SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

Bringing Back the Butterflies

Bringing Back the Butterflies
After many years of marriage, it is not uncommon to hear one or both partners complain about how monotonous dating and romance have become. Going to the same favorite restaurant, movie theater, and other old haunts can become daunting on anyone’s relationship.

Many studies show that the decline of romantic love is inevitable over a period of time. Feelings of excitement or exhilaration are often replaced by the same predictable feeling toward a spouse.

A recent article in the New York Times offers scientific proof that changing the way you date while in a long term relationship or marriage can up the romance level right away. Dr. Arthur Aron, a psychology professor at the University of New York at Stony Brook conducted a study in which he instructed three groups of middle-aged long-term married couples to do certain tasks.

The first group was told to spend 90 minutes a week doing familiar things like having dinner with old friends and so on. The second group was instructed to do new and exciting things that appealed to both partners and the third couple was told not to do anything at all.

The results showed that the couples who spent time doing new things on date night, like attending concerts, plays or even going skiing, showed a greater marital satisfaction at the end of the study than the regular date night groups.

Dr. Aron and others have conducted numerous experiments all suggesting that by simply doing new things with a loved one, a person can help bring back the chemical surges in the brain similar to those of early courtship. Dr. Aron suggests that the activity can be anything from attending an art class together, going to an amusement park or even just trying out a new restaurant as long as it is something that you and your partner would not normally do.

What do you think of the effects long term marriage can have on romance?

Do you have any personal success stories you can share about you and your partner’s quest to bring back the romance?

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  • salon53 By salon53
    02.14.08  

    I beleive it is true. When you are in a relationship for awhile you lose that excitement. So I believe that you need to do different things to get the sparke back.

  • digex011 By digex011
    02.16.08  

    I am in my 12th year of marriage and to be honest it is stale and mundane. I'll give this doing new and exciting things together. But in reality, how practical is it to with be constantly "trying new things together", especially with kids, jobs, etc.????

  • kirstensapphire By kirstensapphire
    02.16.08  

    I think couples should definetly try new things to bring back excitement into their lives. Life is too short, than why not?

  • maynardmartha By maynardmartha
    02.17.08  

    I think this is very true. I find myself paying much more attention to my husband. He's holding doors open and hanging on my every word as I am his when we are trying new things together. I think its the excitment of sharing something new that makes the difference. It brings back all those feelings that brought us together 30 years ago this year.

  • Lynsda828 By Lynsda828
    02.19.08  

    I think that is very true as well...its easy to fall into a rut, where you used to spend your evenings going to movies or out to dinner - you now find your evenings filled with laundry, chores and an early bedtime. I think its important to try new things and its something that we're making more and more of a conscious effort toward....all in the name of avoiding the rut that many people fall into.

  • crystalee1713 By crystalee1713
    02.19.08  

    Due to my husbands job we only see each other a couple of hours a week. I am just so happy to be with him that I don't find our time together boring. I am sure not seeing eachother a lot is creating its own excitement because there always seems to be a "spark" between us.

  • edentongirl By edentongirl
    02.21.08  

    I cant even imagine why anyone wouldnt want to try new things...recall that incredible feeling you got in the lower part of you abdomen when you even thought of being with your partner? trying new and different things or reinventing the old things that worked before almost gaurantees you to get that feeling back. (if you've lost it) I say try doing the things that take you out of your 'comfort zone' If he isn't one to try dancing a little bit with you to a slow song then you dance for him. It is amazing how the little things can spice up your life. I put a little love note in my sweety's lunch each week and most often it is when he does something I truly enjoyed like going for a walk in the woods or something small like that that means alot to me. I make sure I tell him what it meant to me. On occasion I slip the sexy lil note in his lunch and am quite often surprised by the call I receive at lunch time tee hee hee...go ahead girls..spice up your life a little...it is soooo worth it for both of you!

  • polinka By polinka
    02.22.08  

    If you stop loving ,nothing brings back your feelings.Just shake hands and be friends.

  • christinatj By christinatj
    02.22.08  

    I also agree that you have to do new things to keep the relationship interesting, but with kids and a job it just don't seem like there is any time left for each other.

  • stina72 By stina72
    02.22.08  

    I have found a way to make my 17 yr relationship feel brand new again.......Having another baby!!!! It has made us both realize what we loved about each other to begin with.

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