I attended one of my friend’s mother’s 80-something birthday a few years ago. She was beautifully dressed in her red fitted dress dancing around and greeting her guests. I asked her what advice she could give me because I definitely wanted to be like her if I was blessed to live that long? She told me to never forget the little girl inside of me and let her come out and play.
When I think about keeping the spark in relationships, I am reminded of that conversation of not forgetting the little girl. As time passes, the honeymoon feelings have faded, and reality sets in, the fire of the relationship is left unattended. The busyness of our lives takes over until one day the chill that we noticed but ignored is now consistently being felt. Oh, no the flame is going out!
In a previous blog, I talked about the seasons of relationships. The chill that you feel in your relationship could be a warning sign that your relationship is beginning to enter into the Fall season. The unhealthy behaviors of the Fall can lead to further disconnection because the basic needs of your relationship have not been nurtured. If your relationship is experiencing a chill, try not to worry. You can keep from experiences the full effects of the season and bring about the return of Spring.
To begin the process of keeping the flame going, take a moment to reflect on times when you felt the warmth in your relationship. This time of reflection is to get ideas not to allow yourself to be stuck in what was. Close your eyes and allow yourself to really feel and experience the warmth. Remember how you are feeling and where you are experiencing the warmth at this moment and let this experience carry you through the process. You’ve got this. Now here comes the fun part. You’ve got to get in touch with the “little girl or boy inside,” meaning remember when your relationship had childlike qualities such as being carefree, spontaneous, imaginative, trusting and always wanting to play. In more romantic relationship terms, it’s called dating. Yes!, you’ve got to start dating again. The warmth of your relationship will return if you intentionally put kindling on the fire. Dating and having the “dating” mindset will kindle your relationship fire if both of you are full participants. Unlike the initial pursuit of dating (getting know one another) this dating is in pursuit of ever-evolving happiness, so it requires both of you to make it fun and fulfilling. There are many couple’s books, activities, and games that have been developed to help couples think of creative fun things to do with each other. It is essential to spend quality time as a couple. You can also make this a family affair too. If you have children, you can plan a family-fun-day which can also help kindle the fire and keep the family connected. Think about what you and your relationship need and plan to address those needs. Real fires and relationship fires need to be watched and maintained if you want them to keep going and supplying warmth. Remember the little kid inside of you let him or her outside to play and keep dating!