The first few months (or years) of a relationship are nothing short of magical. You laugh at each other’s jokes and spend countless hours making out–even in public. Every one of your conversations is exciting and inspiring.
It’s almost as if your relationship is a scene from some romantic movie or play.
That is, until the needle begins scratching across the record.
One day, all of that passion and burning desire suddenly comes to a halt. Things turn predictable and all you long for is that spark that brought the two of you together in the first place. Do you remember when just the thought of being near them would drive you wild?
But is it gone forever? Isn’t there something that can be done? The sparks of love require some work, commitment and effort on both sides in order to be reignited.
If you wish to turn those long-burning embers back into the raging fire that once burned bright, here are some suggestions that can get you started.
You can reignite that spark.
Add the Element of Mystery or Surprise
By adding an element of mystery or surprise to your relationship, you can mimic the emotional states you would experience with a new romance. But this doesn’t mean that you need to surprise your girlfriend or wife with a month-long trip to Calabria, Italy, or snag some thousand-dollar tickets to the NBA finals.
Sometimes, little gestures can go quite a long way. Couples therapist Terri Orbuch, Ph.D, recommends showing up at your partner’s work and taking them out to lunch. It could even be something as simple as taking the trash out before being asked or cooking a delicious dinner. When reigniting your relationship, the key is to shake things up consistently.
Touch More Often
Touch not only provides physiological and psychological support, it also produces arousal and gives your partner a sense of comfort. According to Orbuch, holding hands as you walk, sharing a hug or a kiss and even a simple caress can remind you that you’re both physiologically bonded.
Learn to Forgive
You may be thinking that if you forgive that you have to forget. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting–it means letting go. You don’t have to hold someone else’s behavior against them. Instead, try taking a step forward. Try not to bring up the past. In the long run, when you choose not to forgive, you end up hurting yourself so much worse than your partner.
If you have pain and resentment within your relationship, don’t wait any longer to talk about things or get help. Things can improve if the both of you are willing to work at it. It’s often easier than you think.
Turn Your Phone Off
How many times have you walked into a restaurant only to see couples sitting across from each other, both people with their eyes actively engaged on their phones and not on one another? I think in today’s society, we see it all too often.
When you spend time with your partner, turn your phone off. Actually, that includes all electronics such as your iPad, laptop and television. When you keep your attention focused on the moment, you can finally have that intimate bonding time you desire. Constantly checking your text messages or playing Candy Crush when your sweet love is trying to tell you about their day isn’t very respectful. Get your focus back where it belongs–on your relationship.
Get Intentional About Intimacy
What happens when the love of your life stops being the lust of your life? Is it time to throw in the relationship towel and move on? No, it’s not.
Just because you and your partner have developed what can be called “roommate syndrome,” when “otherwise happy couples” are together in every way except sexually, doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed. By getting intentional about intimacy, you can express your love for your partner without always making it about a way to get what you want or need.
Do you make sure to flirt and give affection to your lover outside of the bedroom? If not, you should definitely carve out some time for the two you to be alone together. Cameo Haag, author of Sexless Marriage No More says, “Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of, whenever it happens … it happens. Become intentional about intimacy. Wash the sheets, get some dim lighting, put on some soft music so you can get in the mood. As women we can fall into the trap of feeling unattractive and non-sexual. Intentional thoughts and actions will awaken this part of us, and then we will prime ourselves to be present and engaged in intimacy.”More Like This: Dating Advice for Men, Dating Advice for Women, Relationships, Sex