I remember that feeling inside – the fluttering butterflies. So long ago now… but you never forget that feeling of new love. I still get butterflies, not the same way, but I do. They happen randomly now, during intimate and not so intimate moments. I will find him particularly attractive at a party from across the room, or at home wrapped in our familiar white cotton sheets. I also get goose bumps – it’s a running joke – he knows he has made me happy if I have them. It was his jaw that got me. I know, quite a strange thing to fall in love with…but he has the most angular, strong, masculine jawline. I recall glancing over at him driving on a road trip to Montreal early in our relationship and thinking, “I just love his jawline." Tuscany was his cologne. I am cracking up now… but honestly, if he spritzes that on himself he’s guaranteed a pleasant evening. I like eyes – especially my husband’s. I cannot think of a more important feature on person. It’s like looking into a person’s soul.
The things that attracted us to one another in the first place are firmly entrenched in our memory banks. I do think some couples struggle to keep their butterflies alive. In fact, I know a lot of you may believe your butterflies have died. I remember a client telling me once that their life had suffocated their butterflies. She described it by using the metaphor of when you are a kid and you catch a butterfly and put it in the jar and forget to poke holes in the lid. She said they had abandoned the things that lit them up about one another and they were no longer feeling anything for each other. Really, sharing a life with someone without the butterflies probably feels dead. The energy that buzzes between two people who love one another is vital to a happy relationship. When that energy fizzles it leaves us feeling detached and empty.
If you asked me what makes the butterflies, I would tell you it’s a few things. To me, it’s a longing for something, and that person fills that longing. In the case of my husband’s jaw, it represented strength and security in all of its masculinity. It’s also an appreciation for a characteristic. I love risk takers – and my husband certainly is one. I ask you to challenge yourself and recall those things in your partner that stirred the butterflies inside you. What was it about your partner that attracted you in the first place, physically or mentally? What kinds of things do you long for that your partner fills? What do you appreciate about them? You may have to dig deep, really focus, take yourself back to that time and feel the emotion. Ask your partner to do the same thing. It’s truly amazing when you tap back into these things – especially when you have allowed life to take you away from them.
Many things challenge the connection between partners, and often so much time goes by that we forget the magnetic power that existed between us. But it’s still there, waiting for our attention again – as beautiful as always. It’s our responsibility to nurture that energy and to keep it alive and thriving. Poke holes in your butterfly jar. Remind one another. Remember. Butterflies are the reason why husband will never, ever grow a beard, and why we keep a steady supply of Tuscany on hand – just in case they stop making it.