As a couples therapist, I often hear a question from my clients: “What are some ways to rekindle the spark we used to have?” This is quite common. As a relationship deepens and builds over time, couples often find themselves in a spot where they may feel like they are ‘ships passing in the night.’ The demands of balancing work, family, chores, etc., can swallow up our time, and couples may not feel as connected as they used to.
Here are easy tips on rekindling your relationship and increasing connection:
- Spend quality time together: When was the last time you went on a date night with your partner and didn’t talk about work or the kids and instead focused on being present with your partner? Make it a priority to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and focus on each other. Spend time talking, going on dates, and enjoying each other’s company.
- Express your appreciation: When was the last time you thanked your partner for making the bed or taking out the trash? Acknowledge their hard work and let them know you’re grateful. So often, things go unsaid because they have become part of our everyday routines. Taking a moment to recognize what your partner does for you is a great way to show your partner that you see them. This can be done by simply verbalizing or leaving a sticky note expressing your appreciation for the day-to-day tasks your partner does.
- Show affection: Do you know your partner’s top “Love Language”? If so, when was the last time you explored or revisited your partner’s ways of receiving love or “Love Language”? Often partners have different ‘love languages,’ and if your partner has one different than yours, it can sometimes be overlooked. One of these ‘love languages’ is physical affection through hugs, kisses, and other intimate gestures. Keep in mind physical touch is simply one way to show affection—check-in with your partner about what they prefer.
- Communicate and be supportive: Talk openly and honestly with your partner about your feelings and listen to theirs. This will help build trust and understanding. Be there for your partner when they need a shoulder to lean on and offer your help when needed. Encourage your partner’s dreams and goals. Remember, you’re a team, and a team is only as strong as its weakest member.
- Laugh together: When was the last time your partner was surprised by your noticing a quality they hold or act they did? Laughter is a great way to bring back love into a couple. Spend time doing things that make you both laugh, such as watching funny movies or sharing funny stories.
- Complement each other: Praise your partner for their good qualities and remind them why you love them. Don’t assume your partner knows you still find their smile, laugh, or intelligence attractive.
- Forgive: Do you need to revisit something from the past to find closure and forgive your partner? Everyone makes mistakes. Learn to forgive and move on instead of holding onto resentment. Remember, resentment does not go away with time, so consider forgiving your partner’s past mistakes.
- Keep the spark alive: When was the last time you and your partner experienced a new cuisine or activity together? Surprise your partner with little gifts or do something nice for them, like making them breakfast in bed. Do something new and exciting together to keep things fresh!
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash