How do you reconnect with your partner after being together for awhile?
This is rather exciting. A person emailed me a question from New Zealand!
Although its from the other side of the planet, the question is all too familiar.
I hope this message finds you well.
I’ve recently been studying neuroscience and have lost sight of my previous beliefs about love. I’m hoping you can share some of your own insights into my question:
Is it possible for two people that are out of love, heavily attached and never really had a strong connection- though have been reasonably happy and married for 15 years to experience a deep rewarding love with each other if they choose to?
If so, does this mean that compatibility and connection isn’t actually important when selecting a partner- as long as two people are willing to do the activities to bring about love?
Would love to hear your thoughts.
First, I would like to commend you for your choice of study. Neuroscience is an amazing field. And, I do hope the beliefs you’ve lost since studying it were ones that were not serving you any longer, such as the belief in “love at first sight,” and the ever popular, you just have to find “the one” and you can live effortlessly “happily-ever-after,” even if you are being an irresponsible brat.
Your question is quite interesting. You seem to be saying the two people in question are out of love. I believe that you mean that intense emotion felt early on in the relationship. But, then you mentioned that they never had a strong connection. In other words, you are asking can they develop a connection they never really had after being together for 15 years, if they choose too?
The short answer is “yes” anything is possible if you choose it. But, this is going to be a new connection, which they didn’t have before.
To answer your question about compatibility and connection when selecting a partner, compatibility is very important but connection can be developed. That is to say, you want to pick someone that you have some things in common with, as well as traits you find desirable. When you have commonality, the connection is easier to cultivate.
So, the real question is, “How do you develop connection?” Research shows that connection can be felt when oxytocin and dopamine are released. Oxytocin, sometimes called the bonding hormone can be increased through talking and touch. Spending quality time with your partner helps to grow the connection. The other neurotransmitter is dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel excited, particularly for the future, like you’re a winner. It’s released when you do new and novel things together, such as going somewhere new on date night.
Recently, I discovered a new service that has been trying to help couples reconnect. One of these is The Date Box Club. They sent me a date night box. Inside the box was a fondue set with chocolate and marshmallows and question cards with a timer. The chocolate increases dopamine, while answering the questions, such as “Name 4 things you like about me?” increases oxytocin.
The point is, to reconnect or to develop a new connection you’ve never had before will take some effect. The good news is that this effort should be fun and exciting. Do news things, explore and discover things that you love about your partner. Then, you can experience that deep rewarding love you desire.