We all know how easy and natural it is to engage in courtship when you first meet someone. You’re excited and wanting to put your best side forward. You are filled with anticipation and feel good hormones. You are enjoying the chase. In the beginning, you not only fall in love with each other but how you treat each other. However, as time goes on and partners feel secure and relaxed, it can become easy to become lackadaisical. After all, haven’t you deserved the right to now relax and rely on the fact that you both know you love each other? Is it necessary to continue the chase that courting entails? Is it really necessary to continue to play the game?
In a nutshell, the answer is yes. Courting behaviors, such as planning nice dates, showing affection, demonstrating desire, going out of your way to please your partner, and seducing each other into romance and passion, are key ingredients to keeping your relationship alive and thriving.
When these behaviors start to fade, disappointment and disillusionment settles in. People feel taken for granted. People get bored. A good relationship requires consistency in your attention. It requires demonstrating appreciation and consideration. It requires reminders that you still want your partner in every way. A little chase every now and then keeps the blood circulating and the heart pumping.
So here are 7 ways to keep the courtship alive.
- Don’t forget to kiss—and I mean really kiss—the passionate, can’t keep my hands off you kind of kiss—and do it often. It doesn’t necessitate a lot of time and it doesn’t need to lead to sex. A short passionate kiss goes a long way, even when you are on your way out the door to work. In fact, those out of the blue short passionate kisses generate a lot of punch. Never underestimate the power of the kiss!
- Do the little things that count. Fill up the gas tank for your mate, buy her favorite tea, and make his favorite meal. We do these things effortlessly while dating and there’s no reason why you can’t continue to put thought and effort into pleasing your mate.
- Be mindful of your appearance. When you’re dating, you take time to look your best for your new love interest. Don’t let things slip too much. While everyone needs those sweats and no make-up days, when you go out or have special time at home, take the time to look your best. Your mate will appreciate the effort.
- Be affectionate. Walk holding hands, make time to cuddle, give each other that knowing “wink”, and sit next to each other on the couch while watching TV. Physical connection always helps build emotional connection.
- Open doors, pull out chairs, and demonstrate gentlemanly and ladylike behaviors. These time honored rituals really reflect and reinforce mutual respect. Taking on the role of masculine and feminine (while these roles can be shared and reversed) do create a yin and yang that is conducive for love.
- Plan fun activities—get out of the house and break out of your routines. Engaging in new activities together creates opportunities to connect, have fun, expand your skills and experiences, and get to know each other better (yes, even after many years). Do something different. Get out of your comfort zone—meet new people, go new places, and try new things.
- Create and sustain traditions and rituals exclusive for you and your mate. In the beginning, it is fun to see what traditions or rituals form. As your relationship develops and deepens over time, it becomes important to practice those traditions. It reminds you and your mate that there is something special and unique to the relationship that you both have created with each other.
Keeping your relationship alive doesn’t have to be hard. All of the activities above are simple, easy, and fun. Make it that way. I promise it will do you well.
If you are struggling with keeping the courtship alive in your relationship, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help. It is never too late to bring passion and vitality back into your relationship. As always, I’m here to support you in creating strong and powerful relationships.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
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