I love my husband, but I miss the feeling of young love. Am I the only one who feels this way?
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I’ve been in a relationship with my husband for over 10 years. I love him, our relationship is good, and we’re keeping things interesting but, expectedly, the buzz of the early weeks and years is gone. I find it very sad to think I may never experience that electric feeling of young love ever again in my life. Do you have any advice or am I alone in struggling with this?
I loved the buzzy feeling of young love, and I long for it just like you do. My heart aches whenever I start thinking about how those moments might just be over for me. So, no, you are most certainly not alone, but I can understand why you’d feel that way. It feels like no one talks about this.
I’ve been with my husband for over ten years as well, so I asked him—and he understands this feeling, too. After acknowledging this longing, the first thing we both noted was we felt much less alone knowing that both of us are grieving the apparent loss of those electric days. We realized that we could offer sympathy to one another and explore remedies as a team. So my first recommendation would be to lovingly share this feeling with your partner, because he just might feel the same.
Next, I want to reassure you that what you’re missing is real. When we’re in the throes of young love, the world opens up to us and we can pour ourselves into it, knowing that the only thing at stake is heartbreak. It’s risky, exhilarating, full of exploration. As the years go on and we create more of a life with one another, the stakes become more external and tangible. The exploration slows down as everything else speeds up: work, finances, home, maybe kids or pets. For better or for worse, it just gets more complicated.
For me, it’s helped to excavate more from my favorite memories. My husband and I revisit fond memories we share with each other and discuss how we felt at that time. Our first date, first kiss, first fight. One story that always delights and endears me is how he was more nervous to propose than he was to actually marry me. Reminiscing about moments where our stomachs were full of butterflies carries even more richness and depth after all these years.
Beyond our shared memories, we ask each other how it felt to travel to [wherever], what we learned from certain heartbreaks, which childhood home we miss most and why. We usually know most of the surface information about each other’s past, but asking deeper questions about how those details shaped us continues to add to the picture.
I’ve also reminded myself that my hindsight often wears rose-colored glasses. I tend to forget about all the arguments we had about parking tickets (his) or moldy food containers (mine). But I don’t spend too much time thinking about the frustrations; instead, I put on my rose-colored glasses and look right here at the present moment. We’ve discussed what it is about this time of our lives that we’ll miss most 10 years from now: our pet rabbits, our small and colorful apartment with the lovely neighbors, the independence that comes with not having children. I look at this moment as if it were a fond memory—because someday it will be.
If you want to continue feeling less alone, ask other couples who’ve been together for a similar span of time. I might personally avoid this conversation with those who’ve been together much longer (to avoid feeling like you’re being prescribed something) or much shorter (to avoid feeling envious if they’re still in the throes of young love). Up to you, but I do know that shame withers in the light of shared experience, so find that respite where you can.
And finally, I need to recognize this: Even though you’ve moved into a place of security and trust with someone you deeply love, you have left that feeling of young love behind. I don’t think there are any “100 questions to ask your spouse” or “spicy bedroom moves” that will restore that exact feeling. But as you embrace what has already begun, know that so much still lies ahead. The rest of your life is full of new beginnings.
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Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio.