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I know that I am REALLY in love with my girlfriend: we know we want to spend our life together; we have the same life and we love doing the same things; I think that she’s the most beautiful girl in the world and she feels the same for me.
However, we are both lawyers, we work a lot during the week and we don’t live together. When we see each other we’re always tired or always doing something outside together (restaurants, movies, gigs, etc).
I have the feeling we lost the craziness and the passion we had at the beginning, when we were never tired, when we passed days making love, and always felt our love physically. Sometimes I’m feeling that we’re already old, that we’re missing our life.
Is there a way to feel that passion and that craziness again after 2.5 years together?
No you are totally fucked JUST KIDDING.
Ok well, first of all — you have lost the craziness and passion that you had in the beginning, because that level of intensity isn’t sustainable and you’d probably both die of heart attacks or go insane! According to Quality Health:
Romantic love triggers reward systems in the brain. When we fall in love, our body releases chemicals-neurotransmitters-that make us feel good. This is the first step in the process of bonding, which is nature’s design to perpetuate the species.
Neurotransmitters form in our brain and then our brain sends them out to the rest of the body. While many neurochemicals play a role, three in particular make up the chemicals of love.
Norepinephrine. This neurotransmitter may not be familiar to you, but its alternative name probably is. Noradrenaline causes your heart to race and your palms to sweat when you are emotionally charged. High levels of norepinephrine increase our experience of joy and reduce our appetite (that’s why falling in love is a great way to lose weight).
Dopamine. Dopamine stimulates pleasure centers in the brain, producing feelings of euphoria and increasing sociability. It’s the precursor to the third primary love chemical, phenylethylamine.
Phenylethylamine. This neurotransmitter prompts the body to release large quantities of dopamine and norepinephrine and increases our physical and emotional energy.
Other chemicals also play an important role in falling in love. Oxytocin, which is present in high levels in female orgasm, is called the cuddle hormone. It’s linked to early socialization, social cognition, and trust. People who have recently fallen in love also have lower levels of serotonin, which is also low in people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Low levels of serotonin may explain why we become so preoccupied with our new lover.
Chloe Shani Malveaux also brings up an interesting point about how relationships are depicted in media and how that shapes the expectations and limitations we put on our own relationships:
There is a scientific basis for this perception that love is less intense over time. It is because relationships shift from passionate love to long term attachment. Literally if you looked at a picture of your love the first week in the relationship, and then a picture of them 10 years later, you may still love them, but different parts of the brain are being activated and responding depending on where you are in the relationship with that person.
Infatuation love fades, it is supposed to, but what it also does is it gives the initial push to spend as much time with that person to be able to develop long term attachment to that person by the time the infatuation fades. This is a point where some relationships fail, when the infatuation fades but the attachment never stuck. And people get bored and unsatisfied in the relationship, wondering why they were with the person in the first place. They realize that they no longer love this person anymore because the infatuation love has faded and the long term attachment love never took its place.
But I can see another reason why some relationships fail at this stage is due to our cultural perceptions that infatuation love is true love and it should remain consistent throughout the relationship. That if infatuation love ever wanes then it is an indicator that true love is waning, and therefore the relationship is failing.
So all of this is to say a) TOTES NORMAL, this feeling you’re feeling, and b) y’all probably just need some new stuff to do! Here are some ideas off the top of my freckled head.
Do Things Apart
You seem to have limited downtime, but maybe carve out a few hours to do something new by yourself. Get separate hobbies, read a weirdo book from a genre you don’t usually consider, learn something, volunteer, be really early for something and find a way to fill that time with whatever’s around and then write about it. This can be hard if either of you is maybe a little clingy, but you really have to stand up for your Me Time, even if you’re standing up to yourself. Did that sentence make sense?
You’ll have so much to talk about the next time you see each other, also you’ll be more interesting in general, which is neat. I’m sure you’re very interesting now though, for the record.
Do Things Together
Get out of your house/city and take a field trip to a new place. This gives you some new memories to remember! Together! Even if the trip is a disaster and everything was went wrong, you still did it together and came back together and just ALL THE TOGETHERNESS. Bonding forever. But probably everything won’t go wrong and you’ll have a fabulous time.
Also: hotel sex.
Do Things in the Company of Others
This is my personal favorite. Maybe it’s some version of the thrill of the chase, but watching your person interact with other people is somehow really fucking sexy. I theorize this is because you can’t just makeout with her right there on the spot — I mean there are people around and she’s in the middle of a sentence, it’d be totally rude. So no matter what kinky thought is going through your dirty little mind, you have to wait. This is usually when I think back to all of the hottest sex we’ve had, or even just what she looks like topless, and then I think, “OMG I KNOW WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE WHEN SHE [all the things] AND YOU JERKS HAVE NO IDEA (hopefully). FUCK YEAH ME DOT COM.” That leads to me thinking about how we’re a couple, you know? Like a real couple with a past and a present — we’re a little team, and that’s totally fucking adorable! We cuddle on the sofa together and she knows I like straws! And then all the oxytocin floods my system, I’m assuming, and I fall in love again. Right there at SoAndSo’s birthday party. Thanks, SoAndSo!
Do Things That Scare the Shit Out of You
This one comes to you via my main bitch, Megan, who thinks that maybe doing something really terrifying and thrilling together will make you both feel super alive and bonded even more, because you’ve lived through this horrifying event. I’m scared of scary things, so I think this is nuts, but I think she’s talking about haunted houses and rollercoasters — something that’s out of your comfort zone — not car accidents and tornadoes. “Egg somebody’s house,” she’s saying from the kitchen. I don’t know, I think you can get really creative here.
Do Things Happily
This might not apply to you, but sometimes it’s easy to turn your relationship into a 24/7 therapy and venting session. Don’t do that. It brings everyone down and puts a blanket of stress and blah on top of everything. If a lot of negative shit is happening in your life, definitely take some time to decompress and get some support from your person, but then temper that shit with some positivity. This will also keep you from being a really negative person overall, because you shouldn’t dwell. That’s what my grandmother always said and she grew up during the Depression with five siblings in a house with a dirt floor and hardly any food, so.
Buy New Underthings
Do you need some new underwears? Probably. New underthings will make you feel 100% more excited about taking off your clothes, having someone’s face between your legs, throwing a bra at someone’s head while they’re tied to a chair, having a bra thrown at your head while you’re tied to a chair, grocery shopping, climate change, hangnails, etc. Lucky for you, Autostraddle has put together an extensive collection of underwear-related shopping/feelings guides.
Of course, you can and should talk to your girlfriend and see how she feels. Some good old fashioned lesbian processing could help you get to any deeper issues that might be there. I think everything’s going to be ok, I really do. If you weirdos have some advice or stories of your own to share, tell us in the comments!
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Please keep your questions to around, at most, 100 words. Due to the high volume of questions and feelings, not every question or feeling will be answered or published on Autostraddle. We hope you know that we love you regardless.