When we start out in a romantic relationship it’s a whirlwind of devotion, affection and sharing. We can’t get enough of each other.
It’s not that the affection or devotion fades over the years, it’s that life and all the things in it require your attention too. As much as you adore your time together, eventually you need to get your head back into work and home and family and gardening and budgets.
Even when you live in the same house it can feel like you never spend time together anymore. Conversations tend to revolve around work, chores and kids rather than each other. Your relationship is by no means dead, no matter how long you have been living as housemates, that original attractive and heat is still there, it just needs a little space and oxygen to come back to life again.
The magic is not going to happen on its own, so it’s essential that you put in a little research to find deep and meaningful ways to reconnect with your partner to keep the fire burning bright.
If like many couples you have put your relationship on the backburner while you were getting other things done, know that it’s never too late to reconnect and rekindle the flame.
If you haven’t already taken the love languages quiz with your partner, I strongly recommend doing that now. When we are first together we have so much time and energy for each other so new couples usually cover all the love languages at the same time. As our time and energy is divided, we tend to revert to our main one or two languages for expressing our love and thanks.
Now, if your top two love languages don’t match your partners top two, you are probably both feeling a little empty, maybe even emotionally distant and taken for granted. It’s not that your partner doesn’t love you and appreciate you, it’s simply the way they are showing their love doesn’t register for you or ‘fill up your love tank’.
Once you know what love language your significant other speaks you can pour your energy into the ones that will have a high impact for them. Otherwise, you might wind up feeling burnt out, unappreciated or even rejected if you continue to rekindle your love with a language your partner doesn’t understand.
We’ve put together a list of things you can use to help get the sparkle back in your love life. We make sure we cover all the love languages here too.
Pay attention to which activities brighten up your partner’s day and do those ones more frequently. Ask your partner for feedback as you go as well.
Remember to pick moments that are appropriate to make your move. If they are stressed out, kissing them might not go down to well! Find ways you can express your love and affection in line with what your partner is experiencing.
There is no need to do this elaborately or spend a lot of money, sometimes starting out with small genuine gestures is better received that a big grand gesture of apology.
While it’s best to engage in these activities from the start to keep you both loved up and feeling great for a lifetime, you can also use them to bridge a gap or mend a troubled heart if things between you and your partner have been distant recently and get your relationship back on track.
Touch is not just about an external response. Wanted touch between two people can release good feeling hormones including serotonin and endorphins. Our busy lives can sometimes interfere with something as important and impacting as touching each other.
Make an effort to touch your partner. Think about the way you were when you first started as a couple, holding hands, stroking (even if it’s only thumb against thumb or foot against foot), embracing, long kisses or gentle hand pressure on the back, legs or chest can all be indications that I am there for you and I think you are desirable, interesting and attractive.
If your partner is having a rough day offer them a massage. Getting a couples massage training book and some quality oils is a great way to learn something new and fill drained love tanks together.
A big part of this one is being aware of the feeling of touch. If our minds are not in the moment we can be touching and not even notice. Really be aware of the feeling of closeness to invigorate and stimulate the bloodstream.
Getting your breathing synchronised is a great way to reconnect. Tony Robbins is known as one of the greats for rekindling lost marriages. When completely overrun with clients he sets his waitlisted couples this very simple exercise: Lay in bed, face each other and breathe at the same time for ten minutes, in and out slowly and deliberately. Almost every couple reconnects and rebuilds from breathing together alone. A small tweak to this process is breathing out when your partner breathes in so you are literally breathing the other person’s air. Don’t attempt to do this one alone without your partner’s knowledge. You need to both be fully aware of the exercise and get in sync together.
Spend time together just the two of you. Get a sitter for the kids or dogs if you need to, turn off your phones, clear the schedule and just spend time getting to know each other, talking about whatever comes to mind. You might choose to cuddle in bed every evening. Go out on a date once a week or try an activity that is important to your partner.
If you have trouble getting out of your rut, spice things up a little. Making a change and getting out of routine will help reset your mindset. Go for a drive somewhere new, spend the weekend away, get dressed up and go somewhere you have never been or always dreamed of going.
Eye connect is the most powerful and honest thing you can give someone. Lock eyes with your partner and hold the gaze for as long as possible. This isn’t a blinking competition so be careful not to stare. Blink and be soft in your expression. It’s a good way to get comfortable with someone and open up about how you are feeling or what you actually want to say to them.
Make a point of holding eye contact regularly. See what works best for your day, is it in the mornings when you wake up, when you first get to see each other after work, or maybe laying in bed before you turn out the lights and sleep.
Acts of service is all about showing your partner you care about them and want to ease some of the burden of their day. Little things like doing home chores, picking up groceries from the shops on the way home, setting the table beautifully with candles. This is most powerful if you do it without being asked. It can be anything small and useful that gives the other person one less thing to worry about in their busy day.
Of course you talk to each other every day. You plan your schedules, collaborate on meals and even outings, but in all those words you exchange, how many of them are nice or thoughtful compliments?
It’s great to get into the practice of complimenting your partner when they look nice or think up something interesting or solve a problem. Even when not prompted it can be nice to hear things like, “I’m so grateful you are part of my life”, or, “You do that really well”.
Nice words and compliments can also let your partner know when they are on the right track. Saying “thank you” is a way of indicating to your partner when you like something they have done, as well as showing appreciation for their effort.
Get creative with things like sticky notes in unexpected places, letting them know that you are thinking about them.
It’s important to be honest and sincere in the things you say and the way you say them.
Make time for conversations. That means putting aside distractions and giving your partner time to talk and also time for you to respond.
Really listen carefully to what they say, particularly when they talk about how they are feeling. You don’t have to solve their problems, you just need to show support and understanding.
Ask open-ended questions that invite your partner to go into more detail: An open-ended question is any question that requires an answer longer than Yes/No.
(‘Why’ is excluded from the list as it can sound accusing or interrogating)
When is a good time for you to get a conversation going? Is it over breakfast, going for a walk together, or on the weekends?
Set up a frequent time that works for the two of you to really talk. That might mean getting up earlier or switching off the TV.
See how many open questions you can ask in a row before you talk about yourself or give your opinion.
Gifts do not have to be to be big and expensive. Small gifts wrapped well and given with care are the key here. Think of gifts that are sentimental to your partner or your relationship or remember something they liked or said they’d like to have.
It really is the thought that counts so make sure the thought you put into your gift is obvious.
For something really special, hand-make a gift yourself.
You probably have thousands of pictures of the two of you and places you have been that you never look at. Make some time to go through albums or files and reminisce about your time together. It can really put things in perspective to remember how far you have come together.
Plan a joint project to make photo albums online or for the shelf and get creative in assembling your favourite shots or editing video to music.
You can also take a literal walk and revisit the place you met or had your first date or maybe dance to a song that means something to your relationship.
Telling stories of the past will help open you both to new points of view as you will each have different memories and interpretations of the events. This isn’t a problem, it’s not a case of one person being right and the other wrong, embrace the differences and look back with warmth and humour.
Sex at the beginning of the relationship is pretty much a deep diving encounter with fireworks. Each time you were together was a chance to express a different mood and desire and amplify your emotions.
If you have been together for a while bedroom activity can start to become routine, like brushing your teeth, losing meaning or emotion. Being intimate with your partner can be such an incredibly close and deeply meaningful encounter.
To get that variety and emotion back spend more time warming up to sex. Extend your foreplay time and enjoy the experience of submersing yourself with your partner. Get to know their body all over again, testing old favourite sensitive spots and discovering new ones.
Taking the time in the bedroom is not only rewarded with more satisfying sex for both of you, it also indicates that you trust your partner and care deeply about them as a person. Showing consideration in the bedroom can also mean consideration towards each other outside of it as well.
All these ideas work really well in combination. Mix and match as much as you like or set up a weekend that includes all ten suggestions staggered like dominos.
It’s important to give and receive love frequently so engage in couple activities on a regular and consistent basis. Waiting for birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s Day is not going to be adequate or fulfilling enough to sustain a heart, yours or theirs.
If you would like a head-start with bridging a gap between you and your partner, maybe to establish the trust and belief in your relationship that will help give you the courage needed to take some much-needed action, come along to Live It Now. This powerful Sydney weekend seminar will give you a much-needed shake-up and some tools to open your hearts and minds towards love again.
PO Box 590,
MANLY NSW 1655 AUSTRALIA
1800 552 168