You've Lost That Loving Feeling

Published on by CMe

 

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You've Lost That Loving Feeling

 
 
   
The most frequently asked question I get is, "The excitement is gone from our relationship. How do we get it back?" And, I'm so glad people are asking it. Because, it tells me you aren't accepting a humdrum, run-of-the-mill, boring, stuck-in-a-rut relationship.

Let's go back to chemistry class first, to help answer this question. When we first enter into a new relationship, Mother Nature wants to give us as much opportunity as possible to bond and fall in love, in the hopes of eventually propagating our species. So, She offers us the gift of a myriad of brain chemicals, which we gladly accept.

During the first 6 to 18 months of a new relationship, there's an increase of levels of dopamine, testosterone, PEA and norepinephrine. As a result, we become "addicted" to our partner, not unlike an addiction to drugs. Some of these chemicals are cousins to amphetamines. So, we find our hearts racing when we think of our partners. We can become flush and even perspire. Like on a drug high, we find ourselves able to stay up all hours of the night with our partner. And, when we can't get our "fix" our minds keep coming back to thought of our beloved. 

During this stage of our relationships, romance comes easily. There's spontaneity, playfulness, passion and excitement. We touch often, make love, go out together, write romantic letters and poems and buy (or make) surprise gifts for our partners.

But, Mother Nature knows that we can't keep up this pace forever. We need to think about our friends, family and our jobs again. And, my goodness, we've become sleep-deprived.

So, She slowly starts reducing these addictive brain chemicals, and we find ourselves in a new stage of our relationship. Since the passion has subsided, many couples assume so has the love. And, they may be right. Mother Nature has given us 6 to 18 months of animal attraction, enough time to see if there's love or not. If not, it's time to move on.

Unfortunately, though, some couples assume that since the passion is gone, so must the love. And, too many move on trying to find a relationship that will stay in this first stage indefinitely. These are usually the singles that skip from relationship to relationship every year or so, not hanging on long enough to discover what the next stage has to offer.

The next stage is filled with stability, respect, comfort, contentment, trust and long-term commitment. These are the ingredients to a relationship that lasts a lifetime. But, that doesn't solve the problem of getting back the excitement from the beginning of our relationship. The good news is, we can most definitely get those brain chemicals flowing again. The hard part is, we have to work at it.

Think of your relationship like a fire. When you start out, it burns fast and hot. The reason: you've lit the paper and kindling which catch easily. When the paper and kindling have all been burned out, the logs have ignited. No real flames. Instead, there's the warm comfort of red glowing coals that will stay burning slowly all night.

But, if you throw on more kindling and paper, you get the big flames again. They burn out fast, but as long as you keep feeding the flame, it will continue to burn bright and hot. So, what exactly is your fuel?

Old Stuff
To rekindle that old flame, see what kind of kindling worked in the past and throw some of that back on the coals. Go back to the places that you first met, kissed, danced, got engaged, got married, and made love. Write love letters and poems to each other again. Make or buy little surprises for your partner. Knit a wool cap or burn a mix CD. Basically, bring yourself back to the days when the flame was roaring.

New Stuff
To get those old chemicals out of storage, you need to shake them up a bit. Whenever your relationship becomes humdrum, boring and you find yourself stuck in a rut, eating out at Luigi's every Wednesday night and renting a video every Saturday evening, passion and excitement take a sabbatical. To get them back you need novelty in your relationship. Stretch yourselves. Get out of your comfort zones and do something new together. Start a cactus garden, take Tango dance classes, join a co-ed softball team. But, make it something you can continue together. And, when that gets old, change it up again.

Get Out of Here!
Sometimes you just need to get away from the life you're living: the kids, the house, your job, the chores, the phone, emails, alarm clocks, and the like. Leave them all behind, because these are the things that take you away from time spent with your partner and evaporate your romantic juices. If you can take a two-week safari to Africa, go for it. But, in reality, your getaway doesn't have to be extravagant, expensive nor even very long. You just need time to reconnect. Try a weekend cruise, a trip to Vegas, staying the night at an amusement park hotel, or a B&B at least an hour away from home. Turn off the TV. Stay away from the computer, and limit you cell phone use. It's time to focus on your partner. And, when you return home, your time away will fill your fuel tanks of love. 

Stay in Touch
One of the easiest ways to bring romance back to a stale relationship is through touch. When you touch your partner in a loving way, you help them release the hormone oxytocin, "the cuddle chemical". Oxytocin makes us feel loved, warm, comforted and content. It bonds us and brings us closer. Making love and having orgasms produces oodles of the stuff. But, you can also produce it by holding hands, hugging, giving each other massages, playing footsies, cuddling on the sofa, spooning in bed, washing each other in the tub, brushing your partner's hair, and so on.

It's a Date
Make dating your partner a priority again. When you used to date, you'd have butterflies before going out. You'd get yourself looking and smelling your best and then wonder where the date would take you. Well, sit down weekly with your partner and schedule dates. Don't take them for granted. Prep like you used to, maybe in separate rooms. Dress up. Put on make-up. Shave. Shower. Wear cologne or perfume. Show your partner they are worth getting ready for (and that you're worth them getting ready for, too). Also, you can have fun with the dates. One week he can plan the date without telling her what it is. The next, she can surprise him with the date she's planned. Maybe the next week they both work on the date together. And, the next, the couple could have written 6 to 10 date ideas on slips of paper and pull one out randomly. As long as you look forward to your dates, your flames will stay lit.

The Best Medicine
Think back to when you first were dating. Do you remember how much you two laughed together? You had fun, and laughter was a way to bring you closer. Laughing produces endorphins, our addictive, feel-good brain chemicals. You may find yourselves laughing less as life and stress get the best of you. It's time to change that. Dress up for Halloween. Head to a comedy club. Go miniature golfing. Try "Karaoke" Night at the local pub. Watch an Adam Sandler movie. Tell your partner a joke. Laughter is the spark to ignite your paper and kindling. You might be surprised to discover how powerful laughter can be.
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Gimme a Break
Do you remember on Friends when Rachel kept telling Ross that he cheated on her and he'd respond, "But we were on a break."? Why so much confusion? They didn't set the ground rules for their break. But, we'll get to that in a moment.

So, your partner has just told you that they want to take a break from the relationship. Great, it's the first step down the road to "Break-Up-ville", right? Not necessarily.

The Temporary Break can actually be the best thing for couples that haven't committed to each other for life…just yet.

So, you've been dating your significant other for four years, fell in love early on, may be your first (and only) true love. Then, because of a move, going to college or just plain out of the blue, they tell you they want to have some time away from "us" for a bit. It can be heart wrenching not knowing exactly what they are thinking, why they want the break, and when it will end. But, a break and a break-up are two very different things.

A break-up means it's time to call this relationship quits. Yet, a break means, "I don't want to end this yet, but I want to figure some things out." Figuring things out is a crucial part of any relationship, before you become fully committed. You don't want to be in the midst of a long-term, committed relationship and start to have to "figure things out" with children, a mortgage and a mini-van.

The reason a break can be so important is because it lets partners have time to reflect on their relationship without the distractions of the relationship itself clouding their vision. It gives them time and space to decide what they want from the relationship, from their partner and from themselves.

Sometimes one, or both, partners decide that the best route is to end the relationship. If that happens, you may feel inclined to blame the break. But, in reality, the break was just the bridge that got you to the inevitable a little faster. Because, if the relationship wasn't meant to be, it would have ended anyway at some point, maybe making it even more difficult to get through down the road.

Often, though, relationships flourish after a break. The break is kind of like cleaning out the fridge and starting fresh again. You get rid of all that spoiled milk, wilted lettuce and moldy cheese. Suddenly, the refrigerator doesn't look so daunting, and you can start building your fresh food supplies again.

Avoid the "Ross and Rachel" errors, and be sure you set the ground rules when you are on a break: Are you allowed to talk, email or hang-out with one another? Do you still list each other on MySpace? Is talking about "us" off limits? Can you date others? If so, to what degree? When will you come back together to reassess the relationship?

I had two sets of friends who dated the same partners all throughout high school. Once they got to college, both sets agreed to take breaks for a couple of years. The partners dated other people, but eventually found their ways back to each other. Both sets have been happily married over ten years and have children. When asked what made their relationships so strong, they always say that it was the break.

Had they not had the time away from each other, time to reflect, time to experience others, they would never had known exactly what they were looking for was right in front of them. And, they never wonder if they've chosen the right partner, because they've had the opportunity to experience others.

So Far Away From Me
Let's face it. Long-distance relationships (LDR) are tough. Any relationship can be difficult, but the LDR poses problems and obstacles that other relationships do not. As a result, the majority don't survive.

A LDR is generally characterized by a couple who is committed to their relationship, but whose participants are living a substantial distance from one another. Therefore, they seldom (if ever) are able to physically spend time together. Reasons may include a move for one (or both) partners' jobs or careers, going away to school or service in the military. 

Complaints of LDR's not only include missing your partner, but very often a loss of connection. "I feel like he's changed," or "She doesn't act the way she used to," are common comments made when couples reunite after, or during, a LDR. This is usually the catalyst that starts the downward spiral to the end of the relationship.

People change. Opinions shift. Tastes evolve. Looks become altered. It's natural. We are a species in constant transition, every day, every hour, little modifications are taking place.

When we are in a normal relationship where distance is not a factor, we tend to spend a lot of time together. We'll see each other multiple times during a week, if not daily. During this time daily changes don't often affect our relationships. Why? Because the changes tend to be so minor that we rarely notice them. Also, because we are together during these changes, we often change and adapt as our partners are doing the same. We grow together, often in the same direction.

But, when we have to be away from one another for a long period of time (especially if we haven't already solidified a strong and secure relationship with many shared experiences) we continue to grow and change, but without the benefit of doing it together, on the same path. So, the little changes that we don't usually notice, pile up, and when we do get together again, not only are the changes in our partners pronounced, but also, since we've changed too (which we rarely realize) we find ourselves more than likely moving in different directions. 

How do we combat this dreaded LDR curse? The best way is to stay as connected as possible. Write, IM, text, email, call, and visit as much as possible. And, when you communicate, make it meaningful. Think about what you would talk about if you were still living closer, and bring up these subjects: work, a TV show you saw, a joke you heard, what Carl said to Victoria. Basically, you want to share your lives so that your partner is aware of the little changes taking place in your life. In doing so, when you meet again, those little changes won't have piled up so much and you'll be less likely to feel, "I don't know him anymore." And, you'll be able to survive the LDR.
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Afraid That You Are Losing Yourself? Take Control Back in Your Relationship 
Are you currently in a relationship and feeling as though you need to take control back from your partner? Do you feel as though you are losing yourself? Is your partner overbearing and stifling to you and it's causing you to experience a lessened quality of life? If you are in a relationship and feeling as if you are losing yourself and your individuality, then continue reading this article to find out ways that you can take control back.

To start with, try to take away his access to you. People are able to be controlling when they are constantly around the people that they are controlling. Try to limit his access to you and begin spending less time together. This is actually good advice in any relationship. Both partners should have things in their lives that only belong to them. Spend time with some friends, sign up for a class, or take up a new hobby-just try to find something that doesn't include him.

Next, you need to take some responsibility away from him. Don't let him make decisions for you. It's okay to ask his advice about some things, but if you don't feel right about what he is suggesting then don't follow the advice. You need to be responsible for your own life. Begin making your own decisions about where you want to go and what you want to do and don't always defer to him. Sometimes, women feel like if they don't always do what their partner wants to do then their partner will get unhappy and leave. This is not a healthy relationship because compromise should exist. Take control over your own decisions.

You then must set some boundaries between the two of you. If you feel that he is overstepping the boundaries, then communicate with him and tell him that you are displeased. Some of your lack of control could just be due to poor communication so this should be your first method of addressing the issue with him. You don't need to start an argument, but you will need to tell him in the nicest way possible that you are unhappy with him repeatedly crossing the line.

Lastly, you have to learn to say no and stick by it. If he tries to make you do something and you don't want to do it, then say no and mean it. This should then bleed over into your other relationships as well. Taking control back isn't always about doing it in your romantic relationships. By following this advice, you should soon be able to start feeling more confident about yourself again, as well as happier in your relationship.



http://tinyurl.com/yjhpvnkWhat am I afraid of?
Where do i begin? i have been with my sig. other for almost three years. we had a long distance relationship for 6 mos. then he moved in with me. i was still in my 20's and was going out a lot, now i am 31, bought a house (mortgage in my name) settled down and now prefer happy hour and dinners over late nights at bars and have changed my mind about his friends, i don't like the crappy places they go and the people there. at first i thought i was getting old, ha ha, or i was selfish, then realized my values and standards have changed and i think for the better, his have not. there are some weeks he will go out to 3-4 in the morning 4 days a week, then never does anything at home to help me and is always cranky because he is tired and hung over and says it is his job and that the long hours and stress are alway y he is in bad mood, oh and my nagging to cut the grass finally or take trash out etc...and it is really the partying, i know. he even has fought with me then does not come home and blames it on me saying that y should he come to our home when it will be a fight, he runs away. i think it is all an excuse to go out and drink every night with his loser friends who cant keep a girl or a job. as u can tell i am mad at this point. all my friends hate him, and ask y i stay and what does he have to offer me??? he hardly makes any $$$, i am the bread winner at only $42k/yr, if he does make $ he gives me bill money then complains he is broke then i have to give him $$$ and he makes me feel crazy and turns it all on me and makes me feel guilty. y do i stay, why am i afraid to leave him. i have left bad friends and men before, y is it diff. with him?? my parents already told me that they would loan me the $9k! ( and they are retired and my mom is bedridden w/ MS and my dad only made $50k a year before that, take it out of their savings, makes me feel like crap) i would need to kick him out and clean our debt up (car, credit cards etc...) so i can keep the house and loose him, so if i have a way out, y do i stay and y do i feel this deep overwhelming love for someone like this?? there is so much more and i know i have my faults and have admitted them to him, but damn what is wrong with me? if i waist any more time i will probably end up alone, or miserable HELP!!!



Reasons Why Guys Might Be Afraid to Commit
The most common guy question I hear from my girl friends is about commitment. They don't understand why it's such a dirty word for so many men. I'm a perfect example of the guy who is afraid of commitment, so I figured I could shed some light on why we are afraid to commit. Here's my list:

The most common guy question I hear from my girl friends is about commitment. They don't understand why it's such a dirty word for so many men. I'm a perfect example of the guy who is afraid of commitment, so I figured I could shed some light on why we are afraid to commit. Here's my list:

  1. He Still Wants to Play the Field
    Once a guy commits, he will lose the right to date other women. Most guys try to hold on to this right as long as they can, especially when they are not sure what they are looking for.
  2. Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys
    "Committing" means "growing up" to some guys. And a lot of us guys don't want to grow up, or we want to delay the process of growing up as long as possible. Commitment is a sign of maturity, and some guys are simply too immature to commit.
  3. There's Someone Else
    It's hard for a guy to commit to one woman if he's got others on his mind — imagine trying to commit if you had a couple of guys on your mind.
  4. He's Got Other Priorities
    In life, it's tough to balance love, family, work, etc. If there are things in his life that demand more attention than his love life, he'll commit to the other stuff and deal with love when he can.
  5. He's Got Baggage/He's Afraid of Intimacy
    Maybe he's had a bad experience with a past girlfriend, or he's a child of divorce. Unresolved pain in his past can prevent him from committing.
  6. He's Afraid It Won't Work Out
    Committing involves risk. You are essentially taking a plunge, and investing energy in the relationship. Some people feel that it's not worth a try unless it's 100% certain it will work out. But, you can never really be that sure of things, and that unknown keeps some people from committing.
  7. None of His Friends Have Committed
    If you are able to get the first guy of his group of friends to commit, I commend you. Most of us want to commit eventually, but we don't want to be the first one, and there is respect among guys for the last single guy in the pack.
  8. He's Only in It for Sex
    Sadly, some guys are just out for a conquest. Keep a close eye on things so you're not a victim of one of these kind of guys. Usually, if you have a gut feeling that he's interested only in the bedroom, you're right.
  9. He's Still "Selfish"
    A few weeks ago, my friend was freaking out via text because his wife scheduled a dinner the night of the Ravens nationally televised Monday Night Football game. He was "extremely jealous" that I planned to lay in my boxers alone watching the Ravens game in HD. Committed relationships are acts of selflessness. We are giving ourselves and our time and energy to one another. I know that I'm still in a selfish period in my life: I'd rather wake up at 10 AM on Sunday and read about The Sex Pistols and Maryland history on Wikipedia instead of waking up at 9 AM and going to brunch with a girlfriend. Some day we all get less selfish with our time, but when that occurs differs for everyone.
  10. He's Not into You Enough to Commit
    Most of the reasons a guy won't commit have to do with the guy. But he may see you as a fun person to date, but never thought of you as someone he'd commit to in the end. It's tough to swallow when this is the situation, but sometimes it's easy to resolve it in your mind this way and move on.
  11. You're Pressuring Him Too Much to Commit
    If he's going to commit, let him come to that moment on his own. If you continue to bring it up, he may become bitter and annoyed at the whole thought of it. You'd rather him come to the decision to commit naturally on his own, and not because he was pressured to do so anyway. Just think about how you feel when someone pressures you to do something you're not sure about.

Any combination of these reasons could contribute to a guy's reluctance to commit. One of the biggest factors in the success of any relationship is timing. If you're out of synch in a relationship or not on the same page in terms of commitment, then you may not be right for one another and should move on.

 


http://tinyurl.com/ylelh4eWhy Are Women Afraid Of Men?
One of the biggest issues that a guy has to deal with when trying to date or seduce women is getting around the fact that most women are afraid of men. It is not the kind of fear that will cause her to run screaming from the room, but it is no less of a hindrance for that. It is a lack of trust or general wariness that will make her hesitate when you ask for her number, or pay her a compliment. It leads her to read all kinds of things into the simplest statement.

Of course this is partly because of the small number of men who could be rapists or killers, but women know that this is only a tiny minority of men and they will not suspect most men they meet of this. The worst thing you can do is say, 'I'm not a rapist', as this will immediately bring the possibility into her mind and make it harder for her to argue with the parental voice in her head that is telling her not to trust men.

Most times however the difficulty is getting past her belief that most men will take advantage of girls, abandon them after sex and hurt them emotionally. A lot of mothers tell their daughters that all men are like this at heart. With the number of divorces that are around, society often confirms this belief for the growing girl.

So while they do want to be seduced, most women are wary of a seducer who doesn't want a relationship. This can be a problem if your aim is to seduce and move quickly on to the next, especially if you are known for that.

What you must appeal to in this situation is a woman's love of a challenge. Even if she knows you are the worst kind of seducer in town, it is always possible that she is the one woman in the world who will be able to tame you.

Many women can see a habitual seducer as a real challenge, and you can use this to your advantage. Consider how many women are attracted to gay men and try to seduce them in the hope that they will 'turn straight'. It's the same kind of challenge: she wants to prove that she is so special, she can change a man's very nature.

Another advantage that you have is that most men do not understand why women should be afraid of them and so they have no strategy against it. If they become aware that a woman does not trust them, they will either make the mistake of trying to tackle it head on by saying something like 'I'm not a rapist', or they will think there is something wrong with the woman and try to make her feel bad about herself. This is another big mistake that will make the situation much worse.

The better you understand women, the better you will be able to work around their defenses. The best way to deal with a woman's wariness of men is to make her want to seduce you. Become a challenge for her. Then she will believe that it is you who should be afraid, and all her wariness will vanish.


Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at  MetroSexual LA

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Comment on this post

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girls dress up games 01/05/2010 17:31


Thanks for the advice!