In the beginning of a new relationship, nothing is more interesting than hearing your new love interest tell you everything about themselves, their likes, dislikes, childhoods, travels, even their day-to-day activities; anything and everything! When a person is in the first throes of falling in love, a stage called “limerance”, he or she wants to learn as much as possible about their new romantic interest. No detail is too small to be considered fascinating.
All of this information helps a person make the decision about whether or not to pursue a relationship with this new partner. Couples also do a lot of new things together in the first stage of a relationship which allows them to learn about who their partner is in different situations and how they behave in the company of friends, family, and even strangers.
However, once enough information has been “gathered” for the relationship to proceed to the next step, people then look for the next need in their partner, which is predictability. This is also an important part of a relationship as in order to feel confident in building a life together, people need to feel stable. Once people have gotten comfortable with feeling like they know their partner pretty well, things can tend to settle into a routine.
Watching TV, walking the dogs, doing the shopping, cleaning the house are all part of the maintenance stage of the relationship in which partners get comfortable with things as they are. However, sometimes couples can get a little too comfortable in this stage and may feel like they have fallen into a rut of monotony. This is where the “spark” of the initial phase and excitement in the relationship can begin to sputter out.
Finding the balance between the dual human needs for novelty and predictability is one of the challenges of maintaining a long-term relationship. As any long-term couple will tell you, keeping the “spark” alive is a matter of intention. One of the secrets to maintaining excitement in a long-term relationship is to continue to explore new adventures to experience together.
Getting out of your routine and looking for new opportunities to see your partner in a different light is one of the best ways to infuse novelty into your relationship. Seeing a new band together, hitting up a new restaurant, making new friends, and exploring new adventures with your partner gives you both the chance to meet your need for novelty and make new memories together.
Take the opportunity to do something new, fun, and exciting with your partner this weekend. Forget the list of chores and go hit up a free concert! It might just pay off with a kick start to your relationship.