At some point, almost every relationship loses its spark; the feeling of wanting to be with that person every minute of every day eventually wanes. The fire and passion ebbs and flows. This is actually a natural process, but it’s up to each partner or spouse to make sure the fire doesn’t completely die.
What Is the Spark?
Do you remember the moment you realized you were in love? It’s often experienced as an intense feeling of longing or wanting to be with him or her, or even aching when you cannot be together. Many think of this as a honeymoon phase, realizing that it’s temporary and can give way to a longer-term kind of love. Others expect the intensity to last for a long time or even forever, then wonder what is wrong because it doesn’t feel the same as it once did.
Some experts refer to this intensity as “limerence”. They believe that the early intense feeling is not really love; it’s too intoxicating. What people are experiencing early on is an obsession and includes a desire for the feelings to be reciprocated. Likely, this desire for intensity is left over from another time in human history, when it was needed to encourage genetic diversity and survival of the species.
How to Reignite the Spark
Acknowledging that the spark has cooled is an important first step. Here are a few tips that experts on relationships suggest:
- Keep the romance alive
Romance is a big part of a relationship. It is the glue that can help you stick together during tough times. Set aside popular notions about whose job it is to be romantic; it should come from both sides. Small romantic gestures take nearly no effort and still add up in the long run. It can be anything from sudden dinner plans to a simple look and smile before leaving the house. Keep the romance alive!
- Maintain the mystery
Mysteries hold our attention. Sometimes we can keep our partner guessing. For example, make dinner plans for the two of you but don’t tell him or her where you’re going. Let that be a surprise. Then plan something romantic after dinner, rather than returning straight home.
- Do something new together
Try something new together–something you can both agree on. Perhaps this is a new hobby; join a gym; start a new tradition; just make sure it’s something that you can both enjoy. This will stretch your minds and your emotions as you build new experiences together.
- Be kind
Kindness is so important that sometimes it’s forgotten. Kindness has the power to trump the need to be right, and, like alchemy, can transform your bitterness into gold.
These suggestions are an important start. It’s important to stay committed to the process. You have everything to gain. Remember that if you need help, consider marriage counseling or couples counseling. This can help you stay focused and keep you on-track.