The Glue For Long-Term Relationships. Most individuals understand how it feels to be in the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship, when both of your brains are working to bring you closer. High levels of dopamine are produced by romantic love, resulting in pleasurable feelings and reciprocal behaviours. You’re just getting started on developing emotional safety by prioritising, listening, and validating each other. As you progressively create vital trust between you, your best face is forward in your kindness and attentiveness. You spend a lot of time thinking about each other, and you may be experiencing the warm fuzzies of love.
The fact that this phase usually fades has been discussed extensively. Couples should be left with the elements of each other that they fell in love with so that they may flow with the ups and downs of life together. That can be fairly seamless, but it isn’t always the case. The adjustment may be difficult if there was an excessive focus on the high of early love and not enough knowledge into each other’s realities, especially the less acceptable aspects. How successfully do couples adapt as vulnerabilities or “warts” become apparent?
Returning to emotional security. They must rely on new connection points now that the “honeymoon” glow has faded from view in the rearview mirror. They should, in theory, like being with each other, have mutual trust and respect, and shared relationship goals in order to progress positively. They can avoid allowing blunders or life problems cast doubt on their capacity to rely on each other if they have a general good will and a collaborative attitude.
But what keeps long-term intimate relationships afloat? Some of the few factors are communication, dispute resolution, crisis management abilities, finances, and parenting beliefs, but there is one aspect that can be overlooked.
Little moments are the glue for long-term relationships together.
Life continues to go on. Days turn into weeks, months, and ultimately years. Couples must adjust to both internal and external events in their life. The “little moments” of their ongoing interaction patterns, on the other hand, are crucial. The list of these times might be endless because people are loved in different ways, but the key point is that the little moments happen on a regular basis for each person in the relationship. Here are a few examples:
- A seductive glint in the eye.
- The hair is stroked.
- Inquire about their day in a genuine manner.
- Hug given on the spur of the moment.
- During the workday, text to check in.
- While watching television, give your neck a massage.
- The use of affectionate nicknames.
- Bringing coffee to a partner.
- At transitions, give a kiss or an embrace. (hey, farewell, good morning, good night)
- In passing, a playful tap on the back.
Many of the above, as well as others, may have occurred during the early stages of your relationship. You were probably both extremely aware that you were important to one other and that you were adored. It’s natural for some of the more intimate actions to fade away with time, but if they all fade away, that’s a warning flag. And for others of you, it may be your first time, and you’re considering the implications.
Whatever else is going on in the relationship, reminding each other that they are loved and important is essential. Each couple’s loving micro-behaviors are distinct and serve as a thread that binds them together throughout time. Remember that various people have varying levels of need for these, thus in certain circumstances one may need them desperately to stay connected, while in others it may not be as natural (due likely to earlier experiences and attachment styles). All of this may become fairly complicated, and if not addressed, can lead to bitterness and estrangement.
The “glue” is lacking in my relationship.
In-bed intimacy can be thwarted by a lack of out-of-bed intimacy. The idea of having sex with your partner at this stage may seem viscerally bad to many people who require general intimacy to feel connected. The long-term implications of not having that thread or glue intact can be eroding separation, which was driven by a slow-burning sensation of rejection in the first place.
One option is to request what you require from your partner. They then have the option to form new behaviours for the purpose of your connection, even if it isn’t natural. Hopefully, they will hear and respond. It’s sometimes just a case of long-term relationship laziness.
Try to change this if one or both of you do some of these but the other hasn’t been outstanding at responding favourably. The risk is that the one who is engaging in the activities may eventually cease, leaving the relationship even more vulnerable to separation due to a lack of the glue required to keep it together.
If the problem is more serious, such as resentment or other unresolved issues that are interfering with the above-mentioned micro-behaviors, consider couples therapy to delve deeper and get back on track.
Little things do, in fact, matter.