Go back to the first time you realised that the person you were with might actually be The One. The feeling of being in love with someone was something that energized you. It made you feel desired and pushed you to give your best not only in your love life but in everything you did. You felt that being with this person was the most important thing in your life and you were determined to make it work. Then came long term commitments, a stable job, children, and chores and routine crept in. Exciting romantic dates were replaced by outings to a burger joint with the kids. Sex happened furtively when the kids were asleep and when fatigue and stress did not take the upper hand…
Many couples struggle with a stage in their relationship when the exciting and passionate time of their first years together suddenly becomes a faded memory of the past and they start questioning their life choices. Researchers have often focused on this stage in long term relationships and have come up with tips to bring back the spark.
- Remember what made you fall in love and add to it as time passes
Research suggests that focusing on the traits that made you fall in love with your partner helps you achieve a positive balance in your relationship, whereas fixating only on the negatives does not help. Make a list of what made you fall in love with your partner in the first place and add to it what you discovered about them as time passed. Find the time to share these thoughts with your partner and discuss how your perception of the positive qualities has grown over time.
- Do something new together
Plan time with each other where you try something new and exciting, possibly a sport activity, learning to dance, or a vacation to a place that you have never visited before. Research suggests that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone triggers hormones that elicit feelings that are close to the butterflies and excitement of the first years together.
- Get physical
Researchers suggest that physical touch boosts dopamine that is the natural feel-good hormone in our bodies. Hugging, holding hands, kissing, being seductive outside the bedroom and having fun during sex can all be important components to rekindling romantic feelings when boring routine starts threatening a relationship.
- Find the time to talk openly
Many couples often assume, rather than having an open and honest conversation. Research suggests that simply asking your partner what they need from you and being open about your needs can bring you closer and help you understand your relationship better. Open and honest conversations often lead to healthier, happier relationships, especially when it comes to sex which for many is a taboo topic to discuss.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Sonya Galea is a family therapist with Willingness Team. She works with families and couples experiencing couple relationship issues and parenting struggles.
J. Gomez. (2020). 7 Tips on how to rekindle a relationship, according to a psychologist – When was the last time you two had some alone time?: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/a32945517/how-to-rekindle-a-relationship/
K.M. Robinson. ( 2013). How to rekindle the spark in your relationship. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/rekindle-romance