When Alisha and Joe started dating they were truly the definition and face of what a whirlwind romance looks like. The regular date nights, the exchange of gifts to make each other feel special, the midnight to dawn calls, and the constant urge of being with each other always seemed as if Alisha and Joe had finally decoded the secret of happy and long-lasting relationships.
Their #couplegoals social media pictures, their cute little comments on each other’s pictures were a source of inspiration to many as well as some people were fuming with jealousy as they couldn’t find something like what Alisha and Joe had. Fast forward to 10 months later, today Alisha and Joe have broken up. The reason is “the spark was gone and they fell out of love”.
Surprising? Shocking? Confusing?
Well, let’s first clear your confusion about who Alisha and Joe are? And why you are reading about them? Well let’s be honest, the story of Alisha and Joe isn’t new. We all must have heard or experienced a relationship that was no more a fairytale romance but just a bad zombie movie and the only way out was to break up and move on.
But ever wondered how and why relationships that seemed like the perfect love story fall out like a house of cards? The answer is simple-People fall out of love because we are humans. Humans tend to dissociate- first subconsciously and then physically from situations or people if they do not resonate with them.
Now, this is a natural process of human existence but at the same time, the fact that we humans cannot survive in isolation makes it integral to understand that to sustain relationships there have to be constant efforts by both partners to keep the spark alive in relationships.
So how to achieve healthy relationships that would sustain the test of time? How to keep the initial butterflies afloat throughout the relationship? Let’s dive into some relationship facts and advice from real-life couples.
Every couple falls into the trap of monotony after a while but it is also up to the couple how they bring a wind of change in their relationship. Now and then trying new places, and picking up a new hobby together (bachata dancing or pottery classes) can add excitement to the relationship. The key here is to be open to learning new things together.
Real-life couple Micheal and Sophie’s relationship advice
“We have been dating for the last 6 years and of course, it can become boring sometimes. But, to break out of the same routine, we keep trying out new places and hobbies. Over the years, we have learned bachata dance and French together and now we are planning to learn scuba diving together.
Actions speak louder than words and especially in relationships; “I love you is great but finding your favorite flowers randomly on the table or coming home to your favorite meal is just a beautiful feeling, isn’t it? Build your relationship with gestures that mean “ I love you and care for you” and see how the cupid arrow keeps striking you again and again.
We are living in a filtered world. From pictures to real people, everything is being plastered with a filter, right? And in this scenario, if we are starting a relationship then we are already putting it into a soup. If partners are true to their identities right from the start then it gets a lot easier for both of them to understand the changes that come with time in an individual's personality.
Michelle says “When I started dating my ex, he seemed like everything I had always wanted. I often used to think that two people could have the same tastes and dislikes as if they were identical. But, this was until the time he could last his fakeness. 6 months in the relationship and I started seeing the ship sink. His initial enthusiasm for things I thought he liked as a couple soon started to fade away. After many discussions, when we tried to re-start our relationship with his true likes and dislikes, we realized that we were two very different people, so we called it quits.
“Little things mean a lot”, a phrase we have often heard but unfortunately not many of us practice it. Today we are living in a world where everything needs to be grandeur so that it is instagrammable; but in reality, what makes a relationship stronger are- the little thank you’s, I am proud of you, I believe in you and sorry. The key is to build a healthy relationship where both partners feel appreciated and acknowledged.
Nope, not the kind of break Ross and Racheal (F.R.I.E.N.D.S series we are talking about) took, but a break to give each other some personal space.
Partners must understand and practice the habit of giving each other personal space right from the beginning of the relationship so that when their relationship matures with time they both can accept and respect each other’s personal space without feeling insecure.
Jose and Edwina say that “ We have been dating for the last 4 years. When we had just started dating, we both wanted to be sure if we as partners understood the concept of personal space Initially, it was a bumpy ride, but gradually with time, we started to get to know each other more as humans first and then partners which helped us find our way to accept and respect each other’s personal space.
Relationship experts have suggested that individuals must realize that unless they are not happy in their own company they would always have issues in understanding the concept of personal space. Therefore, it is always advised that before one jumps on the wagon of a relationship with another human being, first explore the relationship you have with yourself.
One of the biggest deal-breakers in relationships is monotonous patterns of intimacy, which is why both partners must realize that they must continually try to express affection in new ways to keep the fire of the relationship lit.
For example, have you seen tik tok or Instagram videos where partners send each other a naughty text amidst a family gathering? Or how about kissing your partner when they least expect it? Try such things to make your partner giddy with butterflies and your relationship filled with fireworks.
Partners must understand that flirting in the relationship should never end. After all, it was the flirting that worked the magic and made you two fall in love with each other. Keep up with those cheesy text messages even after years of relationship or marriage, dress up for each other regardless if you are going out together for the millionth time, tease each other even if you know everything about each other’s weak (pleasure) points.
Unless your partner is not doing something illegal or dangerous, we suggest that to keep up the spark in your relationship do things that they like to do, even if that means jumping off an airplane. (And yes, we mean with a parachute)
To keep the spark alive in the relationship both partners must be prepared and accept that the human they fell in love with once upon a time has changed and become a new person. Therefore, to be in love with this new person one must know and understand their transition and experiences by actually doing it themselves.
The classic example of this is of Phil and Claire Valentine date episode (Modern Family reference)
Phil loves magic and Claire isn't quite a fan of it. But, for Valentine's day, Claire decides to learn magic tricks (secretly) so that she can surprise her husband Phil. And boy oh boy, was Phil impressed or what? He was stunned after seeing Claire perform magic tricks for him to the extent that he says "I don't deserve you".
The key factor is that regardless of the years you have been in the relationship or marriage, partners must participate in each other's lives and interests (even if those interests aren't your cup of tea). This way you not only spend more quality time with each other but it also assures your partner that you are genuinely invested in building a meaningful and healthy relationship.
So, now that you have gone through these tips we are just assuming that you would be wondering what was so new here? Aren’t we already aware of these things? Well, it could be possible that you are well aware of these tips and you came here looking for new solutions to the problem.
But, we must remind you that there are no shortcuts to building a healthy relationship. There are no apps that would give you an instant magical potion to bring the spark to your relationship.
One has to constantly do things to maintain and sustain their relationship, one has to work for the relationship to keep its fire going because surely we are living in times where we may feel that there are many fishes in the sea or the grass is greener on the other side but in reality, every genuine relationship demands hard work and real-life love stories can only be a “happily ever after” when two people are willing to put in efforts for their love.