Falling in love is easy. You chase those glorious falling-in-love feelings as hard as you can, and when you catch them, you clamp down like your life depends on it. You have excitement, focus, and interest— the ingredients of thrill. You develop intimacy as you share your history, hopes, and dreams. You pursue sensuality with presence and delight, intentionally choosing seductive underwear and planning an evening that will dazzle your date. Passion blooms without effort, a perfect triangle of thrill, intimacy, and sensuality resting on a bed of novelty.
Novelty is thrilling. That’s why it’s so easy to fall in love. But your initial passion rests on a shaky and impermanent foundation—by definition, new cannot last. Routine, safety, and predictability— the foundation of a stable, committed relationship—can feel ho-hum. And ho-hum is not good for thrill. Routine is the antithesis of surprise. If your partner strides in the door, kisses you passionately and hands you a fistful of fresh-picked poppies, you are delighted. Your heart jumps, and you feel like the luckiest person in the world. Now, imagine that your partner greets you that way every day for fourteen years. Does your heart still jump each time? Probably not. If you are not mindful, once the novelty wears off, you get bored with the same old plaything. You may stop doing what used to come easily—planning romantic weekends, listening with open nonjudgmental curiosity to your sweetie, wearing black lace instead of saggy cotton. The new becomes familiar, the surprising becomes routine, and you develop lazy love habits. Marriage Inc. replaces Dating Inc. You stop paying attention to your lover and your love relationship. The thrill fades away, your former passion neglected like a forgotten squirrel in the dog toy basket.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could go back to the beginning and find each other new again? Well, you can. To break complacent habit patterns, to move out of Marriage Inc. and into becoming passion, you must make love intentional. After the initial throes of falling in love, you cannot rely on lust and novelty to keep you interested. You must nurture thrill with loving intention. And there are two main ways you can do that. First, by intentionally developing mindfulness—noticing, appreciating, and connecting with the present moment and with your lover in this present moment. When you pay deep attention, you can create novelty over and over again with the one you are with and replace boredom with fascination. Second, by setting intentions to bring the thrill back by planning romance, bringing creativity to your sex life, and generally kicking routine in the butt. Decide to bring your sweetheart poppies. Or surprise them with something new. And when you receive poppies,
be mindful that poppies, and your sweetheart, are inherently beautiful
whether this is the first time you have ever seen them or the
hundredth. For believe it or not, every moment together is new and
exciting if you simply set your mind to it.
MINDFUL SKILL: Bust Love Boredom by Getting Interested
For every fascinating man or woman, there can be a partner who finds them boring after all these years. Remember, a bored mind has simply ceased to be interested. Your own mind of curiosity may need a jump-start. Set aside a time to sit with your partner and ask each other interesting questions. This is a fantastic way to remain curious and to discover new things about the person you may have slept beside every night for decades.
You can do this at home, but better yet, do it out at a funky bistro or on a park bench, creating novelty with the setting as well as the questions. The questions should be open-ended and encourage lengthy replies. They can be playful or serious, simple or deep. In this present moment, you can create curiosity by opening your eyes and heart and seeing this amazing human in front of you with a fresh mind. Now, if you’re not the world’s most creative person and it’s difficult for you to think of questions, I’ll get you started with some ideas—questions to inspire intimacy, thrill, and sensuality, and some just for fun. But it’s the quality of curiosity you bring to the enterprise, more than the questions themselves, that matters. So, for the next month, set the intention that once a week you will ask each other five meaningful questions. Then sit back and see what happens.
Ask Interesting Questions-
- If you won a contest that gave you four vacation houses anywhere in the world, what four places would you choose, and why?
- How did you meet your first best friend, and what happened to that friendship?
- Most of us secretly fear that the world will see through us and into our biggest weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
- What parts of you do you never want the world to know about?
- What is the most public place you’ve ever made love?
- Who was it with?
- If you could trade lives with another person for one day,
- who would you pick and what would you do?
- I know I’m not perfect, and neither are you, my love. If you had a magic wand and could abolish one annoying habit from each of us, what would you get rid of?
- What is something you have always wanted to try—a sport, a trip, business venture—but fear or doubt stopped you?
- If you could go back in time and spend ten minutes with yourself when you were twenty-one years old, what would you say?
- When it comes to our sexual life, what is one thing you wish we would do more often or try for the first time?
- What album, singer, or band had the biggest impact on you in your teens, and why?
Visit www.drcherylfraser.com/quiz or click below to take the Passion Quiz so you can Rate Your Relationship (strengths and weaknesses) on the Three Keys to Passion – Thrill is one of them.
Excerpted from Buddha’s Bedroom: The Mindful Loving Path to Sexual Passion and Lifelong Intimacy. Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Copyright © 2018 Cheryl Fraser.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash