After you’ve been dating (or married) for a while, things can turn monotonous. What was once so thrilling becomes merely routine. You two fit like jigsaw puzzle pieces, but there’s a spark missing now. Here are some tips on how to rekindle the flame:
Talk and LISTEN
This sounds simple, and you probably do this every day. But this time, really talk. Have a conversation where you’re completely unplugged from your cell phone and all other distractions. Look your partner in the eyes when they speak to you. Andrea Watcher and Steve J. Legallet, licensed Marriage and Family therapists, say, “remind yourself that since what they are saying feels important enough for them to share with you, they deserve your undivided attention.” Keep up the openness. Jane Wyker, a family counselor, thinks “emotional connectedness” is key. “Emotional barriers dim passion,” she says. “The more emotionally open and new and present people are with each other, the more a passionate relationship continues.” She suggests confronting your partner when you feel like something is off. YOU should be the one to start the conversation.
Reminisce about the good ole days
Think about the times you first started dating your partner. You probably had butterflies in your stomach for a while whenever you talked to them. You can bring those feelings back, just by reminiscing a little bit. Watcher and Legallet suggest: “[look] at your partner through new eyes. Consciously consider the things you like, love, and appreciate. Think about what you would miss about them if they were gone. Ask yourself: ‘What attracted you to your partner in the first place?’”
Share simple reminders
Small statements that affirm your love can make a big difference. Just by telling your partner, “I love you” or “I’m here for you” every so often can strengthen the relationship. Author and psychologist Dr. Barbara Markway describes how: “It’s through a process called ‘kindling’–which means you can produce increasingly large effects with smaller efforts applied over time.” In other words, if you practice baby steps each day, your relationship will reap the benefits in the long run, and it all starts with the little words and gestures of kindness.
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