A question I hear a lot is “Does the spark in the relationship always have to go away?”
The answer is actually both yes AND no.
There are a lot of factors that go into creating the ‘spark’ – that excitement, the wanting to know everything about one another, thinking about each other all the time, having long conversations, the intense physical and emotional attraction – in the beginning of a relationship.
At this point in the relationship, we’re doing the work to really get to know our person and to bond with them. It’s not something that we think about, but getting to know our partners in the beginning and bonding with them, this is relationship work – but, in the honeymoon phase, it doesn’t seem like work.
And what we’re looking for when we’re putting in this work, is familiarity, to really know someone and to have them know us. Familiarity equals security, something we’re all looking for in relationships. But over time, this familiarity, the very thing we’ve been after, is the very thing that can cause that spark to deflate.
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So yes, the normal flow of a relationship usually sees the initial excitement wearing off, to be replaced by familiarity, but the spark can be reignited. By showing genuine curiosity toward your person again, you can recreate that wonderful period of novelty and excitement. What drove your relationship at the beginning was curiosity about one another. You can bring back that curiosity with some exercises, like Dr. Harville Hendrix’s three-step process for really listening to your partner, figuring out how they think, and getting to know who they really are.
The Three Steps of the Imago Dialogue Technique Are:
When your partner talks to you about something that’s important to them, you can show them that you’re really listening and understand what they’re saying by repeating it back to them.
Validate your person’s experience. This isn’t about agreeing with them all the time, but really understanding their perspective.
This means working to really think about and understand what your person might be going through.
Remember the time, energy, and focus you directed toward the relationship at the beginning? This can still be expressed later on, through intentional communication. With just a little effort, and a little curiosity about each other, you can make your love work.
Are You Ready to Have a More Exciting, More Fulfilling Relationship?
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In the following video, I talk about the forces that work together to create the ‘spark’ in the honeymoon phase of the relationship and give examples of how you can use the three steps of the Imago Dialogue technique to revitalize curiosity and excitement in your relationship.