Romantic relationships can start to feel more like friendships for a number of reasons. In shorter relationships it may be that there is not yet enough intimacy, while longer relationships may suffer from a lack of passion. Feeling that you are just friends is sometimes a sign that you're just not with the right person -- but if you and your partner are both sure that you love each other and are committed to making your relationship work, there are ways of fixing the issue.
Your relationship may feel like it's stuck in the friendship zone if you haven't told your boyfriend clearly what you want from him to make you feel special. You are more likely to get what you need if you communicate the ways in which you want your partner to treat you more lovingly in specific terms. "I would like you to hold my hand more often" is better than a vague plea, "I wish you were more affectionate," according to the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center.
If you're looking to reignite the passion in your relationship, double dating could help bring you closer to your partner, according to a study by Wayne State University. In 2013, researchers found that getting together with another couple and sharing your opinions, stories and personal information with them actually increases feelings of passionate love within your own relationship. Pick a couple you are already close to, and go for dinner somewhere quiet and intimate. Researchers noted that getting a fresh perspective on your partner could be what makes a double date so effective at reigniting the passion.
Spending time together romantically can save a relationship that's becoming too friend-like. Plan a romantic picnic, cook a candlelit meal or settle down together to watch a movie. In fact, watching and discussing movies about relationships can help you to improve your love life, by making couples more aware of mistakes they may be making, according to a study published in the "Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology" in 2013. "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "As Good as It Gets" and "Marley & Me" were listed by Rochester University as good conversation starters for couples.
Physical affection is an important part of romantic relationships. Kissing makes people feel happier in their relationships, a study published in "Sexuality Research & Social Policy" showed. The 2005 research, carried out by the University of Tennessee on people ages 14 to 21, found that kissing made couples more satisfied with their relationships and more committed to their partners. A slow, gentle, tender kiss can show your girl that she is much more to you than a friend.
- University of Texas at Austin: Building a Healthy Relationship from the Start
- Society for Personality and Social Psychology: Keep Romance Alive with Double Dates
- University of Rochester: Divorce Rate Cut in Half for Couples Who Discussed Relationship Movies
- Sexuality Research & Social Policy: Kissing is Good: A Developmental Investigation of Sexuality in Adolescent Romantic Couples
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