After The Love Is Gone…How To Get The Spark Back Fast
Science has shown us that the chemicals that produce the feeling of infatuation die off after two to three years in a relationship. After that, only true compatibility will keep a couple happy. But just happy, not ecstatic. And it feels good to be ecstatic, and you and your partner deserve to have that forever! So, how do you recreate what your chemicals are failing to create for you? By keeping the spark alive like this.
Forget the goal; enjoy the journey
When you’ve been together for a while, you forget to notice the little nuances of every moment—like the way your partner hums along to songs in the car, or how cute they are when they get road rage. Instead, all you focus on is whether or not you’ll make your reservations on time. But stop that. Keeping the spark alive means recognizing how your partner, in particular, makes life’s little journeys entertaining or charming. So don’t forget to tease each other, and point out the humor in situations, even when things are going wrong!
Never give up on nicknames
This isn’t your roommate, or your sibling, or a co-worker. This is your romantic partner. One very easy way to keep an air of romance is to keep up those silly nicknames. These can be anything from generic ones like “Baby,” to more specific ones that have to do with your partner’s quirks or traits. After years of being together, many couples fall into simply addressing one another by their actual names, and then an outsider couldn’t differentiate the conversation between a workplace one and a romantic one.
Touch each other, for no reason at all
When you first begin dating, you need a really good reason to not be touching each other. But after a while, you can start to need a reason to touch each other. Some couples only touch when they engage in sexual activity. But you and your partner got together because there is a chemistry that takes place when your two bodies are in contact. Don’t forget to enjoy that. Simply placing your hands on your partner’s shoulders, if you come up to ask him a question, can add sexual and romantic tension to an otherwise bland moment.
Leave it at a kiss
Remember how much fun it was to just make out when you first started dating? It still can be! If kissing always segues into sex, it becomes more of a bridge to get somewhere else, and that takes away from the full intimacy you can experience in just a kiss. Indulge in a great, rolling around, grabbing-at-each-other, make out session. You’ll feel like teens again.
Text about nothing at all
One more way long term couples become all about efficiency is by only texting things like, “Pick me up in twenty minutes?” and “Can you grab milk on the way home?” and forget to text each other the funny, pointless things that happen throughout the day, like the odd thing someone said in an elevator, or a picture of something they just think their partner would enjoy. You can feel so much more connected if you keep one another updated throughout the day via text—take advantage of that.
Send sex texts
Let your partner know you’re thinking about getting it on long before it happens. After being together for a while, even the mention of sex can go out the window until it’s literally about to happen, and then it just feels like you’re going through the motions more than anything else. Send the occasional inappropriate Gmail chat message or text message. Let your partner know they’re on your mind, even though they’re not next to you.
Pause and point out
When you catch yourself thinking, “My partner is so kind/generous/intelligent/thoughtful/hardworking” (fill in the blank how you will) pause and point it out! We take for granted that our partner just knows we appreciate their good qualities every day. They don’t. And there’s nothing more exciting or flirtatious than feeling noticed.
Determine your love languages
As you may have heard, there are five main “languages” of love—or rather, how a person can express love. There is gift giving, spending time, physical affection, words of affirmation and being of service. Often the spark dies because we fail to recognize our partner is giving us love, they’re simply doing it in their own language, which is different from our own. Determine one another’s languages so you can better appreciate when your partner is being loving, and work to speak his language.
Fantasize about your partner
The imagination is a powerful thing and you have more control over it than you may know. In a truly great relationship, your partner can be a solid companion in your reality, and also an object of fantasy. Take time throughout the day to fantasize about different scenarios with your partner—not only sexual, but also romantic and intimate. You have to work to keep your partner an object of fantasy, especially after being together for years.
Walk down memory lane
A memory contains so many emotions. Even if your schedules or circumstances don’t allow you to recreate some of the moments of your past, simply saying, “Remember the time we…” can bring those emotions to the surface.
Take time to yourselves
There’s something to the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but in addition to that, you can’t be happy as a couple if you’re not happy as individuals. Take time apart every so often to do the things you love to do alone. You’ll come back to the relationship missing your partner, excited to share with him stories of what you’ve done, and feeling more fulfilled.
Have spiritual experiences together
These could be religious or not—whatever spiritual means to the both of you. Visit a historical place, a place of worship, graves of loved ones, or even a serene location in nature. Step away from the worries about the minutiae of life, and be somewhere where you can think about “the big picture” together.
Remember why you’re great
Along with pausing to acknowledge all of your partner’s great attributes, don’t forget to do the same for yourself! The more you love yourself, the more energized you feel to give love to others. Sometimes our paths of giving love to other people are clogged by our own negativity towards ourselves, so keep those pathways clear by remembering every day what’s amazing about you.
Switch up your sex schedule
And finally (yes, sex had to be on here at some point) break out of routine sex. Don’t fall into the pattern of only making love before going to sleep. Have a quickie while the rice is cooking for dinner, have sex in the morning, hop in the shower and surprise your partner. Let your partner know it’s not just an internal clock turning you on, but that he turns you on any time of day.