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The importance of routines… Or how to fall in love

When we fall in love, I mean the moment we feel butterflies in our stomach, our life, for a while changes. The emotions and experience we feel when we meet a new person (or start a new project) create a state where everything seems to be new, intense and beautiful. Generally, we think it comes from the love we feel. And we know that after a while this feeling will slow down; the excitement fades away and it leads to… routine!

Routines are actions we can do without paying conscious attention; for example driving, brushing our teeth, showering, using the computer… These activities are “automatic”; we can do them when we are thinking about something else. However, routines can also become attitudes in relationships; we no longer pay attention to our partner, as their presence becomes normal. We know them, we already expect that he/she will react in this or that way. We expected them to do this or that. As it is known in advance, the result is expected.

As strange as it could seem, this creates an aspect of safety; if something changes in this routine, it irritates and destabilizes us. We feel disregarded or put under pressure.
Every time that “we already know” we limit ourselves. For example, “It is needless to say, anyway he/she does not listen”. “I’m not suggesting anything, in any case he/she is always tired”. “That, he/she does not want”.

To create more innovation and bring energy into our relationship, like passion, interest, emotion, we can train ourselves out of the safety of routines. In fact, any repetitive perception weakens our ability to pay attention to ourselves and to what is happening around us. In a way, our world is shrinking and under these conditions, to love and be loved is difficult precisely because it requires… attention!

As routines support each other, by introducing a change, even a little, we can “reactivate” our attention.

Surely you have an activity you enjoy doing alone or with your partner and it has been sacrificed to a routine.

  1. Choose an activity you would like to do regularly (once a week minimum).
  2. Take a moment to reflect on the reasons you do not dedicate time to it (fatigue, lack of time, the opposition of the partner, laziness).
  3. Once you have described it, think about the effect that these reasons have on your relationship.
  4. Then identify what the realization of this activity asks from you (to leave work at a certain time, contact someone, to give up watching TV).
  5. And here we are at achieving your intention! Try to practice it at least one at week for 1 month. Note the difficulties you may meet, the result of this change and the satisfaction of being able to change a routine.

If completing this exercise by yourself is too difficult, I can support you in changing your habits that could be restricting you. Contact me if you wish to work on it!

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