“We just… fell out of love.” We hear about it happening. We might even know someone who it happened to. Sadly, sometimes people aimlessly wander out of love.
Falling out of love doesn’t happen because of one incident or conflict or even a single underlying issue or problem. It usually happens as a result of drift. A result of a lack of purpose and a lack of intentional connection. A by-product of letting life take over, or just being consumed by the day-to-day.
We believe that, if this happens, it doesn’t have to be the end. You CAN fall back IN love again. But if you’re afraid this might be happening to you now or may in the future there are a number of things you can both do to help prevent drift from undermining your intimacy.
Ok, here’s the core idea:
Stay connected through the years constantly choosing to love your spouse and share your life with them in an intimate way.
Sounds a little too simple right? Possibly. But it’s absolutely doable. And, according to The Gottman Institute can take as little as a 6 hour per week investment to keep you on track.
Here’s the deal. Couples need to ensure that they’re maintaining a healthy level of connection and communication. This IS the ball game! Staying connected and communicating well is the platform for growth and intimacy in your relationship. Otherwise, you drift… apart… slowly.
Another big factor here is when you notice that your spouse has changed. What if your spouse changes? Change is inevitable. In you and in them. In your relationship and in your life together. But that doesn’t need to ruin your relationship. Staying close THROUGH the changes is what helps us keep our intimacy.
So HOW can you keep falling in love with each other? Here are a few steps to help stay close, stay in love, prevent drift and restore closeness.
1. Be Intentional
When you’re intentional about being and staying connected to each other you are moving towards intimacy, not away from it. It means you’re scheduling date nights, starting conversations, switching your phone off to connect, initiating sex and choosing to love when you don’t feel like it.
2. Be Involved
When you’re involved in each other’s lives, the day-to-day normal stuff, the highs and lows, in success and in grief you are preventing drift from even starting. Ask questions, ask about their day,
3. Walk Through Life Change Together
Growing together and in the same direction means you need to walk through change with each other. Job transitions, losing a loved one, ageing parents, starting a small business at home, changes in routine, kids growing up, having a baby… these are all good examples of change that must be navigated together. When you do this, you grow together because you’ve been inside all the challenge and difficult moments with each other.
4. Challenge Them (But Be Kind)
Sometimes you notice an attitude, behaviour or habit that you don’t want in your future together. Maybe a sit-down and a ‘chat’ is needed. If you don’t like an attitude, new direction, inappropriate relationship, spending habits, etc, it’s healthy to talk it through. Challenge them about it, but do it with kindness. Help them see what you see and walk it out together. Speak the truth but don’t forget the love. And don’t bring it up late at night 🙂
Stopping drift and falling in love over and over again is absolutely possible. We just need to be intentional, present, engaged and keep choosing to LOVE no matter what.
Keep loving, stay happy.
Darren & Beck Chapman