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3 Ways to Put the Spark Back in a Relationship

1. Make an “I love when you…” list.

Photo by Monstera from Pexels
Source: Photo by Monstera from Pexels

Feel like your relationship is missing its spark?

There are many factors that can put a damper on intimacy and affection between partners.

Sometimes, the absence of physical intimacy/sex (and sparkly, desirous feelings) can be traced back to unresolved anger and resentment. (Like: He cheated five years ago, and I'm still not over it. Or: She’s been giving me the “silent treatment” for weeks, and I feel rejected.)

Other times, a “grudge” isn’t to blame. The lack of intimacy and desire can result from conflicting schedules, big life transitions (like a new baby), or plain boredom.

Each couple is unique and every “spark” might need to be re-ignited in a slightly different way.

But if partners are willing to experiment and play, here are 3 ways to help start rekindling those tingly, flirtatious feelings. Choose whichever feels most intriguing and see what happens.

1. Make an “I love when you…” list.

If couples choose only ONE thing to try, it’s a good idea to make it this one.

Over the course of one day, you and your partner can make a list of everything each other does that makes you happy and excited, even just a tiny bit.

“I love when you greet me at the door when I come home from work…”

“I love when you surprise me and give me a hug when I’m washing the dishes…”

“I love when you tell me I look beautiful when I’m dressed for work and getting ready to leave for the day…”

Keep building your lists, all day long, even when you're apart, and then at the end of the day, the two of you can sit close together and read both of your lists out loud.

2. Say “I’m glad that you’re here.”

… with words AND actions.

For one day, you and your partner could try to say to each other something like, “I’m glad that you’re here” at least three times.

The actual words can be said, and/or expressed through touch — a little squeeze or a gentle kiss on the cheek.

It’s a good idea for you and your partner to keep expressing your appreciation, making it clear that you don’t take each other for granted.

3. Make an “It would be amazing if…” list.

Over the course of one day, both of you can make your own separate list of things that you would LOVE your partner to try doing, or to do more of.

This could be somewhat like an “ultimate dream list.”

“It would be amazing if you called me at 5 pm to say, ‘meet me outside’. And then swept me away for a romantic date night…”

“It would be amazing if you woke me up with a foot massage, and brought me breakfast in bed…”

Both of you can keep building your lists, all day long, if you'd like to, even when you're apart, and then at the end of the day, make time to sit close together and read both of your lists out loud.

Extra credit: choose one fantasy scenario, each—and do them!

Yes, this post was intended to cover “3 ways,” but here’s just one more:

4. Try a day of “no sex.”

It may seem counter-intuitive, but you and your partner might consider blocking out a whole day where intimacy and sex is “off-limits”. (Ideally, this would be a day when you’re both not working.)

Kissing could be fine, affection could be fair game, but that would be it—for now.

This can build tension (the good kind) and excitement like teenagers, perhaps like what you and your partner did back when you were first dating.

You might want to send each other loving texts during the day, creating even more anticipation for your big “reunion."

And both of you could set a special time (say, 9 pm) when physical intimacy is back “on the table,” so to speak.

Have fun!


Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Contact your qualified provider before implementing or modifying any personal growth or wellness program or technique, and with questions about your well-being.

Copyright ©2021 Dr. Suzanne Gelb, PhD, JD. All rights reserved.

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