Relationships like most things in life have their difficulties and when affection wanes, it is just a sign that people are in a healthy situation.
Humans are dynamic creatures that require constant growth and development to experience happiness.
It is therefore important to know what strengthens you and your partner as well as what weakens both of you individually and as a couple. The key to determining this is open communication.
Affection wanes after a couple has crossed the familiarity stage. At the beginning of a relationship, there is usually excitement and mystery as we try to know and understand our partners. This effort to become one leads to a situation where we gradually know the strengths and flaws of our partners.
However, this is also the point where most people feel as though they have to put up with weaknesses in their partners that other potential mates do not have. As a result, the motivation to tolerate them weakens and affection lessens. This usually comes because of unreciprocated tenderness or major mistakes such as jealousy, protectiveness and infidelity.
To avoid the slow death of affection, a couple needs to speak constantly about the issues that trigger it and how they can deal with them. When affection wanes, the main message that partners are communicating to each other is that they are tired and unable to rectify whatever is hampering the smooth expression of love. By communicating, they get to face this challenge and decide whether it is worth the effort to neutralize it or not. Each partner also needs to explore himself or herself and decide whether they can overcome the flaws that reduce their affection for their partner.
When affection wanes, a two-pronged approach that involves individual and mutual self-rectification will often enable partners to get back to the exciting and rewarding plateau of romance.