How to Reignite That Spark
Many relationships get to a stage where the original va-vavoom dissipates and you end up questioning whether you’re still in love with your partner because it feels different. The reason that it feels different is because itchemically is! Scientists have found that love has three main phases and that the body produces different hormones for each stage. Helen Harris, expert in relationship counselling Kent explains what these are and how they work:
This stage is when we’re looking for or have found a new partner. Itis driven by our sex hormones, testosterone and oestrogen.
This is the stage of love when the relationship is new and we cannot think about anything else but the new partner. We are obsessed and often lose our ability to think rationally (love is blind!). In this phase couples often find themselves spending hours getting to know one another and constantly in each other’s company. During this stage the body produces three hormones, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that produces a feeling of bliss. Norepinephrine (adrenaline) speeds up our heartbeat, makes our palms sweaty and gets us excited. Serotonin is regarded as one of love’s most influential chemicals and is linked to feelings of infatuation; it has a similar chemical appearance to obsessive-compulsive disorder. [Read; What make man fall in love with woman]
It usually takes around six months to a year to move into this stage. The brain chemistry begins to return to normal and the transition from stage two to three is often where relationships end. This is because couples think their love is fading, when in fact it’s just changing. Emotional attachment takes over attraction and couples begin to love their partners on a deeper level.
When a couple is intimate the brains gives off the hormonesoxytocin and vasopressin, two chemicals that bring the couple closer and make them feel more in love. By being physically intimate, either by cuddling, making love, touching and holding hands will release these hormones and deepen the bond.
It is likely that if the spark’s gone out you’re in the third stage of love. You are in a long term relationship, have been accustomed to a routine and you are simply used to your partner. While the second stage of love is exciting and thrilling the third usually feels more soothing and safe. Sometimes couples can go for days without properly interacting and exist like passing ships at night.
Here are a few simple ways to improve your relationship, feel closer and get that spark back!
- Do things together: Couples find themselves more attracted to each other when they frequently engage in activities together, this is especially apparent when they are working with one another to achieve a specific goal. Maybe start an evening class, go dancing or begin cooking together or even just watching television together.
- Be intimate: touch each other more, even if it’s just holding hands or sitting closer when you watch the television - it will make all the difference. Kiss more! Kissing decreases the level of cortisol, helping you feel less stressed and also increases oxytocin which helps you feel closer to your partner.
- Be Positive: Try not to criticise yourpartner, if you do, try to always make up for it with five complements. So next time you reprimand your partner for not wiping their feet, follow it with ‘but you make a lovely cup of tea’ or ‘but you still know how to make me smile’.
- Remember your partner: Always carry something that helps keep your partner in mind. It could be a wedding ring, or another piece of jewellery or a photograph – this will remind you of your relationship and bring to mind happy memories.
This article was written by Katherine Ogilvie on behalf of relationship counselling Kent expert, Helen Harris.