The honeymoon period – otherwise known as the part of a relationship where everything feels exciting. You’re falling in love, experiencing lots of firsts together. You may have butterflies and a quickening pulse – you’ll likely have friends wondering where you are. But as you begin to settle and become comfortable, the thrill can diminish. Here are some tips to bring back the spark in your relationship.
Firstly, focus on progress
Nothing stays shiny and new forever. There’s no point trying to recreate the highs you felt at the beginning. You might have stopped all day cuddles, but in return, you’re more secure and relaxed around each other. (Goodbye bedtime mascara).
Bringing the spark back should emphasise attraction. A fun, enjoyable partnership. In society, we often perceive typical partner traits like trust and security as boringly necessary. People don’t say, ‘Our relationship is so passionate, we have all this loyalty between us’.
Once you’ve become comfortable and ‘serious’, you can’t go back to the early stages when commitment qualities weren’t there. Celebrate this. You no longer have to worry about when to text or who asks who out next.
Consider what’s changed
When did the spark begin to go? Exactly when you grew closer, or when yours and your partner’s behaviour adapted? Some things that affect a couple’s spark:
- No longer going on dates or doing activities together.
- Repetitive routine: Same TV shows, dinners, social media schedules.
- Losing yourself – giving up what you enjoyed while single.
- Forgetting to pay compliments.
- Not acknowledging sweet gestures.
- Not making an effort to spice up intimacy.
- Lack of effort in appearance (wearing old lingerie, etc.)
Write down what you need to have the spark in your relationship again. What can you do each week and what surprises can you include each month? For instance, you might work on finding ways to compliment your partner on a weekly basis. You could schedule intimate time together (yes, scheduling isn’t the most romantic) which will ensure you make it a priority. Then depending on time and budget, fortnightly or monthly you could plan new date ideas and activities such as cooking classes.
Spend some time alone
Sometimes, the spark in your relationship requires separation. This can be true if you’ve minimised self-care. We’re often attracted to people leading their own fulfilling lives. Yet, we can lose self-fulfilment once meeting someone. What can you do alone that will make you feel incredible? For me, doing activities by myself pushes me out of my comfort zone and feels very rewarding.
Keep communication open
Every healthy relationship requires communication. While you might feel guilty for having these thoughts, your partner could be feeling the same. When discussing how you feel, try to resist saying, ‘You don’t do this anymore’; ‘You don’t make enough effort’. This puts the blame on your partner who could react defensively.
Change your ‘you’ to ‘we’. ‘We could arrange a fancy date next month… why don’t we write a list of the traits we love most about one another?’
Make an effort to switch up your routine and try something new. To add romance to the mix, arrange some of your date nights to take place in locations you went to when you first started dating. Or, book somewhere your partner has mentioned but hasn’t yet visited? Thanks to work and life stress (plus limited time), it’s normal to get home and want to lounge around and not do much else. Look at your calendars: choose a weekday where you can find energy to step outside the house together. Even if it’s simply for a summer’s evening walk or one drink at a cosy pub.
See a Professional
There is no shame in seeking outside support. Whether a coach or therapist, professional advice can provide clarity and more understanding on how to move forward. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed in your relationship. If bedroom intimacy has become lacklustre, sex therapy counselling can give you the tools to rekindle your passion. If you’re finding it hard to communicate, couples counselling may prove beneficial.
Can you always recreate the spark in your relationship? Well, it takes two to tango – a couple requires every partner to commit to making a change. Which likely means compromise. One partner might not notice any problems – to them, coming home to watch TV together night after night equals an ideal partnership. Neither person should have to give up what they want in a relationship. See if you can find a happy medium.