Long term relationships – they can be tricky things. Security it all very well, but where do you get your excitement from when you are in for the long haul? Let’s face it, when you have been working hard all day, when the credit crunch is on and you are worried about your job, it’s hard enough to just keep a relationship ticking over, let alone keep it exciting.
The thing about first falling in love is that it is exciting. It is full of adrenalin, ups, downs, and you body and brain get pumped full of the love drug, PEA which makes your tummy flip, your palms sweat and gives you those lovely rose coloured glasses that only let you see the good part of your other half. Taling about excitement, interestingly, Psychology Today is calling 2009 the year of living dangerously. Apparently when women are exposed to higher stress levels they are more likely to engage in casual sex and risk taking. 2009 is apparently going to be the year of the affair.
This comes back to my original point – where do you get your excitement in a relationship? The fact is, that after a certain amount of time it just becomes really comfortable. You chat about your day, what your friends have been up to and sit and watch a DVD together and maybe get a bit of excitement by trying a new type of wine. Not exactly sizzling stuff. At this point, oxytocin, the snuggle drug has kicked in – the one that makes you feel warm, comfortable, secure and want to feather your nest. The trouble is that certain type of people, I think actually most people need some sort of excitement as well as security. They long for that rush, that adrenalin, that kick that makes you feel alive. I think the most obvious option for most people becomes and affair – it is exciting, gives the thrill of the hunt, the excitement of the catch and kill, the rush of skulduggery.
But what people are forgetting is what they are really looking for is the rush. I’ve certainly had to confront this in my own relationship – I’m snug as a bug, in a rug. But started to notice, well, for all that snugness, well it was . . . a bit boring. Instead of bowing to the temptation of an affair (and embarrassingly there are no shortage of offers), I’ve realised it’s the rush I need. Instead I get it rock climbing every week – nothing like your body thinking it’s going to die to get the adrenalin going. I get it in the gym almost every day – pushing myself so hard that the endorphins go mad to try take away the pain. I get it going out and having a boogey.
The thing is that all this takes planning, planning how you are going to get your rush. You’ve got to work at it and schedule it in. You’ve got work at find enough climbing partners, you’ve got work at pushing through the pain at the gym, you’ve got to work at convincing your 30 something friends that it really is worth going out dancing. To be frank it’s bloody hard work. No wonder so many people take the easy option – websites for married men and women wanting affairs are booming this year. So what about you, where do you get your rush? How do you deal with the security/excitement conundrum?