How do we keep that spark alive? What happens when someone gets bored? What happens when desire wanes? I really like him but I’m not feeling that spark – what do I do?
These questions can plague our romantic lives. Answers range from “get kinky”, to “just put up with it”, to “move on.”
What is desire, really?
There are two schools of thought in psychology about desire in long-term relationships. Esther Perel wrote Mating in Captivity and she (basically) describes desire as eagerness. John Gottman wrote The Science of Trust and he (basically) describes it as enjoyment. Gottman is a professor emeritus in psychology. Perel is a psychodynamic psychotherapist.
For Perel, we desire the other because we are eager for the new and the mysterious. For Gottman, we desire the other because we enjoy specific, familiar, pleasurable sensations.
But I understand and experience desire as a state of consciousness; as a spiritual experience that is felt in the body.
A state of consciousness is an activation of a certain level of vibrations in our energy body (our spirit) and the release of certain chemicals (monoamines) in our physical body.
When all this happens, we feel feelings and emotions. We are in a state of desire. Yum. And it’s different for each of us in different contexts.
How does desire feel to you?
Do you sometimes crave excitement—and adrenaline (Perel)? Do you sometimes crave comfort—and serotonin (Gottman)? Or is it some delicious combination that sets you adrift in a sea of buzzy, breathless, yearning? Is it different with different people, at different times of the day, in different places? I bet it is.
Whatever the mix, the state of consciousness that is desire resides in the the sacral area – your pelvis. A lot of people understand this as the 2nd chakra. Desire vibrates there as a bright orange color. At least, it does when the chakra is clear and healthy and we have no guilt blocking it…
When desire arises, our sacrum awakens and we want to swing our hips some kinda way and touch someone or smell someone or tell someone we want them—now, and again now, and now, and now, or maybe just forever.
What are you gonna do about it?
When you’re in the state of desire, take some time to notice what put you there. Getting familiar with the elements and lead-up to a state of desire for yourself will allow you to figure out how to put yourself in control of it.
Yep, desire depends more on you than anyone else. It’s not a random, inscrutable thing that happens to us; it’s something we can get inside of and drive.
Once you understand the true nature of your desire, you can fire it up or cool it down at will. It might take some work, but you can design the romantic life of your dreams.