What's Killing the Passion in Your Relationship
Have your and your partner started to drift? This might be what's killing the passion in your relationship.
by: E.B. Johnson
We need passion in our relationships in order to keep them together, but that passion can sometimes ebb and flow in ways that are difficult to manage. Are you and your partner beginning to drift? Do you feel the fire falling out of your bond with one another? Once you’ve admitted where things are breaking up, you can take the committed action you need to fix it — together.
Passion has to be nourished.
Passion is an emotion. But unlike many other emotions, it is so powerful that it leaves no choice but to be acted upon. This emotion is crucial in a romantic relationship, because it inspires us to act on our commitment to our partners. This manifests through the showing of affection, sticking up for them when they’re down, and fighting for the mutual future you’re building through thick and through thin.
Without passion, we lose the glue that holds our commitment together.
Our passion is the underlying current that sustains our relationships. In order for that current to continue to run strong, though, it must be fed from a deeper and more plentiful place. This is our deeper sense of self within our partnerships, as well as the shared experiences and memories that bond us in respect and gratitude. We have to nourish our passion, but to do that correctly, we have to first acknowledge where and when it’s lacking.
What’s killing the passion in your relationship.
So, what’s killing the passion in your relationship? From a loss of trust, to a collapse of affection and mutual experiences — there are many reasons behind our drift and passionless disconnect. If we want to get our partnership back on track, we have to be honest about what’s going wrong and how it affects us.
An increase in responsibility
Are you and your partner dealing with a lot more responsibility than you had at the beginning of your relationship? Maybe these responsibilities are tied into work, or maybe they are tied into the family that you’re building. Either way, these responsibilities (while rewarding) can get in the way of our passion and connection with one another. We have to make sure that we continue to make space for our love, even as our lives become more busy and hectic.
Criticizing one another
The longer we are together, the easier it becomes to see the cracks in our relationships and the person we’re with. Most of the time, we able to overlook these faults or flaws, but that becomes harder when we’re dealing with negativity or unaddressed resentment. When we stop feeling the passion, we can start falling into a pattern of criticizing one another, and that’s even more corrosive to our connection.
Losing sight of honesty
Nothing will kill the passion in your relationship like a loss of honesty or trust. Whether your partner has strayed outside of the relationship, or just failed to live up to the person they promised to be — it’s hard to be emotionally drawn to one another when we don’t feel like that’s safe. That’s what happens when a partner hurts you after you find the courage to open up to them.
Growing out of touch
Have you and your partner lost sight of the things that once brought you together? Have you stopped showing appreciation for one another or making it clear that you are grateful for their presence and their love? We need these reminders in order to feel as though we are seen and valued. It takes little time to remind your partner why you love them, and it’s important to remind yourself of the same.
Ignoring the issues
Do you or your partner have a lot of unresolved issues hanging in the air? Do you feel like you just sweep things under the rug instead of working them out? This can create a negative air of underlying resentment which erodes our connection and the sense of passion that we feel for one another. Whether it’s hurt feelings or unresolved past trauma, you and your partner have to sit down and talk things out when they go wrong.
Lacking in affection
Has the physical and emotional affection in your partnership begun to dwindle? This is a common sign of a loss of passion and one of the biggest warning signs that swift action must be taken. Affection keeps us drawn toward one another, and it makes it clear that we are still interested in one another. Before the affection flees entirely, it’s important to address what’s going on with your partner.
Detaching from self
Attachment to self and authenticity is so crucial in a relationship. Our partners fall in love with who we are, not the reflection of them we tend to become after we get into a relationship with them. In order to keep that person alive (and become the person we’re meant to be) we have to hold on to our authenticity by having a fulfilling existence within — and outside of — our relationship.
How to rediscover your passion.
The passion that exists in our relationship isn’t something that disappears forever. Just as it grows over time from the moment we meet, it can be brought back after malnourishment and neglect. To do it, we have to commit to the process and commit to taking action together. That includes opening up and building on our remaining emotional connections, while engaging in new experiences and creating new memories together.
1. Talk to each other
There are no improvements that can be made in any relationship without frank and honest dialogue. We have to talk to one another and be clear with our words. We have to tell our partners how we feel, and then we have to work together in order to come up with solutions that work. Want to bring back the passion? You have to open up to one another and have an honest conversation about what’s going on (and how you want to fix it).
Find a safe time and place to sit down and open up to one another. It needs to be free of distractions and free of interruptions. Both of you need to be able to express yourselves without interference. Be clever about the timing, too. Don’t dig in when things are tough at work or emotionally in the home.
Once you’ve got the setting right, open up and be frank about what’s going on. Let your partner know how you’re feeling about the lack of passion in your partnership and explain how you’ve come to feel that way. Stick to concrete examples and never, ever use blaming language. It’s no one’s “fault” at this point. It’s something that’s happened. Name it together, claim it, and figure out what you want to do about it.
2. Stabilize your emotional connection
If you’re in a relationship, then odds are you got there by having some kind of emotional connection. This is far more powerful than just a physical connection, because it is more lasting and lodged in root of our consciousness, emotion, and sense of self. We can use this as a starting place to get back to where we were, but only after we have been honest and open about what’s going on.
Build on the emotional connection you share and reconnect over the memories of triumph and loss that you have come through together. Remember the happy moments when you both laughed; remember the low points when you were there for your grieving partner or spouse.
Start at these emotionally critical moments and build up from there. That person you love and connect with is still in front of you. Rebuild those connections and then find ways to build even newer, deeper foundations to your relationship. Stabilize yourselves by leaning into your affection and the sense of yearning that brought you together in the first place.
3. Be more present with one another
Getting into a relationship does not stop the pressure and stress of everyday life. If anything, it can increase it in some ways. As our responsibilities mount, we can find ourselves drifting away from one another and losing our passion in the process. One way to get this back is by intentionally making space and time for one another. It’s a great way to remind ourselves of what’s important and a great way to get back to the roots of our appreciation.
Pay more intentional attention to one another. Go out of your way to pay each other compliments. Talk to one another and make it clear that you want to be a part of one another’s lives. Show affection in the least expected moments and do it not only through physical affection but also by helping your partner.
The right kind of attention is always a combination of small action and words. There’s no need to buy expensive flowers or go out of your way to prepare a fancy meal (though both of those things are also a great way to show you care). Intentional attention is nothing more than making spacefor your partner and saying, “Hey, I really care about you and I want you in my life.” That kind of validation is powerful when it comes to love.
4. Discover new experiences together
There are few remedies more powerful than trying new things when it comes to relationship malaise. Getting into uncharted waters has a way of bringing us together while testing the bounds of what our relationship means. It can be done in a fun way, though, and in a way that leaves us with an enjoyable memory that act as a passion-bonding agent in our day-to-day lives.
Create intentional time each week in which you and your partner can branch out and do new things together. You don’t have to break the bank (or quarantine restrictions). You can plan activities as simple as watching a new movie in a mutually unknown genre, or cooking a new meal that neither one of you is familiar with.
These new experiences allow us to test our skills together, but it also levels the playing field, which makes it easier to connect. We have fun when we go into the same situations blank and survive them through shared skill. It’s a bonding agent and one which creates a lot of memories for us too. Instead of forcing things branch out and get into something new as a couple.
5. Be yourselves more often
It’s impossible to be a good and happy partner to someone else when you aren’t even happy in yourself or the quality of your own life. Be have to be ourselves to be happy in a relationship. That requires being fulfilled and having a sense of getting both what you want and what you need from your life, career, and social circles at large.
Stop losing yourselves in your shared life. Spend some time building a fulfilling and satisfying inner world and outer world for yourselves. You need your own interests, experiences, and social groups in order to be fully happy as an individual. Give one another the space to do that so you can come back together stronger than before.
We should not fear giving our partners space. If you fear giving your partner any autonomy outside of your relationship, then you need to make bigger considerations and have a more down-to-earth conversation about where you are at and what you expect from one another. Take space and time to be yourselves more often. When you’re happier on an individual level, it will make you a better, more willing partner in your relationship.
Putting it all together…
Has the passion fizzled out of your relationship? Are you and your partner growing distant or finding it hard to get back to your happiness? We need to feel that excitement for one another in order to stay focused on the future that we’re building. This passion takes nourishment, though, and equal efforts from both partners in terms of maintenance and connection building.
First and foremost, open up to one another and have an honest discussion about what’s going on in your relationships. Explain your feelings to your partner and leave room for them to do the same. Find a way to compromise on your needs. Then build on your emotional connection and focus on paying more intentional attention to one another. Trying new things together is a great way to get excited about your relationship while creating new memories together. This brings a buzz back to your partnership and can help to remind you why you love one another so much. Remember to be yourselves more often, though. Build fulfilling lives as individuals so that you can come together to create a happy, rewarding, and well-rounded life together.
- Aykutoğlu, B., & Uysal, A. (2017). The Relationship between Intimacy Change and Passion: A Dyadic Diary Study. Frontiers In Psychology, 8. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02257