What's Left When The Spark Goes Out Defines A Relationship

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Most relationships start with a spark.

What's a spark, you ask? Well, it's that instant magnetic chemistry you and another person feel toward each other.

A spark is that instant magnetic chemistry you and another person feel toward each other.

The spark is what gives you those butterflies every time his name pops up on your phone screen.

It's what magnetically draws your body toward each other whenever you're in the same room.

It's what makes your mind drift to him every time it gets a chance to wander.

It's what makes you find ways to somehow work him into every single conversation you have with your friends.

But, like all things in life, the spark isn't forever and eventually burns off.

Like all things in life, the spark isn't forever and eventually burns off.

Lots of people seem to be under the impression that your relationship has to die along with the spark, but I beg to differ.

The moment your spark starts to fade is the moment your relationship gets put to the ultimate test. At that point, you get to see your relationship and your partner for what and who they really are.

It's your first chance to really see each other wholly.

The spark is wonderful and, honestly, pretty necessary in the beginning of a relationship.

It's what causes that whirlwind romance in the beginning. It's what makes you SO SURE this one fish is better than all the others in the sea.

It's what makes you feel so head over heels when you first fall for each other. It's what you have to look back on when times get tough, and you need a reminder of why you're going to get through this.

BUT, the thing with the spark is, it sort of warps your vision. The spark makes it so that you only see the best in each other.

Even on the off chance that you do see their flaws, you find them endearing and adorable. Nothing they do could possibly annoy you.

But when the spark goes out, you get your first chance to see each other without rose-colored glasses on.

When the spark goes out, you get your first chance to see each other without rose-colored glasses on.

Your partner goes from being this superhuman, wonderful creature handcrafted for you by the gods to just, well, a person — a real person with real faults and real differences from you that you may even find infuriating.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing!

In case you missed the memo from Hannah Montana circa 2006, nobody's perfect:

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So now's your chance to fully embrace your partner — faults and all.

You get a chance to reassess your relationship with a clear mind.

As I said before, this period of time after the spark dies is, at its core, a test.

You're seeing your partner for who they really are for the first time. Moreover, you're seeing your relationship for what it really is for the first time.

You've got all of the information you need. You have the memories of the spark that drew you to this person initially, and you have the real human being you've chosen to share your life with standing in front of you right now.

Is that enough? Is this person — faults and all — enough for you?

Now's your chance to decide.

It's your time to explore the other dimensions of your relationship.

The spark is great. But to be in a real, bonafide relationship, you need to have a whole lot more than a spark.

A romantic relationship is so much more than great sex and butterflies when he texts you.

A romantic relationship is so much more than great sex and butterflies when he texts you.

At the core of the very best romantic relationships is a friendship.

You take comfort in knowing that this person will still be there for you, sticking around when the going gets tough. You take comfort in knowing this person fundamentally wants the same things as you do at the end of the day.

Now, you have the chance to see if the two of you have a connection beyond just the spark.

Do you have more than butterflies and good sex connecting you to this person? Do you guys have a friendship? Things in common? A similar idea of where you see your life together going?

Can you depend on them to have your back when the going gets tough? Do you support each other's dreams? Do you even know what each other's dreams are?

Now, you have the chance to see if the two of you have a connection beyond just the spark.

Maybe you do feel connected to your partner in those ways, and it's your time to explore that part of your relationship further.

Maybe you don't feel connected to your partner in those ways, and it's time to work on building up those dimensions of your relationship.

Maybe you don't feel connected to your partner in those ways, and you don't really have much of a desire to build them up.

Maybe it's just time to move on.

Whatever the case may be, it's your chance to make an informed decision on where you really see this relationship going.

That decision could lead to a breakup (which does not make the spark you felt with the person any less real). It could also lead to a lifetime spent with this person, filled with tons of fizzled and reignited sparks.

Don't forget sparks can always be re-ignited.

People have different names for what happens when the spark goes out.

Some people call it a "rut." Some people call it a "rough patch." Some people call it "the end." I call it "a definitive moment."

The bottomline is, no matter how you choose to look at it or what you choose to call it, a fizzled spark is going to happen.

But that doesn't mean it's gone forever.

You can lose the spark and reignite it a million times over the course of one relationship. And this can happen in so many different ways.

It can happen when you're reminded of why you fell for them in the first place.

It can happen when you take the time to learn a new side of them that makes you fall in love with them all over again.

It can happen when they stick by your side throughout a rough patch.

It can happen from one night of really awesome sex.

Anything can reignite that spark. That's the best part of it all.

You can lose the spark and reignite it a million times over the course of one relationship.

And each spark you feel will be that much better than the last because, each time, you'll have a clearer vision of who the person you love so intensely really is.

Eventually, you won't even need those rose-colored glasses to feel a connection toward your partner anymore.

It'll be like you got LASIIK surgery. You'll see him with crystal-clear, 20/20 vision — faults and all — and you'll still get those butterflies when he texts you.