How to Reignite the Spark and Ensure it Stays Alight
Try these strategies to maintain your relationship flame
Relationships can be compared to a fire. They need the perfect balance of oxygen and kindling, before adding larger logs. They need stoking so the spark can transform into a warm, powerful fire. If you ignore or neglect it, it will die. Your relationship also needs maintenance, so it doesn’t scorch or get extinguished.
‘Reigniting the spark’ is a term thrown around often, especially within long-term relationships. The monotony of life can dull the flames, whether it be work, household duties or family obligations.”. Ever heard of the 7 year itch? This is actually relative to any amount of time in a relationship. It describes the universality of lacking passion or connection within your long-term relationship.
Feeling as though your relationship has lost some of its flare is a completely normal stage. You have a choice; accept it and travel along without rediscovering that sense of passion and connection, prioritise your partner and nurture your relationship. This will protect the longevity of the passion and excitement within your relationship.
If you’ve reached a point where your relationship is fizzling, try these strategies with your partner to reignite and maintain the spark.
What is a Spark?
To strategise how to reignite a relationship, we must first understand what a spark is and how it first occurred in your relationship.
A spark is the first instinct you feel. The moment you realise this person is someone special, connected and compatible with you. A spark may swarm your stomach with butterflies, or leave you smiling from ear to ear after a first date, hoping there’s more to come of this person. Simply put, a spark is chemistry.
Reminiscing on the early days of a relationship can be fun and sentimental, but also informative. Ask yourself how you first felt about your partner, including what lit that spark in the first place?
You may recognise some aspects of your relationship history that sparked chemistry. Isolate these aspects and apply them to the current context of your life. It’s a great way to reignite passion within your relationship.
4 Ways to Reignite the Spark
1.Learn new things about your partner:
Given our fast-paced lives, conversations with our partners often focus on the present moment. Conversations like this; “Honey, can you take Jake to hip-hop at 8am Saturday, while I take Kate to soccer?” Or “Did you put the bins out?”
In long-term relationships, you may think you already know everything about your partner. However, this is likely not the case, and it’s only through deep conversations that we can discover something new. Ask each other intriguing questions, and practice active listening.
Here are some examples:
- What times in our relationship have you felt closest to me and why?
- If we could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- What are the top 5 characteristics you like, admire or love about me?
- How would you spend $1 million dollars?
- What do you like most that I do in bed?
- Do you like kissing or hugging more?
- Do you believe that I love you?
- What is your favourite memory of us?
- When was the last time you thought about me in a positive way?
Or try sharing a secret with your partner, which you’ve never shared with anyone else. It could be a childhood memory, or your dreams for your future together. You’re re-opening the doorway to intimacy, trust and connection.
2. Do things you both enjoy and have fun:
Engaging in things that both you and your partner find enjoyable will boost the spark in your relationship. Create a ‘fun list’ where you each write a list of things you’d like to do, then combine them and start checking it off. The more fun you have with your partner, the closer you will feel to how your relationship once was: new, fresh, and exploding with sparks.
3. Plan secret dates for each other:
If you think about the beginning of a relationship, I’m sure you think of dating. Dating is a fantastic way to learn more about a person in settings that may promote fun, romance, and connection.
Rediscover yourself and your partner, to rebuild that sense of passion and connection. What better way to do so than to date, like you once did. The simple act of getting dressed up, making an effort to look attractive to your partner, is a visual indication of effort and attraction.
The act of giving is powerful. Take turns organising a secret monthly date. You both will need to agree to dedicate the time to each other, leaving all the other pressures of life at home. This can revive the desire and mystery in your long-term relationship. Find your partner’s happy activities and pair it with yours.
4.Talk to a therapist:
In long-term relationships, it can often take effort between you and your partner to revive a spark. Talking to a relationship counsellor can relieve the pressure on your relationship. It’s helpful to share the weight of strategising the best ways to regain a sense of connection in your relationship.
A relationship counsellor uses many techniques to understand the foundations of your relationship. Using this knowledge, they’ll help you both plan if and how your relationship can reignite the spark. With the intervention of a therapist, you and your partner are not navigating this new age alone. You’re provided with the support and guidance your relationship deserves.
4 Ways to Maintain the fire and passion
For a relationship to be beautiful, and burning with love and happiness, it must be tendered and maintained. Once you’ve rekindled a flickering relationship from the embers, here are a few key strategies to regularly re-fuel the fire.
1. Learn to communicate more effectively:
Communication is a key contributor to the success of a relationship. Keeping the spark alive requires both of you to nurture your rekindled connection, and be intentional in your communication methods. To achieve this, be accountable for how you speak to your partner. Be mindful of the types of conversations you have, and how you express your feelings nonverbally.
This also applies to the way your partner communicates, and the type of communication you accept in the future. This mindful effort to communicate effectively will nurture the newfound spark with your partner and keep it alight.
2. Incorporate time for your relationship into your schedules:
Prioritise time together, to build intimacy. This is paramount to maintaining your connection with your partner. While physically sex is a great way to build on an intimate connection, intimacy means more than physical satisfaction. You both may benefit from other activities that build intimacy, such as hiking, or getting a couple’s massage together.
To maintain your rediscovered spark, you and your partner must dedicate regular time to things you enjoy. Maybe that means watching a movie snuggled together on the couch, making dinner or doing a fitness activity together. Change things up and get a babysitter, head out to a dinner someone else prepared. It doesn’t need to be a tropical island getaway (although that sure would be nice). What’s important is spending dedicated and intentional time together.
3. Laughter is the best medicine
How good does a belly laugh with your life partner feel? When you share an inside joke or take risks with your partner, and laugh together good hormones are released, so you both become less defensive. Humor enhances relationships by magnifying the enjoyment of shared interactions. You “get” each other and feel more connected. Studies of the effects of laughter on relationships and personal health have shown many benefits. One study shows how important humour was to keep that giddy feeling of being in love alive.
Enjoying the time you spend with your partner is a crucial element in keeping the spark alive in your relationship. Have you considered why at the start of relationships they feel fun and exciting? It’s because you’re making new experiences. You’re both having fun, and curiously learning about each other, laughing more and showing your best sides. So plan a risk taking activity or something that will bring back the mutual laughter. The laughs you share and the memories you make will bond you, and strengthen your emotional connection.
4. Compliment and affirm your partner
How good does it feel when someone agrees with you? Or is grateful for your energy, contribution or efforts? Gratitude and compliments make everyone feel good, and may even influence self esteem and confidence.
This is as important within relationships. Complimenting your partner may make them feel more desired within your intimate relationship. While affirming your partner may help them feel more secure, confident and assured going forward. Give it a try.
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If you’re wanting to reignite the spark in your relationship, consider counselling support. Contact Kylie Lepri for a FREE 15-minute phone call to discuss your situation. Discover how counselling can help you. Call us now on 0404 032636 or book your free phone call online.
The team at Kylie Lepri Counselling are all registered Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Specialising in Individual, Relationship and Family therapy. Providing online and in person support to clients all over Australia. Get Kylie’s FREE e-Book: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter below.