"I still love him; I'm just not in love with him anymore."
How many times have you heard (or maybe even said) this cliché sentence? What does it even mean? What is the difference between loving someone and being in love with a person?
The answer is passion.
Passion is the difference between loving a person and being in love with a person. Passion is the difference between a long-lasting, healthy, and happy relationship or a slowly dying, soul-sucking relationship.
But passion is tricky. Passion just appears in the beginning of an intimate relationship. It comes to us in the form of hormones and chemicals that make us feel tingly and excited inside every time we see that new person we're dating.
Then, after about 18 months or so, passion gets lazy. Our hormones calm down, and our chemicals normalize. Our bodies and minds start getting comfortable in the relationship.
All of a sudden, we're expected to work for our passion. If we don't put in more effort and time, passion will completely disappear.
Don't worry, though. Bringing back the passion isn't hard — it just takes daily action. Here are nine little tricks that'll help you keep (or renew) the passion in your relationship.
1. Hug it out.
It has been clinically proven that hugging your partner for 30 seconds three times a day actually increases your intimacy and passion fivefold! Hugging also increases oxytocin and lowers stress and blood pressure.
When you are centered and calm, people are drawn to you — including your spouse. Take 15 to 30 minutes today to relax and meditate.
3. Admire and appreciate.
Start pointing out the good! Let your spouse know what you admire and appreciate about them. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Aim for at least eight positive interactions for every one negative interaction.
4. Write it down.
Get out a pen and piece of paper and set a timer for two minutes. Now, write down all the reasons that you love your spouse. Feel free to share this with your spouse and reminisce, or just keep it to yourself.
5. Sharpen your communication skills.
Be careful what you say. Complaining, nagging, name-calling, or belittling is a passion extinguisher. Always be aware of how you speak to your spouse.
6. Stop criticizing.
Bite your tongue today. Let your spouse do things their way, and don't offer any unsolicited advice. Your spouse will feel more empowered and accomplished, and you will reap the passionate rewards.
7. Switch it up.
Do something different today. Get out of the boring, ho-hum routine and mix it up. Pick one thing to do differently every day. It will spice up your relationship and also help expand your mindset.
8. Find some thrills.
Find an adrenaline-pumping activity to do with your spouse, such as watching a scary movie, sky diving, hang gliding, or scuba diving. Studies show that sharing an exciting experience brings couples closer.
9. Initiate sex and make-out sessions.
If you feel it, do it. And if you don't feel it, give yourself the chance to start. A make-out session doesn't have to go anywhere if you don't want it to. Sometimes it's really nice just to kiss someone. And the more intimacy you build, the more passionate your relationship will be.