If you’re in a long-term committed relationship, you might notice the level of passion has changed since the early days of dating. This dip in desire is common as your relationship progresses, and it’s not necessarily a sign that something is wrong. In fact, it’s considered normal for passion to shift as time passes, the relationship becomes more stable, and you grow more attached.
It’s natural for the initial feelings you experienced during the dating stage to fade as you grow more comfortable with each other. It’s important not to be alarmed by any changes in your relationship or how you feel toward your partner, especially during major life transitions. Instead, look at any fluctuations in desire as a sign that you’re now in a different or new relationship stage, such as moving in together or having children. With this awareness, you can work on putting positive energy back into your relationship through intentional action that fosters intimacy.
If you’re adjusting to a new relationship stage, or are feeling bored, stuck in a rut, or missing the thrill you once felt, there are numerous strategies you can employ to give your relationship a boost. Here are 10 tips for getting your spark back:
1. Try Something New Together
It could be anything that sparks your interest and speaks to novelty and excitement — taking a cooking class, signing up for ballroom or salsa dancing, go-carting, learning a new language, hiking, getting a couple’s massages, bowling, etc.
Relationships thrive on shared experiences, so don’t be bashful about jumping out of your comfort zones and challenging yourselves together. Focus on getting excited about new opportunities to experience the world as a couple, and create a pattern of engaging in these sorts of experiences.
2. Plan Surprise Date Nights for Each Other
It’s easy to get stuck in a comfortable routine and do the same thing day in and day out. While there’s nothing wrong with curling up with Netflix and calling this time together a date, it’s important to shake things up if you’re feeling bored or dissatisfied.
A change of pace is healthy, so take turns planning date nights for each other. Elements of excitement, surprise, and anticipation mixed with romance and love go a long way to fuel your relationship.
3. Change Your “Getting Ready for a Date” Routine
These days, especially if you’re living together or have children, making it on time to a dinner reservation can feel like a mad dash out the door. Getting ready side by side also takes the fun out of wowing your partner.
Mix things up by dressing up for dates and getting ready separately before you debut your final look. Remember, confidence is sexy!
4. Kiss and Cuddle A Little Longer and More Often Than Usual
Kissing and cuddling are essential for your connection to stay alive. The fast-paced nature of life can wreak havoc on your love life if you aren’t intentional in your actions.
Incorporate physical touch, such as hugging, kissing and hand-holding, into your daily lives, regardless of whether these acts lead to sex.
5. Spend More Quality Time Together Without Technology
These devices can make it difficult to be fully present and available to connect.
Make an effort to be attentive and put all forms of technology (and work obligations) on the back burner (temporarily), so you can ensure you are getting in genuine quality time and putting your partner first.
6. Ensure You’re Not Participating in Any Relationship Damagers
For example, this list includes, but is not limited to, affairs, neglected communication, disrespect, angry outbursts, abuse, and violence.
Here’s where you can learn more about Dr. Gottman’s four communication styles (aka The Four Horseman) that predict the end of a relationship. And agree to get professional help if relational damage is interfering with your spark.
7. Don’t Be Shy About Flirting and Being Seductive
Flirting makes the beginning of a relationship fun and exhilarating while breeding attraction and connection. While it may sound unnatural or strange, flirting can be easily included at any stage of your relationship.
Let your partner know how attractive you think they are, leave secret flirty messages for them to find, etc.
8. Be Grateful and Say Thank You
Trouble can occur if you’re taking your partner for granted or expressing less and less gratitude over time. Ideally, you’ll feel secure and relaxed in your relationship while getting into a good rhythm of demonstrating kind gestures to each other.
However, your partner’s habit of cooking up a delicious Saturday brunch shouldn’t go unnoticed or become a rigid expectation. Make thank you a part of your daily vocabulary as being appreciative keeps your relationship healthy.
9. Be Open About How You’re Feeling in the Relationship
Sweeping negative emotions and relationship concerns under the rug may seem like the easier course of action, but putting a bandage on your problems won’t lead to resolution and getting back on track with your partner.
When communicating, remember to use positive communication strategies, such as I statements, to convey feelings and beliefs without assigning blame to your partner. Be direct, yet gentle, with your words and know that healthy communication is the foundation of relationship satisfaction.
10. Develop Yourself and Grow as a Person
Your own health and mood affect the quality of your relationship and how much you have available to give to another person, so make sure you’re taking good care of yourself and taking positive action to better your life. Also, your relationship will be under chronic stress if you’re leaving it solely up to your partner to make you feel happy and whole.
Carve out time for your own interests, passions, and life goals, make sure you are acting in ways that are good for your mental and physical health, and build a support system outside of your relationship. If you’re feeling exhausted and stressed out by life, your love life won’t be a top priority and, therefore, probably needs some TLC.
All Relationships Have Peaks and Valleys — It’s How You Handle Them That Counts!
In general, view your relationship as something that needs to continuously be nurtured regardless of how it is going in the moment. Know that all relationships go through ups and downs, and how you handle the more challenging times and come back together is what matters most.
If you’re looking to get your spark back, understand it will not happen overnight. However, through deliberate action, there is hope for greater romance and intimacy in the present and future.