality, your compatibility, or your connection that build up. If you never address these issues in a meaningful way, “emotional walls” are built, which can drive a wedge between you.
- Failing to share activities— Maintaining some sense of novelty is important, so regularly spending time together outside of boring daily schedules is an important way to maintain interest, grow together, and share new experiences. You should slow down and take time to relate in order to secure your emotional bond.
- Sharing too many activities— You don’t want to share activities to the point where your identities have merged, however. The key to desire is mystery and independence, so you should never stop investing in yourself and maintaining your own passions and hobbies, just because your partner doesn’t share your interests.
- Loss of physical attraction— This one can be hard to deal with. If your partner has gained a lot of weight, for example, and you no longer feel sexually attracted to them, you are not a terrible person. Desire and attraction isn’t something that you choose and control. But, you need to do some internal work and examine your own beliefs about body image and how it relates to internal value. You can reframe your concept of what sex can look like— a sensual experience instead of a hot fantasy, for example. This is something you should definitely talk to a therapist about before bringing it up with your partner.