Whether you have been married for six months or six years, it is normal that some of the “spark” in your relationship might be lost over time. Things are always exciting at the very beginning. As time passes, you get more used to one another and you both may stop trying as hard to make things exciting or memorable.
Here are seven ways that you can keep, or get back, the spark in your relationship:
1. Break your routine
It's easy to get into a routine when you have been with someone for a while. Your life together becomes predictable and a little boring. If you want to put some excitement back into your relationship, break your routine and do new things. If Saturdays have always been reserved for chores, plan an adventure. Try something new together that you may have been talking about and never got around to. It is easy to become comfortable in routines, but you do not want to become complacent. Complacency will take the magic out of your relationship.
2. Surprise your spouse
When was the last time you sent your partner a sexy text or photo? You don't have to get completely naked and snap a full-length photo from work. If your partner loves your stomach, send a photo of it along with a mischievous question or statement about what will happen when you see each other again. Remember the feeling you used to get when you sent and received surprise texts at the beginning of your relationship?
You may not do them anymore, but they can certainly send the sparks flying again.
3. Don't get bogged down with chores
Yes, chores are something we all need to deal with, but if you allow them to become the focus of your life, this will quickly kill the romance. Instead of arguing about who has to cook and who washed dishes last night, suggest cooking together.
This can be great bonding time for any couple. You can sneak kisses and compliment your partner's skills. Remind your partner that someone who takes out the trash or does the dishes is incredibly sexy (and it is much better than nagging when something needs to be done).
4. Ditch the distractions for an hour
Turn off the television or computer and put your phone away. Spend time engaged and talking with your partner. You can enjoy a romantic dinner together, play a game together, or sit on the porch with a couple of glasses of wine. If you are used to having distractions as a buffer, spending quality quiet time together might be uncomfortable at first, but do not give up and go back to old habits.
5. Try new things together
According to brain science, new experiences activate our brain’s reward system. This increases two feel good chemicals: dopamine and norepinephrine. This brings on feelings similar to that of early romantic love. This is another reason to break out of your routine and have novel experiences together.
6. Stay connected
“Connecting” with your partner again will undoubtedly bring the spark back to your relationship. Some people think this takes a lot of effort, but you once did this or you would not have gotten past dating!
You know how to connect based on these early times in your relationship and it remains a muscle memory that just needs some exercise. This involves talking frequently. Topics from the everyday to the deep and emotional must be self-disclosed. This is the way we develop closeness in relationships and the way we sustain closeness.
You might think that losing the spark is a typical part of a marriage, but it does not have to be! It is not as hard as you think to bring it back, and to keep it and sustain it. Creating or re-creating sparks just takes a few easy, but essential behaviors.
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