Like it or not, many relationships that were once passionate and alive eventually lose their spark. This doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with the relationship, with you, or with your partner. Rather, this quiet fade is often due to several factors that face us all.
The busyness and numerous responsibilities of life vie for your attention and time. As you become more familiar and your life is more intertwined with your partner’s, the initial excitement of infatuation naturally cool. With time, you may both fall into a sense of complacency about your relationship.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to reignite the spark:
1. Go Back to the Beginning
As months turn into years or even decades together, it’s easy to forget what drew you together in the first place.
Take time to reflect on your relationship. Recall your first meeting each other and your first dates. Talk about what attracted you to each other. Look at old photos; smile at those memories.
When you do this, you’ll reawaken those feelings of love and interest for each other. Dwell on those feelings and intentionally revisit them often. Give yourselves frequent opportunities to look at your partner with renewed gratitude and appreciation.
2. Pay Attention to Each Other
As you know, the longer you’re with someone, the more comfortable you become. Some refer to this as “roommate syndrome.” You might even start to your partner and their presence for granted. It’s easy to nod and smile when they talk to you. You may even feel like you know how they feel or what they want without really asking anymore.
But how do you feel when they do this to you? Do you feel ignored and let down? Giving your full attention when you interact honors your partner and respects your relationship. Look into their eyes and show them that you’re listening. Ask questions and show enthusiasm, concern, and interest. These little signs let them know that you still care and prioritize your connection.
3. Do Something New Together
Just as with our relationships, our very lives can fall into routines and sameness. Work schedules, kids, household tasks—they often leave very little wiggle room to do something out of the norm. You may even forget that there are new, exciting things to do!
Work together to plan an activity that you’re both interested in. Science shows that when we do something new and novel, our brains light up. This excitement can carry over to the person we’re with. Try ax throwing, goat yoga, pottery—anything fun that will make you laugh together.
4. Celebrate Who You’ve Both Become
The reality is that each of you has evolved and changed with time. While your core qualities and personalities remain, life’s challenges and responsibilities have brought out new strengths. Career, children, challenges, and community have helped you mature. You’ve grown and learned as a team.
Make time to notice this in each other. Intentionally celebrate the amazing people each of you has become. Think of how much you’ve poured into life together. Be in awe of your partner and your collaborative blessings. Make a point of celebrating the small anniversaries and milestones as well as the big ones.
5. Reconnect Daily
Typically, everyday routines make it easy to fall into complacency. You may come home from work and barely mutter a greeting to your partner. Each of you rushes into whatever you need to get done while not stopping to reconnect.
Studies have shown that even a few minutes of intentional reconnection each day does wonders. Create connection rituals to interrupt unintentional, automatic tendencies to drift apart during the week.
Make a point of sitting down on the sofa, cuddle up, and talk about your days. Make eye contact and choose to be affectionate. Turn a peck on the cheek into something more. These small habits don’t a lot of time. Yet, they can reignite your bond, stimulate intimacy, and help you feel more connected.
Sometimes relationships need a bit of extra support. There is nothing wrong with seeking some guidance through couples counseling. If you run into roadblocks or intractable differences, a therapist’s objective and compassionate direction can do wonders. Please read more about couples counseling and reach out to my office today to learn more.