The post-butterfly stage of a relationship provides stability, respect, contentment and trust, which add up to long-term commitment and a lifelong relationship. But just because you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you have to give up excitement and passion. And it doesn't mean he or she isn't your 'soulmate.'
"Nothing has produced more unhappiness than the concept of the soul mate.” -Rhonda M. Farrah, MA, DRWA
Where Have All the Soul Mates Gone?...They’re Probably With The Butterflies That Are No Longer Fluttering (In One’s Stomach)!
New love. Waiting by the phone … talking all night long … and, yes, the ever-present butterflies in the stomach.
It’s unfortunate that many people walk away from potentially great relationships simply because “the butterflies are gone.” If there is such a thing as a soulmate, it's definitely not something you discover in the butterfly stage. And it doesn't mean that butterflies stay forever, if only you find the right person. It’s not that the butterflies aren’t important; they are a basic part of the attraction process with a biological foundation. With that in mind, let’s take a quick trip back to chemistry class.
What Causes Butterflies?
When we enter a relationship, Mother Nature provides a bunch of brain chemicals that help us bond, fall in love and eventually propagate the species. During the first six to 18 months of a new relationship, there’s an increase in levels of several brain chemicals. Some of these chemicals are kissin’ cousins of amphetamines, so we can find our hearts racing when we think of our partners and even become flush and perspire. We find ourselves able to stay up all hours of the night and get anxious when we don’t get a partner “fix.”
Over time, these addictive brain chemicals slowly reduce and our “normal” selves emerge to once again think about friends, family and jobs and not just focus on our partner. This is actually a new stage in a relationship. For many couples, when they feel the butterflies flitting away, they assume love has flitted away as well.
Many people try to find (and keep) a relationship that will stay in the chemical-high stage forever. These folks are identified by the fact that they move from relationship to relationship every year or so and never seem to hang around long enough to discover what the next stage has to offer. This is an unfortunate way to live. Let’s consider an alternative.
The post-butterfly stage of a relationship provides stability, respect, contentment and trust, which add up to long-term commitment and a lifelong relationship. But just because you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you have to give up excitement and passion. And it doesn't mean he or she isn't your 'soulmate.' The good news – it is possible to get those brain chemicals flowing again. The bad news – it requires work.
Fueling The Fire
If you’ve ever built a fire you know that at first it burns hot and fast because paper and kindling catches easily. Hopefully, the paper and kindling ignite the logs and you’re left with red glowing coals that will slowly burn all night. To rekindle the passion in your relationship, remember what kindling worked when you first started dating and throw some of that back on the coals. Visit the place where you had your first date, or do the little, sweet, sentimental things for each other that you did early in your relationship.
Another way to bring back the passion is to get out of your comfort zone and do something new together. Join a co-ed soccer team, take a class together (cooking, dancing, photography, art) or try out for community theater. The activity itself doesn’t matter so much – just find something that you’ll both enjoy and do it.
The Miracle Of Touch
One of the easiest ways to bring romance back to the forefront is through touch. When a person is touched in a loving way, the hormone oxytocin is released (yes, we’re back in chemistry class). Called the “cuddle chemical,” oxytocin makes us feel loved and content, bonds us and brings us closer together. Making love causes this effect, but similar feelings can be produced by holding hands, hugging, giving each other massages, cuddling, etc.
Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine
Don’t forget to have fun. Laughing is another way to produce endorphins (the addictive, feel-good brain chemicals). You may have reached a point in your relationship where life’s stresses have caught up with you and you no longer laugh and have fun with your partner. Guess what? It’s time for a change. Dress up for Halloween, go to a comedy club, try Karaoke Night, watch a comedy – do something that makes you both laugh. Laughter is a powerful thing and can be the spark you need to re-ignite the fire.
Regardless of how long you’ve been together, if you feel the butterflies flying away, give your relationship an honest assessment. Before you cut and run and go in search of new and prettier butterflies ask yourself this: Is the love really gone – or is your relationship simply at a crossroads? Don’t abandon a solid relationship because Mother Nature is playing chemistry games with your heart and head. Consider your options and choose wisely.
Are You Ready To Celebrate Life…as well as, A Romantic Love Relationship! Let’s Talk! To Your Health, Wellness, & Empowerment…NOW!