There is such a thing as being too close to someone. Here is a simple experiment. Hold your hand in front of your face. Now move it so close that your palm touches the tip of your nose. Can you still see your hand clearly? Likely not as well as if you hold it a comfortable distance away. A little distance gives you some perspective and clarity. 

I often see couples in therapy that are more like roommates than soulmates. They are more like brother and sister than husband and wife, or better yet boyfriend and girlfriend. They report that there is no more passion, no more spark, nothing new, same old-same old, boring and mundane. Life has devolved into an endless routine of work and taking care of kids. In fact many of these couples will say, "I love you but I'm not in love with you anymore." And the sad truth is many of these perfectly good relationships will come to an end.

The secret to lasting passion is not more communication or more date nights. It's more separateness! I don't mean the kind of separateness where you are living separate lives and never see each other except for a few minutes in the kitchen on the way to the next activity. I'm talking about creating a space where passion, romance and love can naturally exist. A space where there is room for the unknown, for surprise, for mystery and the unexpected. That's sort of how it is when people are first getting to know each other isn't it? That time when you first saw the other person from a distance and they looked so intriguing. That time when there was a lot more questions than answers: Will they say yes? Will they show up? What will they be wearing? Will they like what I'm wearing? Where can I take them they haven't been before? Will I get a kiss at the end of the night? What if I do? What if they don't? Will they want to see me again? 

Remeber that time? Passion, romance, and love don't live in the world of the domestic. They live in the realm of mystery. That's why some relationships improve when couples get away on vacation. New experiences can create the space that allows people to breath once again. But how do you create that same feeling at home? Here are a few ideas.

  1. ​Have an email address that you use for the sole purpose of flirting with your mate. Here you don't discuss anything domestic. No kids, groceries or banking. This is the place for sharing something naughty, fun, exciting and even a bit daring. Tell your partner something about yourself that they may not know. Soon you will be checking this email more than your work emails!
  2. ​Plan a rendevous after work or for dinner. Have your partner meet you at the pub or restaurant rather than go together. Suggest that they dress up for the occasion! You may not even recognize them when they first walk in the door!
  3. ​​Look for ways to surprise your mate. Change it up. Do something unexpected every day. Keep them on their toes. Arrange for the kids to be away for the evening and plan a romantic night, wear something new to bed, make love in a different room, try an evening of massage without expecting sex.

​When you can see each other in a new and refreshing way the sparks will return and with time, so will the love. Happy Valentines Day!

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Posted January 29, 2015

Are You Too Close to Your Mate?


Pacific Family Life Counselling