It started all so well – back then – ten or fifteen years ago. You met at a gym. It was a total chance encounter. If it wasn’t for your friend’s party the night before, you would never have gone to the later session at the gym.
But you did. And there he was, smiling at you, smiling with you. You felt electric that morning and the exercises were not so hard. You remember it so well it was a Friday in March 2006.
The week after you made sure to go to the later session again. And he was there again. The same shy smile, the same clear blue eyes looking at you. Again, you felt electric that morning.
He asked you out after the third or fourth time you met and you have been together ever since.
The rest is history as they say.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments which take your breath away. Magic Moments. And that Friday morning in March, 2006 was one of those moments.
It’s been 13 years now – to the day – that you have first laid eyes on him. Time has passed so quickly.
Now you’ve been married for nearly 11 years and your children are ten and eight.
In the beginning you couldn’t get enough of each other. Each time you saw him you had butterflies in your stomach and longed for his touch.
Now it is completely different. It feels like you don’t know each other anymore.
Where is he? What is he doing? What is he thinking?
You have no idea.
In the beginning you spent every spare minute together. First only on weekends and the odd night during the week. Once you moved together, you were inseparable.
Now you hardly see each other. He’s working long hours, he’s doing his sport, meeting his mates and whatever time is left does not belong to just the two of you because you both have two children to look after.
Where is the deep connection you had with him? Where is the spark? The passion?
There is hardly any time or even an opportunity for good, mutual sex.
He wants it all the time. In the morning, in the evening, in the middle of the night.
You can’t. There is so much going around in your head – you just can’t concentrate on love making. He doesn’t understand. And this topic is a constant cause for tension between you – amongst others. So every now and then you give in to his demands.
You love him, you really do and you want him to be happy and you want to see the smile again on his face, in his eyes and in his embrace. The smile he threw at you 13 years ago.
Is he showing this smile to other women? You don’t know. You hope not, but you are not too sure.
There is nothing wrong in your relationship. It just feels flat.
He is a good father, he is a good person to be around with. Just no butterflies anymore.
Is this normal? Is this how it turns out for everyone?
You feel that you are drifting apart. Sure, he is a great father to your kids and he helps wherever he can. Where is the excitement?
What is going on?
This situation is so typical for many relationships. You fall in love, you move in together and you are happy. Then slowly but surely the routine sets in. The butterflies in the stomach have turned into a warm fuzzy feeling and you are content.
You can depend on each other and you pretty much know what the other person is thinking at that very moment.
And then this routine turns into boredom. One month goes by and it is just like the previous one. And a year later you look back and think: where has the time gone? Where is the excitement? Where is the passion?
The LoveCycle ™ gives you a good indication of how things are evolving in a lot of relationships whether married or not.
You see, the routine and boredom could easily turn into a phase where you’ve stopped talking and your relationship is just surviving.
It does not need to be that way and here’s what you could do right now…
It’s called the 168-challenge. Your task is to write down as exact as possible how you spent the 168 hours of last week or any typical week. It does not take you long. Five minutes – ten max.
Then you ask your partner to do the same.
Now it’s time to compare your lists and you’ll both will see very easily how much time there actually is just for the two of you. In my experience, for a busy couple like yourselves, this will be between zero and five hours.
This first step is crucial to understand – to see black on white – how much time there actually is for you to talk, to connect, to sleep together and to organise your life together.
Once you both have realised how difficult it is to make time for each other, you might want to change something to give yourselves more time for each other.
And I am pretty sure that your both will find something in your weekly calendar that could be reduced and replaced by time for the two of you. That’s what I call an Active Appointment.
And for further ideas of how to maintain a loving, intimate and respectful relationship you might want to grab a copy of my book.