How to Maintain Attraction Over the Long-Term
Caroline Manzo puts the real in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and her fans relate to the reality star's no-nonsense attitude, focus on family and, above all, abundant common sense. Check back at Glo every Monday as Caroline helps solve your most pressing dilemmas.
The Dilemma: Can attraction in a relationship be rekindled? What's your advice for someone who realizes that he or she is no longer attracted to his or her spouse? How can a person change his or her attitude or mindset to recapture the spark of a relationship?
Caroline's Ruling: Whatever happened to the saying When the going gets tough, the tough get going?
Naturally in life, we hope to grow as individuals, but when you're in a relationship, part of the journey is finding a way to grow together. Obviously, physical attraction is an important facet in a relationship, but emotional attachment is the glue that keeps it together. If you're in a relationship based on physical attraction alone, then you've got your work cut out for you. (Newsflash: Beauty fades over time, and quite frankly, if that's all you've got, then you haven't got too much.)
So, how do you keep the attraction alive? By sharing your lives with one another. Talk about your workday, your dreams and your fears. If something happens during your day that is funny or exciting, then call your partner and tell him. If your back hurts, then ask for a back rub, if it's a beautiful day, then go for a walk, and if you're doing yard work, then do it together.
Basically, it's all about connecting on different levels, sharing interests and supporting each other in your individual interests and passions. Remember, the best way to grow as a couple is to have a very strong sense of who you are as an individual. When you have a basic awareness of self, it's easier to share your strengths and weaknesses with someone else.
Another key factor is acceptance. No one is perfect—understand the flaws in each other and accept them. Clearly I'm talking about silly things: his leaving the toilet seat up, her insistance on having pink frilly curtains in the bedroom. Big deal, so what?
Life is like a roller coaster—you have ups and downs and twists and turns at any given moment. Relationships have the same dynamic. My theory is this: Buckle up, expect the unexpected and enjoy the ride!
Do you have a question for Caroline? Send it to CarolineRulesOnGlo@gmail.com and it may be selected for an upcoming column!
From marriage dilemmas to family issues, Caroline's got the answers!Photo by Michael T. Greco