The Love Game

Does it feel like the passion has left the building right along with Elvis when it comes to your love life? Well, there’s a way to reignite it, and reinvigorate your very existence in the process as you rekindle your romantic relationship by learning how to fall in love all over again.
Text by Francesca Cruz | June 18, 2018 | Lifestyle

“I think he just craved a little affection, you know, a sense of being loved and needed and wanted…” Marilyn Monroe delivers that legendary line to her married neighbor before having her famed white dress blow almost over her plumb shoulders revealing her panties as she exclaims ever so seductively: “Ooooo, do you feel the breeze from the subway, isn’t it delicious?” So goes the scene from Billy Wilder’s silverscreen classic The Seven Year Itch — a title inspired by the famous phrase coined by psychologists for the inclination to wander off on the 7th year of marriage.
So what happens at this mark and how can we keep the flames of passion alive? Let’s first start by answering the age-old question: How does falling in love work? In Dr. Paul Dobransky’s book, The Secret Psychology Of How We Fall In Love, he states that to truly fall in love an individual must activate 3 parts of the human brain: The Reptilian (instincts, desires, sex); The Mammalian (friendships, shared emotions); and The Higher Brain (personal boundaries, communication, shared beliefs). When only The Reptilian is engaged, what occurs are one-night stands. If just The Reptilian and The Mammalian are stimulated, the passion can last several months and then falls flat fast (hence the feeling of, what happened, everything seemed to be going so well?). Conversely, when it’s only The Mammalian that’s in play, a great friendship without romance or physical intimacy usually develops. So what if only The Higher Brain is engaged? Well, this usually means there’s a spiritual connection but no sexual interest.
Moreover, Dr. Paul even discusses how there’s an allotted amount of time for this to unfold. It takes between 3-4 months to activate all the parts of the human brain. So yes, the age-old adage of “You can’t rush love” really has some basis.
But how long can this passionate love that engages all 3 parts really last? Dr. Terri Orbuch, author of 5 Simple Steps To Take Your Marriage From Good To Great, states that on average passionate love — arousal, excitement newness and mystery that happens at the beginning of love — tends to decline after 18 months. This is around the same time that a level of comfort sets in and when that intoxicating rush, that intense passion, starts to dwindle. And as each year passes, the coming of shared responsibilities, bills, family and all the mundane aspects of routine all contribute to its continued decrease. For some couples, it ceases to exist altogether and the relationship hits a roadblock that feels like a dead man walking. That’s when it’s time for both of you to STOP, take a step back and try to find some remedies.
But how exactly can a couple start the fireworks again or keep the flames of love on a slow on-going simmer? First, you MUST stoke the embers to keep the furnace hot…and if it’s been turned off…then it’s time to fire up! Marilyn Volker, a Miami-based Sexologist with more than 40 years of experience in the field believes that romance can be lifelong. “I’ve seen young people who have lost romance and I’ve seen 80-year-olds who learned that the secret of lifelong love is to keep the romance alive,” she says. “If the meaning of romance for you is to get or conquer — it will fade after you’ve accomplished your goal. If romance is a way to keep the relationship sweet, juicy, hot, loving and playful, it never has to end.” Life Coach, Writer & Motivational Speaker Connie Costa seconds that view by adding: “You don’t go to the gym and stop once you get abs,” she says. “You must keep going…same with romance.”
So now, let’s get to some remedies. Who cares if you don’t look like you did 10 years ago. Most of us don’t. But guess what? How about you start looking better than 10 years ago. Attraction & Relationship Expert Alison Armstrong advises to climb back into your body. “When we find fault in our bodies, when nothing seems to be good enough, when we’re angry or sad about the way we look, we literally abandon our bodies,” she says. “We don’t like to live in them. When we feel that way, we lose access to our sexual energy.”
After all, keep in mind that your spouse fell in love with you — with your body type and how you carry yourself. Okay, so maybe your body has changed for reasons that include childbirth, abandonment, laziness…the list goes on. You need to reunite with it before you can reignite anything. Sensuality has everything to do with acceptance and being in the moment. Leave the multi-tasking for when you’re at the office. Who finds someone who’s doing 8 things at a time sexy? The scrambling, the dazed eyes from being fully occupied…
Now look at a person who’s completely immersed, transfixed and using all their senses to enjoy, let’s say…devouring a fruit. Are you envisioning this? How they bite down as the bursts of juices and flavors engulf their mouth, the smell of the plump fruit, and the expression of shear delight on their face. Now do you get it? Learn to tap into all of your senses with your spouse. Enjoy every stimulus that’s manifesting around you. Lick your lips if something taste good, close your eyes and sway to the music that you hear, touch, feel and allow yourself to be touched and thoroughly felt. Stay in the moment and indulge.
And please…enough with the routine! The element of surprise is always exciting. Leave each other little notes with naughty and nice things written on them. Send a sexy text at an out-of-the-ordinary hour. Decide on doing something adventurers like spending the night in a hotel room with champagne, chocolates and movies, or having a Sunday picnic that ends up with you both kissing passionately in the ocean as the waves rock you both back and forth. Think about planning a “first” date with each other and arrive in different cars — ending the evening by making love in one of the rides if you so please. The idea is to break from the regiment and fan the flames of romance.
Famed Welsh Actor Richard Burton once said of Elizabeth Taylor that she is “an eternal one-night stand”…meaning she always maintained that element of mystery — he found her sensual, exciting and intriguing. We all have the capability of being that, not just for someone else, but also for ourselves. As Volker concludes: “Co-create your unique coupleship,” she says. “Don’t compare, and just enjoy each experience and each decade, which will be different. Suspend what you think should happen and enjoy what is possible.”