By Dr. Craig Martin
All relationships settle into life’s routine after a while. It’s hard to imagine when we first meet our special someone, that by year 10, five, or dare I say three, we will be looking at them through a different lens.
The lens is not a bad one. Hopefully, we’ve learned we can count on our relationship, that he or she understands us, and that most importantly, the person accepts us for who we are. But there are other things that exist in the beginning of a relationship that are important to us, such as passion, excitement and the enthusiasm of someone new.
As relationships pass through the tests of time, we are often challenged to remind ourselves of the love we share and how to keep that love unburdened. After all, life itself, while immensely beautiful and rewarding, is not always a cakewalk, so how can we expect our relationship to be that way all the time? Over time, our interaction with our partner retains some of the strain and stress any life will have, and issues with money, health, family, children, career and the simple feeling of being in a rut can accumulate. This takes a toll on the excitement we would love for our relationship to maintain.
So how do we keep the spark alive? How do we keep our relationship fresh and exciting? The full answer is not an easy one, but there is a key to restoring a connection with someone we love. It’s to remember the joy.
No matter what we are going through, even if it is difficult, we must remember we’re in this life to love and to extract from that love the joy that results. What more joyful experience is there than the experience of loving?
If we use the metaphor of fire for our relationship, we recognize when we first start a fire we must put a lot of energy into it. First, we gather lots of wood, small kindling and fuel to get it started. Once it’s well put together, it’s blazing right away, and we’re eager to add more wood and keep it going because it won’t stay burning all on its own if we leave it unattended. After some time though, the fire itself takes on a certain life of its own. Coals and embers stay warm for a long time, and as we get comfortable, we are able to take our eye off the fire because it needs less attending since so much energy has been put into it from the beginning.
However, if we continued to ignore our fire it would go out. Maybe we don’t need to add much new wood or fuel, but we need to add something. Stoking the fire is what brings it back to life. In our relationship that stoking energy comes from adding something new so that we can recharge the flame that exists between us.
It could be travel, cooking, reading or anything you always loved together as a couple. Whatever it is, do it! Recall those activities that brought enthusiasm to you as a team. It often involves something creative since creativity is a strong root of excitement. Seek out creative experiences you know you already enjoy together, or build new experiences by trying something you both always wanted to do. Go to a farmer’s market together, walk on the beach, rent bicycles or go to a museum. The options are endless and the rewards in connectedness are great.
Find the joy – you’ll be stoked that you did!
ABOUT DR. CRAIG MARTIN Dr. Craig Martin is an astrologer, interfaith minister and spiritual counselor. Working with both individuals and couples, he resides in Los Angeles, and practices in both New York City and California. He is the author of “Elemental Love Styles: Find Compatibility and Create a Lasting Relationship,” and can be reached through his Web site at www.doctorcraig.com.