Dressing up on the spookiest night of the year is just the beginning.
Although Halloween costumes may not be your first thought when it comes to spicing up your relationship, costume companies want to change that.
They hope that you’ll use that costume again and again.
Not just at Halloween or fancy dress parties…
But at home with your man.
Even Established Couples Need Mystery
It’s a clichéd solution to that perennial problem:
How do you feel energized and excited by the same person you’ve been with for years?
You know each other inside and out. You know all of his moves. You can predict what he’ll say before he opens his mouth.
You’ve exchanged the excitement of novelty for the predictability of commitment.
For some couples, the warmth and comfort of familiarity is enough.
But psychotherapist Esther Perel believes we enter a danger zone when we think we know everything there is to know about our partner.
“Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery,” she writes in Mating in Captivity.
Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it… [D]esire requires ongoing elusiveness. It is less concerned with where it has already been than passionate about where it can still go. But too often, as couples settle into the comforts of love, they cease to fan the flame of desire. They forget that fire needs air.”
Celebrate Your Differences
How can you be mysterious to someone who’s seen you bleary-eyed at 6am, ugly crying, or coughing and red-nosed with a cold?
You’ve seen each other at your most vulnerable. You know each other’s secrets. You rarely talk for hours anymore, because you’ve said almost everything there is to say.
That’s the work of love. Love brings you together.
Now it’s time to do the work of desire…
By honoring the distance between you.
Are there parts of you that he will never fully understand?
Perhaps he doesn’t understand your love for ‘80s music, or what you do with all those pots and tubes in the bathroom cupboard. Perhaps there are parts of yourself that you’ve never fully shared with him, because you don’t feel they’re relevant to your life together.
Those areas of difference don’t threaten your togetherness. They keep your attraction alive.
Couples who are identical twins in every way—they do everything together, think the same way about everything, and fit together like peanut butter and jelly—can struggle to maintain desire.
We want what we can’t ever fully possess.
So if you’ve given him everything … and shrunk who you are so that there are no jagged edges in the perfect fit of your relationship … you may have swapped the heat of desire for the coolness of harmony.
Which Brings Us to Halloween
Most of the couples I know love to dress up for Halloween.
They’re into it as much as their kids. (They’re into it even if they don’t have kids!)
Well, it’s fun, for starters. 😉
But it also does something for their relationship that Esther Perel would recognize.
For those few hours on Halloween night, a couple is mysterious to each other again.
They’re pretending to be someone else. They’re dressed in a way that makes them almost unrecognizable. They’re saying or doing things that they’d normally NEVER say or do—and no one is judging them.
In normal life, your partner might feel startled if you suddenly started behaving more seductively or more demanding.
But when you’re dressed up, he takes those changes in stride. He sees a new side to you. He may not want you to always act that way…
But for a brief time, it’s invigorating.
The Magic of Halloween (without the Costumes)
You don’t need a prop like a costume to give you permission to explore different sides of yourself with your partner.
It’s okay to surprise him.
It’s okay to behave in ways he doesn’t expect from you.
It’s okay to try something different. To be a bit bolder. To experiment with different tastes. To explore things your partner can’t or won’t share with you.
That distance won’t tear you apart. It will fuel desire.
Relationships thrive on a balance of togetherness and separation, intimacy and distance, sameness and difference.
Do you feel as if you have a good balance in your relationship? Let us know in the comments!