How to Rekindle a Relationship
If you and your partner have been together for a long time, it’s possible that sometimes you’ll feel too tired, stressed, and distracted to truly appreciate him or her. If this happens, then you may want to take some time to figure out how to rekindle your relationship. It’s important to remember why you love your partner and recapture some of the romantic fun you had early in the relationship. Reconnecting with your partner is important for both of you and can help you both feel better about your lives and your relationship.
Sample List of Compliments
Sample Ways to Manage Stress
Sample Date Ideas
EditMaking Small Gestures with Big Impacts
- Laugh together. Laughter is most definitely contagious, and can help people feel more at ease and relaxed. Laughing and having a sense of humor can take the pressure off of your relationship and help you cope with the inevitable ups and downs of sharing a life together. Find things that you know your partner will like and find funny.
- Remember things from your day that made you laugh to share with your partner when you get home.
- Find a tv show that makes both of you laugh and have a standing date to watch it together.
- Let your partner know you’re there. Even if it’s not a long conversation, checking in with one another is vital. Remind the other person how you feel and that you are there when he or she needs you. Sending messages to show your level of engagement in the relationship can also help build intimacy. Don’t forget to say:
- “I love you.”
- “I admire you.”
- “I miss you.”
- “I’m sorry things are going badly today. Is there any way I can help?”
- “I can’t wait to see you.”
- “I hate to see you like this. Can I do anything?”
- Come up with new date ideas. Move away from dating clichés like dinner and a movie. In a long-term relationship, it’s important to try new things to keep the magic alive. If you do go out to dinner, make an effort to try new restaurants and get dressed up from time to time. Try out the following ideas:
- Go out dancing.
- Host a party.
- Hit the beach.
- Go ice skating.
- Visit hot springs.
- Do karaoke.
- Take a cooking class together.
- Do the ‘little things’. Little things can include writing notes to show your affection, taking the trash out, or cooking dinner when your partner is exhausted. These small gestures show that you are attentive to your partner. The ‘little things’ are often couple specific, meaning no two couples will enjoy the same things. The important thing is to be sincere in your gestures and come from the heart.
- If you and your partner appreciate movies, plan a special movie night for the two of you, with your favorite snack foods.
- Surprise your partner with a small gift, such as flowers or a hobby-related item.
EditFeeling Close Again
- Have genuine conversations. While you may have struggled to pull away from each other early in the relationship because you could talk all night long, conversations can lull the longer a couple is together, turning to finances, kids, and to-do lists. Make time to connect and discuss topics that you both care about. Find things that you genuinely connect on, and discuss them.
- Start a book club for just the two of you.
- Learn something new about each other by asking “how” and “what” questions. For instance, “What was middle school like for you?” or “How was it for you when you moved?” Use open ended questions to allow for ease of conversation.
- Don’t criticize your partner for not talking to you. Instead, do something positive like inviting your partner to tell you about his or her day over dinner, a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine. Try saying something like, “I’d really like to know about your day. Let’s sit down and you can tell me all about it.”
- Compliment your partner. Being in a long-term relationship may cause you and your partner to take each other for granted and forget to do or say the sweet things that you used to do in the beginning of the relationship. Complimenting your partner will show that you care.
- Be specific. Instead of saying “You look nice,” say something like, “I love the way that dress shows off your curves” or “I love the way you look in that shirt.”
- Rather than saying, “You are so smart”, say, “I admire how intellectual you are and the way you discuss issues so genuinely.”
- Focus on what you and your partner have together. While it may be easier to focus on the negatives in your relationship, focusing on the positives will help your relationship thrive. It is especially important to focus on why you and your partner fell in love.
- For example, you and your partner might have bonded over a shared interest in running, a common faith, or a shared desire to help others.
- Make a list of all of the things that made you fall in love with your partner and ask your partner to do the same. Then, you can sit down and share lists and reconnect over the beginning of your relationship.
- Get physical contact every single day. Skin on skin contact releases a hormone called oxytocin, which increases feelings of intimacy in the long run. Don’t just physically touch as a prelude to sex. Kiss each other goodbye in the morning, embrace when you meet again, and give each other massages to unwind from a long day.
- Engage in hand holding and feel free to embrace for long periods of time, especially if you feel stressed.
- Make small changes to spice up your sex life. Reclaim your bedroom. If you live together, then remove some of the clutter from your bedroom: this includes kids’ toys (if you have kids), paperwork, and clothes that are strewn about on the floor. Get some candles, buy new sheets, and do anything else it takes to make your bedroom into a more intimate environment.
- If you fall asleep to tv, consider taking the tv, laptop, or other electronics out of the bedroom. Create a sense of intimacy by agreeing to disengage with technology while together in the bedroom.
- Send a naughty text. Tell your partner how excited you are to see him or her, reminisce on the last time you spent a night together, or send a racy picture of yourself. Messages like these can really get your partner riled up!
- Remember to only send texts that you consent in; never feel pressured to send anything, even to your partner.
EditMaking Long Term Fixes
- Build your confidence. Having low self-esteem can manifest as feeling like you don’t deserve to be treated well or that things will take a turn for the worst. These thoughts can sabotage the relationship and eventually become a reality. You may “test” your partner to see if he or she really loves you, then feel righteous in the “I knew he would leave me” self-dialog. Instead of sabotaging your relationship, try to build your confidence.
- If you’ve been hurt in the past, heal those wounds and recognize that you are worthy and deserving of giving and receiving love.
- Instead of avoiding sexual intimacy because you’re self-conscious about your body, learn to accept yourself as you are. If you chose to make changes to your body (such as losing weight), recognize that being your ideal weight may not change your insecurity and that it’s up to you to feel comfortable in your own skin.
- Practice forgiveness. Nothing kills a relationship like holding onto a grudge. If you and your partner have been holding onto an unresolved issue that is putting a strain on your relationship, then it’s time to forgive each other and move on. Talk to each other openly about it and try to move past it. If you haven’t had success in letting it go before this, it might be time to see a couples’ counselor to help you get your relationship back on track.
- There’s nothing wrong with going to counseling, and it can be immensely helpful in finding ways to relate to each other and grow closer emotionally.
- Spend some time apart. Just because you are committed to one another, doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking second together. In fact, spending some time apart can actually improve your relationship by allowing you to blow off some steam, reconnect with friends, and relax. Communicate with your partner how much time you want to spend together versus apart, such as having one night each week of time apart, or one weekend each month.
- Take a girls’ or guys’ night out every once in a while, or take a spa weekend away to unwind.
- Being apart temporarily can add some excitement to the relationship, causing both of you to anticipate and look forward to being reunited.
- Don’t drop your activities and hobbies when you’re in a relationship. Continue to paint, dance, draw, or go to the gym, even if your partner doesn’t participate.
- Go somewhere together. Experiencing a trip together can bring couples closer, especially when the focus is on each other and the relationship. A trip allows you to shift your focus from everyday stressors to each other. You can try for a dream trip, or just a nice weekend out of town. List out places you both have always wanted to see, and choose one that excites both of you. Every day, take steps to get closer to you both getting there. Finally, aim to create new memories, snapping photos and taking videos to re-live the memories later.
- You can go backpacking or camping to enjoy the great outdoors or plan a ritzy vacation away at a high class resort. International travel can be exciting to experience as a couple!
- If you have kids, then try to at least take one kid-free vacation every year.
EditMaintaining Your Love
- Be a good listener. Take the time and talk to your partner, and more importantly, listen. Engage with your partner, ask questions, and reflect what he or she says. Be open and share your feelings, and allow your partner to do the same.
- You can practice reflective listening by saying, “I hear you saying that things are difficult between you and your parents” or, “It sounds like you’re feeling really stressed about work.”
- Manage stress. With jobs, families, and other issues that require our time, sometimes your relationship is the part that gets the most time taken away. Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress causes a spike in cortisol, a hormone that can reduce the desire for physical intimacy. Needless to say, this can cause damage to your relationship in the long run. Eliminate stressful elements from your life if possible, and combat stress by exercising regularly, doing yoga, or meditating. Encourage your partner to do the same if he or she struggles with stress.
- Manage your time to avoid the stress caused by rushing to meet a deadline. Take care of tasks as they come up rather than letting them pile on, and use a planner to keep track of obligations.
- Spend more time doing things that you enjoy. Life can’t be all work and no play; devote at least one day each week to doing what you love.
- Do a long-term project together. Find something that will interest both of you and work toward it. Having a long-term goal makes time together built in during your week, and can help take you out of the rut of work and typical family life. Some possible projects might be:
- Train for a sporting event together such as a triathlon.
- Learn a new language together, then visit a country where it’s spoken.
- Build something like a boat, a shed, or a garden.
- Try something new. Trying something new can increase intimacy by sharing a novel experience together. Choose an activity that neither of you has done before, and maybe even one that’s a little scary. Sharing the experience of having nerves and then going through with an activity can bring you closer and provide a great conversation topic among your friends.
- Try rock climbing, skydiving or paragliding.
- Go on a backpacking trip.
- Take a raw foods cooking class.
- Find ways to focus on the big picture. Being in a long-term relationship can lead to focusing only on yourself and your partner. To rekindle your relationship, it may be necessary for you and your partner to get out of this mindset. You may need to find a way to expand your horizons and connect through these experiences.
- Try to engage in a spiritual practice together. If you and your partner share a spiritual belief, then you could attend services together. If not, then perhaps you can explore spiritual beliefs together. Engaging in a spiritual practice may help to reignite the spark between you and your partner.
- Consider volunteer work. Volunteering with your partner may also help you to get out of yourselves and bond over the experience of helping others. Try volunteering at a local food bank or animal shelter.
- Work together to raise money for charity. You and your partner might also be able to change your focus by working towards a charity’s financial goals. Consider helping out with a telethon or run a charity 5K with your partner.
- Making an effort to rekindle a relationship with somebody you truly love is one thing, but forcing yourself to stay in an unrewarding relationship is another. If you find yourself genuinely bored and dissatisfied with your relationship, consider whether this person is really your best partner or if you would be better on your own or with someone else.
EditSources and Citations
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