This is a question I get asked quite a bit actually…
“How can we Spice things up?”
People tend to get into a long term relationship and eventually the newness, surprise and spice starts to fade. So they look for ways to “spice it up”. Sounds simple right? …and really common too. But it’s actually much more significant of an issue than people realize. Let me explain.
Love and Passion work like a see-saw. The deeper and deeper we go into love, the passion starts to float up, up and away. Love is created from sameness…having things in common. So, the longer we are together, the more things we start to have in common, the deeper we go into love. And that’s wonderful!
But, the opposite dynamic is also taking place. The longer we are together, the LESS and LESS differences we have in life. While sameness creates love, it’s the differences that create the PASSION! So, as time goes on, we merge our lives more and more and we end up with fewer and fewer things that really create difference. That’s when the passion starts to fizzle.
This also usually happens to coincide with the time in life when we are getting much busier than we have ever been. Between the kids, the house, business and work, couples just don’t have “extra” time to engage in different activities the way they did before getting married.
This is how so many people slip into passion-less relationships. Passion-less relationships are overwhelmingly common today. So if you thought you were the only one, let me just assure you, you are not!
So, when people ask me how to “spice things up?”, I take this quite seriously.
One of the quickest ways to “spice things up” or create more passion in your relationship is to create more differences!
This begins with a shift in mindset when we decide to:
- STOP trying to get our partner to be like us
- STOP trying to get them to do everything we do and
- STOP making them cut out doing everything we don’t do with them
Those three are passion killers!
Cultivate the differences! Sure, if he wants to play sport and you don’t, that’s an easy one….stop resenting him for it and enjoy him going off to play! If she wants to start a garden and you don’t….help her to have the time to do that, so she can enjoy her time there for the rest of the summer.
But not all of us have physical TIME to DO different things. This is where we take it to the next level. Here’s the thing…..start appreciating what’s actually DIFFERENT about your partner!
A very common relationship dynamic when couples first get together is for them to seek out all that they have in common as a way to create the relationship. And then once the relationship has begun, couples seek to add more things in common as a way to strengthen the relationship. During all this time, all your focus is on what you have in common and building more things in common (friends, activities, where you live, vacations, etc) And that’s great for your friendship and your love.
Let me ask you this: Did you ever notice that when you are looking for a blue car, all you see is blue cars. In that moment, 7 white cars could pass by, but you wouldn’t notice because you are only looking for blue.
Well, in relationship dynamics, all those beautiful, unique, quirky, interesting, compelling differences that you first experienced in your partner become like the white cars…you don’t see them anymore when you are only focusing on the things you have in common.
And, unfortunately, in your life today, your EXPERIENCE of those differences shows up as things that annoy you about your partner…because they are NOT like you! So, begin by starting to SEE and then APPRECIATE the differences in your partner that are right there in front of you!! I know you know what’s different about your partner off the top of your head….because it’s the stuff that’s bugging you.
Well, turn it around. Look at that difference and seek to understand how that is SERVING you!!! Every single unique brilliance that your partner brings to the party is there to complement something that you totally suck at! 😉 Ok, maybe not every one…but you know what I mean.
Take me and Paul. I’m “big vision and possibilities” girl. Paul is “grounded, analytical, dynamics and processes” guy. That could be a perfect equation for butting heads and frustration.
Instead, I choose to DELIGHT in Paul’s amazing talents…because I do suck at most of them 😉….and because me and Paul together make an unstoppable force! Translation, he tells me how I can actually get all the crap I think-up DONE!
Sooooo, how about you? What are some of the key differences between you and your partner? And what could you begin to appreciate about that?
Try this exercise….
- Take out a piece of paper and make two columns.
- In the left column, list a few of the differences you noted about your partner.
- In the right column, list ways in which this quality they posses, could actually serve you
- For instance, how does it make your life better, compliment a weakness of yours, make life easier, serve your kids, help your business, make the world a better place??
Then take just ONE of those traits on your list and do two things with it:
- Go THANK your partner for this quality that he or she possesses. Tell them what it provides for you, tell them you do NOT possess it and you are glad they do….appreciate them!
- Post that quality of theirs below and how it serves you so we can all celebrate your amazing sweetie-pie!!!!
Ok, in next week’s post, I’ll give you some of my tips and tricks for Spicing things up with your man or your woman…using my super-ninja powers of male/female dynamics!!!! Look for it…and you will have them falling all over you!!!
13 thoughts on “How to Spice It Up!…Part One”
Oh Stacey, My husband and I are so different and for years I wanted him to be just like me. When I think about why I fell in love it was becuase he was different. I am more of a let get things done quickly kind of girl and move on to the next quickly, I move from my gut. He is more analytical, cautious and really takes his time in making decisions. After so many years married and fighting these differences, I am looking at him with understanding and love for his patience. When I think back to all our stuggles it is his patience that got us through so much.
My action plans keep us moving forward and his patiences kept us grounded.
If only I can rememeber that every day and not fight to make him just like me.
Thank you for this exercise, awarness is always a good start.
Great I love this article and having more clear about that this differences are important, and have a reason. Thank You.
Thank you so much for sharing this Ana!!!! So beautifully said!!!! YAY!!!! Let's all take a moment and celebrate Joe!!!!! You two are the most beautiful compliment to each other!!! Love you!!!
Awesome Lisa! Thank you so much for sharing!!! You are so inspiring! Lisa, I love that you take everything you learn and go put it into action! You are amazing!!! Love you!
So many couples our age (middle years) are calling it quits. I think you have hit the nail on the head in this article, Stacey. Thank you for giving couples a ray of hope in the struggle of differences to help us all realize that the differences are blessings. I love your statement: "me and Paul together make an unstoppable force". That is soooo me and my Tom.
Thank you so much for sharing here Julie!!! Your experience and insight make a great contribution!!! You and Tom ARE that unstoppable force!!! Love you both!
Brilliant content as always Stacey Martino! No wonder you're the Love and Pasiion Coach!
Awe Thanks Kelly!!!! I so appreciate you sharing here! And every day that I experience your brilliance there is no question why you are the MAVEN of how to get things DONE!!!
Thx for the insight; I struggle to appreciate the differences whether with work or personal relationships….this is a good reminder.
I LOVE this Stacey! I see so many couples around me who are in that ‘passion-less’ phase, and I think ‘it doesn’t have to be this way’!
Thank you for sharing a fundamental truth, that I think more people need to hear! Love you!
Thank you so much Sarada!!! And thanks for stopping by and sharing here!!! Sending love to you….miss you!
Absolutely Jacqueline! So glad this served you! Thanks for sharing here! Sending love!
Now you tell me….
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