Dear Miss Kitty,
We love each other but every few years it seems we just start fading away. We want to know how to keep a spark alive in a relationship?
Richard and Susan
Dear R and S,
Water heaters stay in a perpetual path of readiness with the help of a little something known as a pilot light. A tiny flame continually at the ready, assuring us that hot and steamy water is there for the asking. When the light malfunctions due to neglect or is extinguished due to stormy weather, we are thrust into the cold and into the arms of a Mr. Fix It, complete with schedules, estimates and just enough inconvenience to make us frustrated.
So what happens when the “pilot light” goes out in a relationship? Do we convince ourselves we like cold showers? Shall we put the old appliance out on the curb and order a new one? How do we keep the flame burning brightly even when we run out of gas?
One can hardly expect a steady stream of romance to be more than a tepid trickle if fuel is not added on a regular basis. Consistent appreciations are necessary to not only keep the flame lit but give it a reason to flicker. An appreciation is something from either the verbal or non verbal world that says: “You are my special person”.
The need to feel truly loved, needed and unique in the eyes of our beloved is ultimately what keeps us both desiring relationships and the reason so many relationships fail. To consistently give authentic appreciations is much harder than it seems.
All of us under oath would have to admit that if our “specialness” was validated by our significant other on a regular basis we would feel more loving. To work on this, think of the way you were (Barbara fans- now is a good time to sing) in the beginning of the relationship and be a lot more like that. Funny how we recognize the critical importance of recognition when dating, but once the lease is signed we let it slip away and in doing so we allow this crucial aspect of love to elude us, just when we want it most.
Appreciations must be in a language that can be heard or felt by the receiver. Finding out what that might be is harder than installing a new water heater with an eye lash curler and some Bubble Yum- but so worth the effort. People generally like for themselves what they do for others. Once you learn how to give appreciations you are on your way to affection if not downright adoration.
Keeping rose colored glasses super glued to our faces for a life time is hard work. We need to learn the art of communication and that means learning how to truly listen. It means when one talks the other does not do anything but really hear. To confirm we really got it, we say it back until we get it right. When we do this we are taking the time to let the other know they are really understood. Feeling understood means we feel safe. We don’t tend to think of feeling safe as a precursor to romance but knowing our psyche is protected by our lover can transform us from living in our heavily guarded castle, to willingly strolling across an open drawbridge and joining our beloved for a picnic in a flower filled field.
Are you wondering where the 101 quick-romantic- steamy- sexy –how- to –guide is? Not here boys and girls. With Miss Kitty as my non de plume I wouldn’t blame you, but it takes genuine maturity to have a eternal flame and that is what we are forever after.
Darling Richard, Susan, Boys and Girls, in this world you get what you pay for and part of the dues of a great relationship is making sure you prioritize your beloved. If it’s been a long time since you felt loved or loving, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself: “when was the last time I made an real effort to show my partner how much they matter to me?”
Have a naughty day!