Maintaining a sense of mystery within a relationship is about as imperative as using deodorant on a daily basis. Particularly as you continue into the lengthy periods of coupledom that come with three year anniversaries and catching your beloved picking their nose or wearing saggy underwear.
The critical dance between eroticism and intimacy is relentless within a relationship. Esther Perel, the linguistically sophisticated goddess has devoted a whole book to this topic which redefines our confusion on the matter. And it is confusing.
As humans we crave intimacy. Togetherness. Comfort. Security. To be able to finish our partner’s sentences, to know when they’ll be home and who they’re interacting with at any given moment. Perel claims that it is this comfort that is actually the antithesis to eroticism, romance and desire. In fact we’re seduced by the unknown most often found hiding behind distance and anonymity.
The most ironic part? Intimacy eats eroticism. In fact, that sounds too sexy. Intimacy suffocates eroticism. The fact that you go to bed and wake up together in your ugly pyjamas stifles sensuality, seduction and sex drive quicker than a piece of bread gets soggy in a cup of tea.
As with any issue that’s interdependent on human elements there’s no hard or fast (ha ha) reasoning for it happening, and for something so abstract as desire, it takes a back seat on our priorities list.
A good starting place, though, is to reignite the sense of mystery within the relationship. If this sounds like a completely foreign concept that’s because it is, and mystery as a strategy is rarely implemented seamlessly past playing a game of Cluedo. That’s because, as humans, we have an odd love-hate relationship with the unknown. Mystery, at its very core is enigmatic. We crave it, are thrilled and captivated by it but we’re also guilty of being too impatient, distrusting and uncomfortable to really allow it to positively ignite us.
The first step in mission mystery is recreate the space that was present in the initial stages of the relationship. Let’s not forget that,
“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
Not knowing where that special someone is or when they might turn up incites a unique thrill in humans. Suddenly we make more effort with our appearance. Our internal chatter seamlessly seeps into imagined conversations with them, and out loud we attempt to slip their name into every conversation possible, just for the opportunity to bask in the glory of hearing it. It’s that electric energy that infiltrates every minor detail of your life, curbs your appetite and encourages you to plan your outfit down to your nail polish just in case you run into them on the way to get coffee.
The quickest and simplest way to reestablish that sense of passion, is to recreate the physical space between you and your partner. Spend fewer nights at their place each week, focus on your goals, plan catch ups with only your girlfriends, refrain from texting them more than 45 times per day, don’t automatically assume that they want to do everything with you.
Liberate them and by doing so liberate yourself and ultimately remember who you were when they fell in love with you.