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Could Being More Spontaneous Change Your Relationship?

Could Being More Spontaneous Change Your Relationship?
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The funny thing about falling love is that the act is probably one of the most spontaneous things you’ll ever do in your life.

You’ll spontaneously surrender your privacy, offer to share your home and promise another person ceaseless emotional support - all in the name of love.

Yet, as relationships progress we often find ourselves losing that spontaneous spark.

Our mutual love of snuggling on the sofa eating Thai takeaways and watching the latest boxset, becomes a dull habit rather than a delightful shared interest.

West-London based integrative psychotherapist and life coach Hilda Burke points out that if we thought about it logically, would many of us even be in our relationship?

“The odds are often stacked against many of our relationships – polar interests, differing political opinions, intolerance of each other’s friends and family, not to mention wildly different ideals on where to holiday and yet we persist!”

With such a long list of reasons that relationships can falter, it's important to hold on to the initial enthusiasm we have for our partner.

Spontaneity, she says, helps remind us of the feelings we had when we initially fell for our partner.

“Spontaneity takes us back into the ‘unknown territory’ arena. To the excitement and inevitable nervousness that’s the hallmark of the early days of a relationship."

But why do we need to go back in time, and return to those feelings?

Well, it turns out that investing months or years developing happy routines together can cause us lose sight of a vital part of what makes us interested in one another: the differences between us.

“Lack of curiosity in relationships is often a problem,” explains Dr Tom Stevens, consultant psychiatrist at London Bridge Hospital.

“When one partner feels they know everything about the other partner, it can cause them to become disinterested."

“This is where spontaneity can be very helpful. Curiosity can be provoked by unpredictable circumstances, which are more likely to emerge with risk-taking."

But breaking out of our comfort zones to become more spontaneous can be harder than we expect. The problem is we’re hard-wired to seek out routines that provide us with a sense of stability and security.

Nick Seneca Jankel, founder of wisdom and wellbeing company says our minds are actually wired to favour predictability, which often equates to safety over spontaneity.

“So we may have to begin to retrain ourselves to allow some novelty into our days," he says.

"Luckily, spontaneity doesn’t have to mean dropping everything one friday night and flying to Paris (though who wouldn’t be delighted their partner had organised that?). It can mean something way more everyday, but possibly way more powerful for a great relationship.'

For example: The next time you are on the verge of an argument with your partner, stop and consider whether you could respond differently, he suggests.

Perhaps try humour to diffuse the tension and surprise your partner?

“Responding to your partner’s bad mood or worries with a spontaneously creative, optimistic attitude can be all it takes to improve your relationship,” says Jankel, author of Switch On: Unleash Your Creativity & Thrive with the New Science & Spirit of Breakthrough.

Adding more spontaneous moments to your relationship will also increase the chance of a couple developing new interests together, which will give the relationship staying power.

"Monogamy is often associated with monotony and people in long-term relationships often find themselves stuck in a rut," says Katherine Jane, relationship coach and founder of Never Too Late.

"Adding a healthy dose of spontaneity keeps the monotony at bay and can strengthen a relationship through good and bad times," she explains.

“Couples and people are constantly changing, so keeping spontaneity alive in a relationship helps both people grow with each other through new-found interests and reduces the risk of growing apart."

Here are 13 ways to inject spontaneity into your relationship...