The sparks of love (or the "romantic phase") in the first two years of a relationship usually wind down and turn into long-burning embers. But what if those embers need a little stoking to get the fire going again? Here are some ways to reignite that spark.
1. Write a love letter to your partner.
In our busy, fast-paced lives, it can be too easy to forget what made you fall in love with your partner in the first place. Take some time out to write what you appreciate about your partner, and why you are still in love with him or her. You'll enjoy writing the letter, and recalling those good feelings will make you see your partner in a new light.
2. Join an activity together.
Studies show that when you and your partner learn a new activity together, it strengthens your bond. You are working together towards a common goal, and you also have something new to talk about. So take a class together, learn a new skill, try something neither one of you has done before. Novelty (doing new stuff) also sparks romance.
3. Go back to where it all began.
Remember those butterflies and endorphins that were flying around when you first met? Go back to where you had your first date. Go back to where you spent your first vacation together. Being back in those locations triggers happy memories.
Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting - it means letting go. It means no longer holding someone's behavior over them like an anvil. It means taking a new step forward, where you no longer bring up the past. When you don't forgive, you are hurting yourself much more than you are hurting your partner.
5. Get some good role models.
Ask couples what their secrets are for having long, happy relationships. You may be surprised to find they do argue - but they don't fight. They have differing opinions, they talk about it, and they try to reach a compromise. They also have mutual admiration and respect. And they usually never go to bed angry. Talking with happy long-term couples also gives you a reality check - it's not that they haven't had bumps on the road - they've just learned healthy ways of dealing with them, and they didn't let those obstacles change the way they felt about their partner in the long run.
6. Turn your phone off.
When you are spending time with your partner, turn your phone off. And your laptop. And your iPad. And your Nook. Just turn them off. Keep your attention focused 100% in the moment. You can't have intimate bonding time when you are checking your text messages and email every few minutes. Once you start turning your phone off, you'll realize how much time you were spending bonding with it instead of your partner. Get your focus back where it belongs - on your relationship.
You can reignite that spark.
Copyright 2012 Sarkis Media LLC