Here’s my answer for you…
In my Relationship Performance Indicator test my contacts can ask me any questions anonymously at the end of the quiz. The above question was posted there recently.
I love this question, because it is so close to the reason why I even started Inspiring Relationships and started to help couples to take an honest look at their relationship and improve it.
People go into relationships for love and affection. They love the closeness, the intimacy and the others person company. We all do. We are searching for belonging in one way or another. And to give and receive sex is an exciting part of this whole puzzle.
Now fast forward this by five years and you have a loving, intimate and respectful relationship living together in harmony. There might be young children around. And everything that has to be said about oneself has been said. Every nuance of history and secret might have been revealed. You know each other. You are comfortable with each other. You rely on each other.
And after a while, it can begin to feel like you are at a bit of a standstill. Where is the change coming from? Where is this little bit of uncertainty coming from we all want to spice our lives? Well, there is a new government. There are new neighbours and the kids are in a new school. You have a new boss at work. But at home, everything stays the same. The conversations are predictable. The routine, repetitive. You have sex every so often and while it is nice, it is not that new anymore.
To some, this can be perceived as secure; to others, it can feel just plain boring.
If we fast forward this another ten or fifteen years. we might find that the standstill is even more prevalent. And you look at each other thinking ~ ‘Where has the excitement gone? Where is the spark, the flame the heat we had in the first years?’.
The trick is to move the goal post. What do I mean by that? We humans love to set ourselves goals and go after them. We want to meet the girl of our dreams or the boy from our fantasy. We found them – hurray! Now we want to spend as much time and we want to move together. We did this, we are under the same roof – yeah! Now we want kids – and they are cute, adorable and a handful.
Where is the next goal post? And the one after that?
Studies have actually shown that you need to have a goal after the goal. Meaning you need to already think about the goal you want to achieve once you have reached your current goal. Otherwise you fall into a trough of satisfaction which could easily see you becoming or feeling complacent.
This notion of moving your goalpost is true for all of us, especially in our relationships. In short, to keep your relationship exciting, you constantly need to move the goal post and the best way of doing this is together.
Sit down with your partner and map out what you want to achieve in the next ten years, or maybe five years. Give yourselves permission to dream and put some exciting goals out there.
You want to keep in mind two factors here:
- Things we put down on paper, be it visual with a picture or with words, are ten times more likely to happen than those things we only speak and think of.
- We all underestimate what we can achieve in ten years and we overestimate what we can achieve in the next 12 months. In other words, it’s not uncommon to be overly ambitious in the short term and we get knocked back by not being able to achieve them. At the same time, we often play it small when thinking of the next ten years.
How do you keep your relationship exciting?
By doing exciting things together and constantly moving the goal post.
If you want to find out the state of your relationship, I invite you to complete my RPI quiz.