By: Terry A Rifkin L.C.S.W.

It is part of the natural course of a relationship that somewhere along the road, the strong emotions and feelings of love experienced at the beginning eventually wane. Although love seldom plays by the rules, it is true that it takes work. Not because you work on it means it becomes less real and less natural. After all, love is not just an emotion; it is regarded as an action, so if you want your relationship to last, keeping love alive is definitely top priority.

In most relationships, routines form after a while. As routines form, the motivations that drive partners to express love, which is love itself, somehow recedes into the background. At this point, the partners may begin taking each other for granted. Because of routines, partners don’t do things out of the ordinary anymore. They don’t exert special effort for the relationship anymore. When you allow routines to form, sooner or later, the routines will take centern and love starts to fade. In keeping the love alive, short bursts of spontaneity aren’t enough. Don’t just go to your usual restaurant; do new and exciting things, or even things you haven’t tried before. It is also very important to make time for the relationship.

Love is also about acceptance. In most relationships, as the first stage of love passes, the negative attitudes and the differences start to pry the two individuals apart. It is important to accept those differences and weaknesses then make it a daily habit to take charge of the way you feel towards your partner for that day. Always keep the good qualities and strengths of your partner in mind instead of dwelling on the negative aspects.

And if you need to be conscious about how you think, you also need to be conscious about what you do. Consider whether you are doing things that affect the relationship negatively. Sometimes, some people push partners away out of fear or some other unfavourable feeling. Do not let such fears and negative feelings overcome you. These are normal; what’s important is that you are aware that you love the other person for other great reasons.

Another important thing to consider is expectation. Everyone who enters into a relationship has expectations. Unmet expectations, however, are the thickest wall that can ever come between two people. If a partner is unable to meet expectations, there will be disappointment, then resentment. To keep the love alive, you need to be conscious of your own expectations. Are they realistic? Is it possible for your partner to meet those expectations? Do you and your partner expect the same thing from the relationship? These questions can help you identify certain problems that may be causing the gap between you and your partner.

It is also important to be with your partner because he/she is the one you choose. You are not in a relationship because it’s beneficial and convenient. You are in a relationship with a person you choose because you love that person, regardless of his/her weaknesses and flaws. It is normal for a relationship to take a dip somewhere along the way as these issues are faced. Making the conscious decision to be with someone through these difficult stages in a relationship is the first step to regaining the love after you overcome the issues that the relationship faced.

Terry is an author and highly sought out expert on eating disorders, depression and anxiety. She frequently speaks to special groups and businesses in the Southern California area and can be followed on her blog at this link.