How to Get the Spark Back in Your RelationshipReigniting the Flame
- 9 January 2024
Are you feeling like the spark has faded in your relationship? It's a common challenge that many couples face, but the good news is that it is possible to rekindle that flame and strengthen your bond. In this blog post, we'll explore some effective strategies to help you and your partner reignite the passion and connection in your relationship.
From infatuation to everyday life
When a relationship transitions from being new and exciting to more established, we often undergo changes in our feelings towards our partner and our behaviors towards each other. In the beginning of the relationship, we are eager to present our best selves, and the curiosity of getting to know each other drives us.
We may willingly join in on a football match because our partner is passionate about it, or we might genuinely want to know in detail about our partner's workday. Even mundane chores can feel fun as long as we do them together.
After being together for a while and feeling a greater sense of security in the relationship, this often changes. Other aspects of life, which were once important to you, might start taking up more space.
This, in itself, doesn't have to be negative, but it's common for the focus on our partner and their needs to decrease over time.
Rediscovering the spark
As psychologists and couples therapists, we meet many couples looking to improve their relationship. For some, their daily lives are marked by conflicts and a chilly atmosphere. For others, they might have started living increasingly separate lives.
Here are our tips for rediscovering a warmer and more loving relationship. We understand that making a change can be difficult if you don't feel like you're getting what you need from the relationship. However, if you sense that the foundation of trust is still there, and you hope to find your way back to each other, give it a try! Often, a stagnant relationship is trapped in patterns that can be broken, and there is help in taking that first step.
7 Tips to get the spark back in your relationship
1. Be curious and show interest!
You are not alone in assuming that you know what your partner is thinking and feeling. In an established relationship, we often engage in mind-reading, interpreting, and making assumptions without being completely sure.
What happens if you try to rekindle that curiosity you had at the beginning of your relationship? Test asking questions even when you think you know the answer you'll get. Try to listen openly and with interest without immediately expressing your own thoughts.
2. Small acts of everyday love
Demonstrating love in small ways is a way to start the positive cycle. We understand that it can be challenging when you don't feel lovingly treated yourself, but give it a try.
Every little positive action counts. It can be anything from buying your partner's favorite chocolate to expressing how happy you are that it's just the two of you. Try to perform acts of love in the area you believe your partner would appreciate the most. Is it more warm, long hugs? Or maybe taking on more responsibilities in daily life?
The important thing is to get started! Give yourself an extra challenge and try to do it even when you don't feel like it at all.
3. More positive time together
What do you do when you are together? Do you have moments when you still have fun together or experience joy? Here are some clues about what you need more of!
In the early stages of a relationship, we often do many fun activities together, but as the relationship becomes established, other priorities may take over. As life changes, you may need to prioritize differently; many couples become more of a logistical team during the early years of parenting. And if the relationship feels problematic, you might not be as eager to initiate fun experiences!
This advice is about making an effort to initiate positive moments together, even when you don't feel like it. It doesn't have to be grand; playing video games together one evening can be just as good as a weekend getaway. Try to plan special dates or activities that you both enjoy, and make an effort to be present in the moment.
4. Focus on what you appreciate
Our brains are wired to quickly react to threats, a trait that has helped us survive throughout evolution. The downside is that we often tend to focus on things we are dissatisfied with, even when there are issues in our close relationships. If something starts bothering us, we often continue to pay attention to it, becoming less likely to notice positive aspects of our partner or our relationship.
In such cases, we may actively need to concentrate on the positive aspects of the relationship. Try to take a moment to pause and reflect at least once a day. What do you appreciate about your partner? What are you grateful for in your relationship right now?
5. Open and respectful communication
This is about creating a safe space where both you and your partner can express your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. The first step is just listening, without interrupting or sharing your own opinions.
Do you often argue or bicker a lot? Or do you avoid discussing difficult issues that you'd actually like to resolve? If negative interactions outweigh the positive ones, it's no wonder the relationship as a whole may seem problematic.
If you know that you tend to say hurtful things when you're angry, try to wait until the strongest emotions have subsided. When communicating with your partner, consider how you yourself feel. For example, say, "I feel stressed about having to take on all the responsibilities," instead of "You never do anything at home; I'm the only one in charge."
If you receive criticism, try to begin by just listening without getting defensive. This provides much better conditions for your partner to feel heard and willing to listen to you.
6. Understand each other's perspectives
Gaining insight into your partner's perspective is crucial. Take time to listen actively and empathetically to your partner's feelings and needs. Understand that you both bring unique viewpoints and experiences to the relationship. This understanding can lead to greater empathy, reduce misunderstandings, and promote better communication.
7. Embrace vulnerability
Embracing vulnerability can reignite the spark in a romantic relationship by deepening emotional connection. When partners share their true thoughts and feelings, it fosters emotional intimacy and revives the emotional spark.
An example could be opening up about a personal fear, and seeking support or understanding from your partner. Sharing vulnerabilities like these can help strengthen emotional intimacy and trust in a relationship as your partner can offer comfort, encouragement, and reassurance.