7 Ways to Bring The Spark Back In A Relationship
How to Rekindle a Relationship
If you and your partner have been together for a long time, it’s possible that sometimes you’ll feel too tired, stressed, and distracted to truly appreciate him or her. If this happens, then you may want to take some time to figure out how to rekindle your relationship. It’s important to remember why you love your partner and recapture some of the romantic fun you had early in the relationship. Reconnecting with your partner is important for both of you and can help you both feel better about your lives and your relationship.
Making Small Gestures with Big Impacts
Laugh together.Laughter is most definitely contagious, and can help people feel more at ease and relaxed.Laughing and having a sense of humor can take the pressure off of your relationship and help you cope with the inevitable ups and downs of sharing a life together. Find things that you know your partner will like and find funny.
Let your partner know you’re there.Even if it’s not a long conversation, checking in with one another is vital. Remind the other person how you feel and that you are there when he or she needs you. Sending messages to show your level of engagement in the relationship can also help build intimacy.Don’t forget to say:
- “I love you.”
- “I admire you.”
- “I miss you.”
- “I’m sorry things are going badly today. Is there any way I can help?”
- “I can’t wait to see you.”
- “I hate to see you like this. Can I do anything?”
Come up with new date ideas.Move away from dating clichés like dinner and a movie. In a long-term relationship, it’s important to try new things to keep the magic alive. If you do go out to dinner, make an effort to try new restaurants and get dressed up from time to time. Try out the following ideas:
- Go out dancing.
- Host a party.
- Hit the beach.
- Go ice skating.
- Visit hot springs.
- Do karaoke.
- Take a cooking class together.
Do the ‘little things’.Little things can include writing notes to show your affection, taking the trash out, or cooking dinner when your partner is exhausted. These small gestures show that you are attentive to your partner. The ‘little things’ are often couple specific, meaning no two couples will enjoy the same things. The important thing is to be sincere in your gestures and come from the heart.
- If you and your partner appreciate movies, plan a special movie night for the two of you, with your favorite snack foods.
- Surprise your partner with a small gift, such as flowers or a hobby-related item.
Part 1 Quiz
What is the most important thing to remember when doing 'little things' for your partner?
Feeling Close Again
Have genuine conversations.While it might have been hard to pull away from each other early in the relationship when you could talk all night long, intimate, engaging conversations may tend to dwindle over time, turning to finances, kids, and to-do lists. Make time to connect and discuss topics that you both are passionate about. Find things that you genuinely connect on, and discuss them.
- Start a book club for just the two of you.
- Learn something new about each other by asking “how” and “what” questions.For instance, “What was middle school like for you?” or “How was it for you when you moved?” Use open-ended questions that allow easy, natural conversation. Then, truly listen and connect to your mate's feelings once again.
- Don’t criticize your partner for not talking to you. Instead, do something positive like inviting your partner to tell you about his or her day over dinner, a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine. Try saying something like, “I’d really like to know about your day. Let’s sit down and you can tell me all about it.”
Compliment your partner.Being in a long-term relationship may cause you and your partner to take each other for granted and forget to do or say the sweet things that you used to in the beginning of the relationship. Complimenting your partner will show that you care.
- Be specific. Instead of saying “You look nice,” say something like, “I love the way that dress shows off your curves” or “I love the way you look in that shirt.”
- Rather than saying, “You are so smart”, say, “I admire how intellectual you are and the way you discuss issues so genuinely.”
Focus on what you and your partner have together.While it may be easier to focus on the negatives in your relationship, highlighting the positives will help your relationship thrive. It is especially important to focus on why you and your partner fell in love.
Give physical contact every single day.Skin-on-skin contact releases a hormone called oxytocin, which increases feelings of intimacy.Don’t just physically touch as a prelude to sex. Instead, kiss each other goodbye in the morning, embrace when you meet again, and give each other massages as you unwind from a long or trying day.
- Engage in hand holding and feel free to embrace for long periods of time, especially if either needs to destress.
Make small changes to spice up your sex life and reclaim your bedroom.If you live together, remove some of the clutter from your bedroom: this includes kids' toys, paperwork, and clothes strewn on the floor. Get some candles, buy new sheets, and do anything else it takes to transform your bedroom into an intimate environment.
- If you fall asleep to TV, consider taking the TV, laptop, and other electronics out of the bedroom. Create a sense of intimacy by agreeing to disengage with technology while together in the bedroom.
Send a naughty text.Tell your partner how excited you are to see him or her and reminisce on the last time you spent a night together. Or send a racy picture of yourself. Messages like these can really get your partner revved up!
- Remember to only send texts that you are comfortable with; never feel pressured to send anything, even to your partner.
Making Long Term Fixes
Build your confidence.Having low self-esteem can manifest as feeling like you don’t deserve to be treated well or that things will take a turn for the worst. These thoughts can sabotage the relationship and will eventually become a reality.Instead of sabotaging your relationship, work on building your confidence and your confidence in your partner.
- If you’ve been hurt in the past, heal those wounds and validate your worth, knowing that you are deserving of giving and receiving love.
- Instead of avoiding sexual intimacy because you’re self-conscious about your body, learn to accept yourself as you are. If you choose to make changes to your body (such as losing weight), recognize that being your ideal weight may not change your insecurity and that it’s up to you to feel comfortable in your own skin.
Practice forgiveness.Nothing kills a relationship like holding onto a grudge. If you and your partner have an unresolved issue that is putting a strain on your relationship, then it’s time to forgive each other and move on. Talk to each other openly about it and try to move past it. If you haven’t had success in letting it go before this, it might be time to see a couples’ counselor to help you get your relationship back on track.
- There’s nothing wrong with going to counseling, and it can be immensely helpful in finding ways to relate to each other and grow closer emotionally.
Spend some time apart.Just because you are committed to one another, doesn't mean you have to spend every waking second together. In fact, spending some time apart will usually improve your relationship by allowing you to blow off some steam, reconnect with friends, and relax. Agree with your partner about how much time you want to spend together versus apart, such as having one night each week of time apart, or one weekend each month. This choice show be arrived at by mutual agreement.
- Take a girls' or guys' night out every once in a while, or take a spa weekend away to unwind.
- Being apart temporarily often sparks up the relationship, raising the anticipation and excitement of being reunited.
- Don’t drop your activities and hobbies when you’re in a relationship. Continue to paint, dance, draw, or go to the gym, even if your partner doesn’t participate.
Go somewhere together.Experiencing a trip together can bring couples closer, especially when the focus is on each other and the relationship. A trip allows you to shift your focus from everyday stressors to each other.You can try for a dream trip, or just a nice weekend out of town. List out places you both have always wanted to see, and choose one that excites both of you. Every day, take steps to get closer to you both getting there. Finally, aim to create new memories, snapping photos and taking videos so you can re-live the memories later.
- You can go backpacking or camping to enjoy the great outdoors or plan a ritzy vacation away at a high class resort. International travel can be an exciting experience for the two of you!
- If you have kids, try to at least take one kid-free vacation every year.
Part 3 Quiz
Spending time away from your partner can spark up a relationship because:
Maintaining Your Love
Be a good listener.Take the time and talk to your partner, and more importantly, listen. Engage your partner by asking open-ended questions, then leisurely reflect upon what he or she says. Be open with sharing your feelings, and allow your partner to do the same.
- You can practice reflective listening by saying, “I hear you saying that things are difficult between you and your parents” or, “It sounds like you’re feeling really stressed about work.”
Manage stress.With jobs, families, and other issues that require your time, sometimes the relationship is the part that suffers the most from time taken away. Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress causes a spike in cortisol, a hormone that can reduce the desire for physical intimacy.Needless to say, this can cause damage to your relationship in the long run. Eliminate stressful elements from your life if possible, and combat stress by exercising regularly, doing yoga, or meditating. Encourage your partner to do the same, especially if he or she struggles with stress.
- Manage your time to avoid the stress caused by rushing to meet a deadline. Take care of tasks as they come up rather than letting them pile up, and use a planner to keep track of obligations.
- Spend more time doing things that you enjoy. Life can’t be all work and no play, so make it a point to devote at least one day each week to doing what you love.
Do a long-term project together.Find something that will interest both of you and work toward it. Having a long-term goal assures that you will spend time together during your week and can lift you out of the work-family life rut. Some possible projects might be:
- Train for a sporting event together such as a triathlon.
- Learn a new language together, then visit a country where it’s spoken.
- Build something like a boat, a shed, or a garden.
Try something new.Trying something novel can increase intimacy.Choose an activity that neither of you has done before, and maybe even one that’s a little scary. Sharing the experience of having trepidatious misgivings and then going through with an activity anyway will probably bring you closer in ways you never imagined. Plus, the experience will provide a great conversation topic among your friends.
- Try rock climbing, skydiving or paragliding.
- Go on a backpacking trip.
- Take a wild and native foods cooking class.
Find ways to focus on the big picture.Being in a long-term relationship can lead to focusing only on yourself and your partner. To rekindle your relationship, it may be necessary for you and your partner to get out of this mindset. You may need to find a way to expand your horizons and connect through this experience.
Part 4 Quiz
What is the best way for you and your partner to expand your horizons and focus on something bigger than your relationship together?
- Making an effort to rekindle a relationship with somebody you truly love is one thing, but forcing yourself to stay in an unrewarding relationship is another. If you find yourself genuinely bored and dissatisfied with your relationship, consider whether this person is really your best partner or if you would be better on your own or with someone else.
Sources and Citations
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