Grace Ballard, MA, LPC, CST | AASECT Certified Sex Therapist | Colorado, Denver, Boulder

Play and Creativity Keep Passion Alive

Cultivating Novelty

The Key to Keeping Passion Alive in Relationships

 

In the realm of relationships, novelty is a powerful aphrodisiac, says Esther Perel. It’s the spark that ignites passion, the fuel that keeps the flames burning bright even in the face of routine and familiarity. As someone who has always sought new experiences, I’ve come to appreciate the profound impact that novelty has on the dynamics of love and intimacy.

From relishing the pursuit of new foods to thriving in crowds of strangers, my love for novelty extends across my life. Traveling to new places, immersing in different cultures, and learning new languages are not just hobbies but essential pursuits that enrich my existence. But beyond simple thrills, it’s the deeper connections forged through the discovery of new ideas and perspectives that truly captivate me.

One key to sustaining passion lies in cultivating novelty, whether through shared experiences or intimate conversations. It’s about injecting a sense of mystery and surprise into everyday interactions, countering the monotony that can lead to a decline in desire over time.

Balance Comfort and Thrills

Maintaining a balance between familiarity and novelty is crucial. While the comfort of recognition provides a sense of security, it’s the thrill of encountering the unknown that keeps the flame of desire alive. Novelty breeds testosterone, sparks curiosity, and encourages exploration, reminding us that even the person we know so well still holds untold dreams, longings, and surprises.

One of the most potent ways to cultivate novelty in a relationship is through the sharing of new stories. Too often, we settle into tired conversation prompts that offer little room for exploration or connection. Instead of asking the same mundane questions, why not delve deeper and invite your partner to share their most intimate thoughts and desires?

Imagine asking questions like, “I was never the same after…” or “A text message I fantasize receiving…” These prompts open the door to new territories of conversation, allowing you to uncover hidden depths within your partner and yourself. It’s through these vulnerable moments of sharing that true intimacy blossoms, strengthening the bond between you and your loved one. (For more ideas like these, check out Esther Perel’s card game, “Where Should We Begin?“)

Awkward is a Good Sign

Of course, embracing novelty in a relationship requires a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. It’s easy to fall into routines because they offer predictability and security. Rewatching your favorite TV show or dining at the same restaurant may provide a sense of comfort – and this is also very important. Remember that it’s about finding balance between resting in comfort and fostering growth and excitement.

Breaking free from these patterns requires courage and vulnerability. It means being willing to try new things, even if they feel awkward or risky at first. Awkwardness can be a good sign that you’re breaking new ground.

Vulnerability is not a weakness; it’s a sign of strength and authenticity. By embracing playfulness and curiosity, you create a safe space for exploration and connection, where the fear of rejection is replaced by the thrill of discovery.

Incorporating novelty into your relationship is not always easy, but the rewards are immeasurable. It’s about daring to step into the unknown together and discovering the endless possibilities for getting to know each other anew. So, the next time you find yourself falling into the familiar rhythms of routine, pause, and ask yourself: What new adventure awaits us today?

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