By Jack Ito
You know that you love your partner, but don’t have those “in love” feelings anymore. You miss it and you want those feelings back. Some people are willing to have an affair to have those feelings–risking everything they have with their partner. Trying to fill one hole by taking dirt from somewhere else just makes another hole. But, there are ways to re-create the feeling of being in love with the partner that you already have.
It isn’t the things that other people do that cause us to feel in love with them. If it were, then we would all fall in love with the same people. One person’s loveable silliness is another person’s dull stupidity. Some fall in love with tigers while others fall in love with doves. Even with the same person things that we really enjoyed when we were in love with them can be irritating after that feeling is gone.
The causes of our feelings of love are related to: 1) how we behave toward our partner, 2) how we interpret our partner’s behavior, and 3) how well our needs are met. The movie “Castaway” with Tom Hanks showed how a man desperately needy for companionship fell in love with a soccer ball he affectionately called “Wilson”. Wilson actually did nothing, but was talked to and treated specially by Hank’s character. When we are needy for love, attention, affection, comfort or many things, we can easily develop feelings of love for someone who meets that need, even if in other ways they are woefully inadequate (did you ever ask yourself, “Wow, how can she fall in love with that guy?”). But, after the need has been met for some time, the initial intense feelings of being in love fade away and we become dissatisfied with what we have left.
Even when we have a wonderful partner, the feeling of being in love will come and go. To increase the frequency and intensity of the love you feel, there are some things you can do:
1. Love extra. Do more for your partner than you need to do. Treat him or her extra special. Write little notes, plan surprises, put another meatball in his sandwich, whatever. Treating your partner extra special helps to create extra special feelings for your partner. Start treating someone other than your partner extra special and you will start to develop feelings for that person instead.
2. Believe the best about your partner. If you can choose to believe that either your partner is looking forward to being with you or just doesn’t care, which belief do you think will help you to feel special? When we believe the best about others, it changes the way we behave toward them and tends to make our beliefs come true. This works for both negative and positive beliefs. Remember that beliefs precede reality. This is not the same as hope. Hope just waits. Beliefs create our actions. You can choose to believe the best, become the best, and get the best.
3. Be sure that your needs are being met. Can you have a smile on your face and love in your heart when you have a thorn in your shoe? Taking care of yourself and having personal ambitions that excite you will make it much easier for you to be in love and will make you a more attractive person for your partner.
4. Set personal goals and challenges that excite you or work with a relationship coach to have a steady stream of personal successes. These things will flood energy into your feelings, your personal life, and your relationship.
Loving, feeling in love, and attracting love are all very much under our control. Sitting back and waiting for them or looking for them in the wrong places will set us further back. Giving up on them will make our lives feel meaningless. Only by getting control of our minds and our actions can we make better lives for ourselves and our partners.