Roommate Rut: How to Put Passion Back in Your Relationship

Things are comfortable between you and your partner – it works – but is your relationship really satisfying your overall wellbeing? You may have been together for years and run a household as smoothly as two people can, but didn’t you sign up for a husband, and not a roommate? Getting too comfortable with each other can impact your sexual health, leading your hot-and-heavy sex life to dwindle to a quickie every two months, and possibly on your anniversary. What happened to your sexual wellness as a couple? Where’s the libido? The passion? Why do you feel so lonely? This is a common scenario that Julie Orlov, psychotherapist and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery, comes across on a regular basis and, luckily, she can help.


According to Orlov, ‘If this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. Many couples, after some years have gone by, or when the kids have moved out, look at each other as if they are compatible roommates. And for many, there comes a time when that level of complacency is no longer acceptable. Couples hit a crossroad every few years and for most couples, this crossroad will be met at least once, if not more, throughout the lifetime of their relationship.’ However, the good news is that if your partner is more roommate than Romeo, there are things you can do to bring passion back into your relationship:


1. Start dating each other again: Orlov advises couples stuck in a rut to re-establish date nights ‘And I mean truly dating,’ she asserts. ‘Plan together, make reservations, pick meaningful, fun and varied activities and begin a flirtation. Pretend that you’re still courting each other, and put that level of attention into your dates.’


2. Make out: Be a teenager again, preferably in both public and private spaces! ‘Kissing creates intimacy,’ Orlov explains. ‘Start off slowly and watch the passion and tension build. Most couples stop kissing passionately on a regular basis after many years of being together. Make it part of your daily routine and see what happens. That quick goodbye peck could turn into something better.’


3. Do something new together: Whether you start a new hobby, take a class, or join a cause together, get out of that rut by trying something new, meaningful and fun that you can both enjoy. Orlov notes, ‘Doing something out of your comfort zone together creates collaboration and builds connection that might have gone stale.’


4. Get playful: Orlov suggests, ‘Tickle, tackle, wrestle, joke, do karaoke — whatever suits your fancy. Just remember to do it with vigour. Leave inhibitions behind and be willing to feel silly and foolish for a while. I promise any feelings of self-consciousness will pass and be replaced with feel-good hormones and enjoyment for one another.’


5. Redefine your relationship: Creating a vision together ‘is at the foundation of phase four in The Pathway to Love,’ says Orlov. ‘And is absolutely necessary in order to create a transformational relationship. Take the time and invest in your future. If you need help on how to do this, The Pathway to Love at-home programme shows you the way.’


6. Seek the advice of a professional: While the above steps can set you on your way to turning your roommate back into your lover, sometimes there are other factors at play that require professional help. Hormonal shifts, mood disorders, medical conditions, or relationship issues go beyond those of a typical long-term marriage slump, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help if this applies to you.

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