Everyone in any form of relationship goes through losing the spark and passion that the relationship once had. Work, family, household chores all take energy away from you and your significant other. At times it can feel like nothing can save the relationship or bring it back to its former glory. I’m here to tell you that that could not be the furthest thing from the truth! So many times I have couples come into the office and say that they are just not happy anymore, they don’t feel the same way they did when they first met and began dating, and that there is just no energy left at the end of the day to give to one more person. If this sounds like you and you want to rekindle your relationship, read on!
Following these 10 tips to get your relationship spark back is not a cure all. Sometimes a couple needs the help of a neutral third party, like a couple’s counselor, to help work though the underlying problems in the relationship. However, if there is a good foundation already established in the relationship, following these 10 tips can be a great way to recharge and rediscover that spark in your relationship!
1) Take time for you
This sounds counterintuitive, but we as adults are pulled in so many different directions by everyone all of the time, that we never take time for ourselves. This can breed all kinds of frustration with your spouse because you don’t want to give one more minute to someone else. Start by practicing self-care and taking 15-30 minutes for yourself daily. Go for a walk, read, take a bath, anything that will help you reconnect with yourself. By taking time for you, you will be in a better place to connect with your significant other.
2) Put away the technology
Next to children, technology can suck up so much of our time that we don’t have any time left for other parts of our life. Try making a rule where when you and your significant other are home, the phones, tablets, and computers go away. This can be a very difficult thing to do as we rely on technology for everything we do. If stopping entirely will be too difficult, try spending 1 hour per night where you and your significant other do not use your phones. This can help to create more of a physical and emotional connection with the other person.
3) Have date nights
Take time at least once per month to schedule a date night with your significant other. Take turns planning nights out on the town. These dates do not have to be expensive; they can be as simple as staying at home and having a movie night with popcorn and a blanket. The important piece is making the effort to spend quality time with your partner and to connect in a different way than what you usually do.
4) The power of touch
Touch is a very important aspect of any relationship. When you first start dating someone, you can hardly keep your hands off of them! As the relationship evolves, so can how you show affection. Be effortful in trying to make a physical connection with your partner. Hold hands while taking a walk, cuddle while watching TV, dance together in the living room, and kiss your partner daily.
5) Talk to your partner
Making the effort to talk with your significant other outside of normal conversation is important. We all get very good at talking about the chores, what to get at the grocery store, or what to do with the kids, but don’t talk to each other about each other. Try learning one new thing about your significant other over dinner, talk about a new topic for 10 minutes, share a real fear with your significant other. Let your partner know that you are thinking about them by text during the day can be a great way to start that communication.
6) Focus on the little things
Make an effort to notice the little things that your significant other does on a daily basis and make the effort to thank them. We often take those things for granted and letting your partner know you notice and appreciate them can go a long way. The little things can include a small peck on the cheek when it is unexpected, a random foot rub, or bringing home flowers just because.
7) Laugh together
Spend time finding ways to laugh with your significant other. YouTube is a great way to find funny videos to watch. Tell a new joke or watch a funny movie. Laughter is a great tool to build a connection and to release stress and pent up frustrations.
8) Watch your words
Pick one day out of the week where you are very purposeful in the words you use. Focus on not saying anything snarky or negative towards your partner for one whole day. When you are purposeful in your words, you will be surprised how much closer you can begin to come with your partner.
9) Try a new activity together
Take up a cooking class, try a new restaurant, walk a different route. The adage is, “variety is the spice of life,” and it holds true in relationships as well. Find new things for you and your spouse to try at home or out on the town. When we do something new with our other half, we can actually rekindle that spark and find the feelings and emotions that were once there in the early stages of dating.
10) Make a top 10 list
Make a list of the top 10 things that you love about your partner. As time goes on, resentments build and we lose touch with the things that we enjoy about our partner. By writing a top ten list, you make the effort to find those qualities in your partner that you most enjoy and admire. Encourage your partner to make the same list and then share them with the other on your next date night.
If you make an effort to start to incorporate some of these different ideas into your relationship, you will begin to see a difference. Be patient and diligent with putting these things into practice, because you are changing a set of habits which can be very difficult to break. You do not have to wait until there is a problem to get into couples counseling! If you find that you need some help in making this work, lets connect so we can talk together to help get the spark back in your relationship.
Patrick Schultz MA LPC NCC