Guest Author - Lori Phillips
If you’ve been in love with a person once, is it possible to fall in love again? Absolutely! People believe that falling in love is something out of their control when, in actuality, they are very much involved in the act of falling in love. Falling in love isn’t a matter of chance. It is a potent concoction of chemicals and hormones which your brain sets in motion. Dopamine, pheromones, oxytocin and serotonin play critical roles in brain perception of love. And it is possible to “work that mix” a little when it wanes.
When people speak of not having the right “chemistry” with another person what they mean is that being with the other person doesn’t trigger a positive psychological and physiological response. They don’t get butterflies in their tummies or a heady feeling in their brains. There is no sexual attraction. Sometimes, nature does play a role in determining who will be attracted to whom on a DNA level in order to aid genetic dispersion. But if you’ve felt this chemistry with your spouse once upon a time, you definitely have the ability to do so again, and here are some ideas to get you started:
*Increase the intrigue and the build up of anticipation. The familiarity of marriage and day-to-day living with each other removes all mystery. The unfolding of a new relationship, the getting to know one another, is part of the initial excitement. While some enjoy the security and comfort of being with someone you know inside out, it can lack the joy of discovery.
But no matter how well you may think you know your spouse, there are many things yet to learn about him. Ask. I love to hear my husband’s childhood memories. I ask a lot of questions: When you were young, what did you think your life would be like? If you were president…?
To spice up a Date Night, get dressed up, drive separately and meet each other at a local restaurant (be a little late!) It might seem silly but there is a feeling of anticipation in going alone to meet each other. Finding each other in a sea of people reinforces your feeling of belonging together.
*Romance and great love-making start in your brain. If your brain needs a kick start in the romance department, listen to music you liked when you were younger and carefree. Read romantic books or watch exciting movies. At times, it helps to live vicariously through movie stars in their film roles. Why do you think the movie industry is so successful? The typical working citizen needs a dose of adventure, excitement and romance! And movies do evoke an emotional and physiological response.
One good film about looking at life more romantically is Don Juan DiMarco. The psychiatrist who treats a young man who believes he is the Don Juan changes the way he sees his humdrum life for the better. "Fantasies are more than substitutes for unpleasant reality; they are also dress rehearsals, plans. All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination," says Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, author and publicist.
*See the person you fell in love with. No matter how my husband changes—the graying hair, the deepening wrinkles—he will always be that young, dimpled-grinning, blond cutie who melted my heart years ago. The outward physical changes are not what make you. You are who you are in your brain. He’s still and always will be the love of my life.
Take the time to recall that person you fell in love with. Bring him or her back again by doing some of the things you both once did. Yes, people change, but they always retain a bit of who they were throughout the years.
*Play with the inner child. Play and laughter are two things that will keep you young at heart. It doesn’t matter how old a person gets, the inner child is always there. Slumbering and awaiting your wake-up call. Once, my sisters and I got our husbands mini-race cars with a racing track. It was joyful to watch them leaning over the tracks to race each other competing like kids. Wanna turn someone into an instant child again? Tickle her!
*Up the dosage of love hormones and chemicals. Use an appealing cologne or perfume. Scent is a proven aphrodisiac and some have added pheromones, those hormones that incite sexual attraction. Exercise also boosts your body’s natural hormones. Have sex (and achieve orgasm) regularly with your partner to release that all-important bonding chemical oxytocin.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing depression and, if medication is advised, ask for one without any sexual side effects.
*Count the virtues. Make it a daily ritual to count at least three wonderful things you love about him or her. Express gratitude for them. To your spouse, to God above. Thankfulness is a powerful energy that attracts more good feelings.
*Don’t mistake lack of excitement for lack of love. Boredom and lackluster lifestyles are easy fixes. If you’re in a rut, do something out of the ordinary. Then do it again and again until spontaneity and surprise are part of your new lifestyle.
The very definition of romance is to be passionate, impractical and even unrealistic. You see and exaggerate the virtues of your love while completely being blind to his faults. Isn’t that what you hope he will do for you?