Thanatologist, lecturer, business coach, psychotherapist
• The excitement and joy we experience before the new is something that lasts a while and then we return to a base state of certain normality.
• The same is true of losses and painful acts; after a while most return to a state of reasonable equilibrium.
• Our mind uses the ability to adapt to not keep us in constant states of ecstasy or pain because both are very draining in terms of emotional energy.
• Denying that this phenomenon exists prevents us from doing something so that we do not lose our taste for the good of life, especially a relationship. What can we do before the hedonistic adaptation to avoid that our relationship dies little by little?
What is it to feel that your relationship is slowly dying?
• Contrary to a punctual fact such as infidelity or violence, that these can kill a hacking relationship, many couples feel that their relationship has long been dying between habit and routine.
Why is this happening?
• Because all of us, with time and repetition, began to see what was good and extraordinary as ordinary and every day. This is called “hedonistic adaptation”.
What is hedonistic adaptation?
• Adaptation is a mechanism that allows us to live stable lives away from extremes of joy or extreme sadness that are very emotionally draining.
• Extreme states create intense emotional memories that bring us closer to what gives pleasure and away from what hurts.
• Hedonistic adaptation is not only about couple relationships, but also about experiences and possessions.
The smell of a new car
• Before it was the car, today is the tin that already has rayon.
A trip to a different place
• Always return to the same place to vacation can give certainty, but ends up getting bored a little.
A new place or place of work
• When you adapt you get all the defects to the place, the people and the boss.
Take the lottery
• It gives you certain comforts and much joy at the beginning. But various studies find that the level of happiness base is not permanently altered.
What good is this if it keeps us away from the couple?
• It allows us to save emotional energy by becoming a base state of happiness.
• In contrast to falling in love we also feel a great deceleration that is not such.
• It allows us to focus on other aspects of life.
• If we were constantly in love at 100, we would not work, we would not care for our children, and we would neglect friendships and personal development.
What are your symptoms?
• You feel apathetic, dissatisfied or fed up with your daily life most of the time.
• You begin to want what you do not have and you think that will make you happy.
• In addition what you have becomes routine and sometimes even despicable or an obstacle that prevents you from having what you want (forgetting that in the past you also wanted what you despise today).
You confuse emotions and states:
• Novelty with true love
• Anger with dislike
• A base state of normality with indifference
• Change with threat.
What complications can it bring us?
• As it happens slowly, when you realize the damage is done
• Since you no longer feel the same as before, you think that love is gone
• You stop appreciating the good things your partner does for you.
• Maybe he even stopped doing it because you did not even notice them.
What you used to like is annoying; you accumulate resentment
• You focus more on defects and make them bigger.
• That can lead you to treat someone you love badly. it becomes necessary to ask for forgiveness and to forgive for this.
• Your face of annoyance when arriving at the house or seeing your partner can be interpreted as lack of love or even hate.
• Actually what is boring is your monotonous and unsatisfied life, not your partner.
You stop investing in your relationship
• Invest in fantasies or in parallel activities or relationships.
You never feel satisfied because you always want more
• There is nothing wrong with wanting more, as long as in intermediate points you feel satisfied.
• As with addictions, you will always seek greater stimuli to achieve the same level of satisfaction.
So, what to do?
• Recognize that this phenomenon is real
• It is better to allow this process of adaptation than to artificially sustain the intensity and that one day you (or your partner)
• Imagine that what you love the most tomorrow was no longer by your side.
Adapt to a new form of relationship less “novel” but more profound
• Daily conversations about each other’s day (avoiding complaints, children, housework) just to listen and empathize (you do not always have to offer solutions) is a very good idea.
Look for sources of happiness that come from other areas of your life, in addition to your relationship.
• I am not saying that you have another couple or a lover, but that you stay stimulated in work, study, writing, reading or traveling that you can even share with your partner.
• Have a common dream.
• Seek a dream to attain, to be shared and to motivate both. Like a great trip, a home of their own or a life together when they grow old.
• But do not forget short-term goals and satisfactions that will keep you motivated toward great motivation.
• Beware of giving up your dreams by performing only the others. In a good and satisfactory couple you must obtain each one
Put an “alarm clock”
In your calendar or calendar put a reminder every 3 months that says “How is our relationship?”
• It will not be too long before they can make adjustments if necessary.
• But they must be persevering and be willing to do this or it will be counterproductive if done as something imposed.
• Respect the day of evaluating your relationship as if they had a very important board meeting. It is very common to leave aside the personal when the work “tightens.”
• Gratitude helps you focus on what good you have in life.
• Thank you not only for what you receive, but also for what you still do not lose.
• A gratitude journal is a good idea in this case.