How to Maintain a Romance
Building and maintaining meaningful romantic relationships is tough work. The skills required are many and complex including humility, dedication, compassion, and observation. And let’s not forget one of the unsung heroes of sustained romance: curiosity. Curiosity can seem like a small flame burning quietly in the background, but it may be the difference between the slow and painful fizzle of a connection and a robust, lifelong partnership.
What is Curiosity?
Curiosity is a strong desire to learn or know something. Curiosity is a driving force that inspires you to follow a lead, ask questions, and keep going when otherwise you might give up. Individually, curiosity fuels deep growth and change. When applied to a romantic connection, curiosity honors that capacity for growth and signals a desire to continue learning about and knowing your partner(s). Without curiosity, relational dynamics can easily settle into a cadence of boredom or worse – rejection.
Relational Benefits of Curiosity
When you feel curious about your romantic partner and the dynamics of your relationship with them, you are interested, engaged, and stimulated by interacting with them. Interest and engagement go a long way toward sustaining a relationship. Curious people tend to be more inclined to initiate or seek out a variety of interactions. At the very least this means more opportunity for compelling exchange, and at best this means deeper knowledge and closer connection with your partner.
Additionally, curiosity is often linked to empathy. Empathetic people are less likely to seek to hurt others because they are inclined to understand and relate to the feelings of others. This means a higher probability of generative communication and a decreased probability of aggressive or intentionally harmful interaction.
Along with being empathetic, curious people also tend to look for open doors rather than focus on the closed ones. Seeking openness lends itself to feeling hopeful rather than the pessimism that often accompanies attention to dead ends. That is not to say that pessimism spells the end of a romantic relationship, but as with most things, it’s important to find balance.
At some point, your partner is going to be interested in topics or activities that don’t inherently interest you. If you can maintain an inquisitiveness toward your partner, you may find that you are open to and even stimulated by hearing them talk about those topics or watching them engage in those activities that don’t particularly interest you, intrinsically. Being curious about and interested in your partner and their interests will contribute to your partner feeling special and important to you. Over time this can have the effect of strengthening the connection between the two of you and hopefully have the reciprocal effect of fueling their interest in you and your importance and specialness to them.
Ways to Demonstrate Curiosity
Here are a few suggestions for how to demonstrate curiosity to your partner. These are some general ideas; over time you may build a repertoire of gestures that are more specific to your relationship.
- Listen when they talk to you. Ask follow-up questions and respond to their feelings. Communicate verbally and nonverbally (facial expressions, body language, etc.) that you are invested in what they are sharing.
- Pay attention to your partner’s body language. If they are communicating something nonverbally that you don’t understand, ask about it. Or, if you do understand, highlight it, i.e. “I love when you get so excited about something that you dance.”
- Ask about your partner’s dreams, goals, and desires for the future. This tells your partner you are interested in what drives them. It also helps you understand them better.
- Communicate clear boundaries. If you aren’t in a space to listen, gently let your partner know that you really want to listen to them but you are too distracted, stressed, or tired (etc.) right now and so you’d like to hold off on the conversation until you can give it your full attention. It is important for you to then circle back to the conversation so that your partner understands you weren’t just trying to avoid it, and you really are invested and were being honest about your capacity and desire to listen.
- Instead of waiting for your partner to bring up a conversation, invite them to share their interests with you. This goes the extra mile to demonstrate to your partner that you are interested in them and their passions.
- Curiosity isn’t only applicable during calm or conversational moments in your relationship. Even in the heat of an argument, curiosity can be helpful. If you find yourself feeling defensive about something your partner has said or done, instead of making a statement about it, try asking a question. Ask them what they meant when they said “x,” for example. Even better is if you can muster up a genuine inquisitiveness about their answer rather than feeling like you already know it. By doing this you build in the space for surprise, alternative perspectives, and the opportunity to connect over what may be a misunderstanding.
- Try to get or remain curious about the physical connection between you and your partner. Physical intimacy is a powerful aspect of a relationship and it can be easy to fall into rote patterns when you reach a certain level of physical familiarity. But, just as your ideas and feelings can change over time, so can your physical responses, desires, and capacities. Reinvigorate curiosity about the very familiar ways you and your partner touch each other. Furthermore, look for physical interactions that are new to your relationship, no matter how long you’ve been together. Have you ever held your partner from behind while they washed dishes? Have you ever sat across from your partner with the soles of your feet touching the soles of theirs? Have you ever braided your partner’s hair? Look for new opportunities and get creative! Most importantly, remember to extend your curiosity to consent. Even if you and your partner have been together for years, seeking consent is an important part of any physical relationship you have.
Curiosity is Key
Relational work is some of the most rewarding and most complex you may engage in during your lifetime. It can be messy, reiterative, wonderful, confusing, motivating, frustrating, and downright hard sometimes. Fostering a foundation of genuine curiosity will fuel and deepen your connection, which will contribute joy to your relationship during easy times and contribute endurance and knowledge to your relationship during the harder times. It’s never too late or too early to turn toward curiosity in your romantic relationship.
Being in love is a life experience that everyone deserves. Whether you’re looking for your soulmate or wondering how to keep the romantic fires burning in your relationship, a love psychic can help. They want to see you happy and a psychic love reading is all you need to find or keep the love that is meant for you.
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