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There is nothing quite like falling in love. You meet someone new — someone you know nothing about — and you find that you nevertheless share some sort of connection. You’re obviously physically attracted, but at the same time have this sense that the two of you will be able to connect on a deeper level than purely a physical one. So you begin to get to know each other.

You become addicted to the person and the only thing you wish to do is to spend more time with them to get to know them better, to get to know all of their nooks and crannies. And so you do. You spend so much time with them that in a short period of time the two of you know almost everything there is to know about each other. Then you come to realize that you really do know just about everything about the other person. You have heard all their stories; you know all their secrets. Now what?

Knowledge is power, but when it comes to relationships, power has no place. In a relationship, knowledge equals boredom. Whatever mystery there once was is now entirely gone and although you love the person, you begin to question whether or not you are still “in love” with them. Holding onto mystery is the key to keeping the romance alive in any relationship.

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It is what keeps you interested and what will keep your partner interested in you. Mystery keeps you thinking about the person you are with and keeps you wanting to find out more about them — to be with them and to study them. This is what we do when we are in a relationship; we try to consume our partner and become one with them. The only way of doing so is to get to know them as best as possible. Unfortunately, once we achieve this, we lose interest and the drive to spend time with them. When there is no mystery, there is no excitement.

I myself have once fallen into this trap, as I am sure many have before me and will do so after me. I fell for a woman, spent as much time with her as I possibly could, even moved in with her for a bit. Then, after a few short months, I moved out and ended the relationship. Moving in with a person really is the kill-all as far as mystery goes.

Whatever you did not know about the person — their morning routine, their bathroom routine, the way they look without makeup, the way they keep their apartment and all of those little quirks that are bound to get on your nerves — you are introduced to, and quickly. No matter how much you love the person, once you get bored with them, the relationship goes downhill. Even if you are smart enough to understand that what you are feeling has nothing to do with the care you have for that person, the spark that the two of you shared will have been dulled.

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A healthy relationship requires excitement. It requires surprise. Human beings are creatures that have a need for progress — we need to feel as if things are moving forward and changing, growing. We have a fear of stagnancy and of getting stuck, feeling trapped. Most marriages fail because the romance between the husband and wife dies.

A couple’s life falls to routine and the activities they do no longer revolve around having fun and enjoyment, but revolve around comfort. The couple begins to put less effort into their looks and into preparation for dates. The woman stops wearing dresses and stops putting on makeup because she knows that her boyfriend has already seen her without makeup and knows that it won’t scare him away.

The man no longer shaves or does his hair because he knows that his woman has seen him looking much worse. Neither feels the need to impress the other any longer and therefore never surprise the other. The relationship is at a standstill — there is nowhere to go, no new adventures to embark on.

If you love the person that you are with and wish to continue feeling as if you need them to survive, then you cannot allow them to get too close to you. You cannot allow them to find out all there is to know about you. You must keep them guessing, keep them surprised and keep them wanting to know everything about you.

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We each believe that we want to get to know our lovers as best as possible, but if we were wiser, we would understand that what we want is the feeling of wanting to know everything about them. We don’t actually want the information, we want to remain hungry. It’s basically the law of supply and demand. The less information available, the more we feel that we want that information. The more information available, the less demand there is for that information — and in this case, for that person. The more you eat, the less hungry you will be.

You have to come to understand what exactly it is out of a relationship. Sure, it may seem as if getting to know all there is about a person is fine because you will share many new experiences with each other and without, creating new stories to tell as the relationship develops. But keep in mind that if you are in it for the long run — as in, forever — then you will most definitely run out of things to say sooner or later.

Keeping the fire burning for longer gives your relationship a fighting chance once Viagra is the only thing keeping your soldier saluting. You have the entirety of your life together to get to know each other. No reason to rush. Keeping some information in the shadows will also allow you to keep your own identity — an identity separate from the “we” that you are forming with your lover. Never allowing your partner to feel as if they completely “have” you or know you are the only ways of keeping your relationship exciting. Embrace the unknown. Embrace mystery.