Reigniting the spark in a relationship isn’t easy. Having a mediocre relationship is very easy. Just slip into your routine and let life pass you by.
An amazing relationship takes consistent effort. Taking responsibility for our happiness is harder, but it makes all the difference.
Boredom and dissatisfaction are not things we actively choose, instead they are things we fall into when we don’t actively choose.
Sometimes, we get used to boredom and dissatisfaction and begin to treat it as the new normal. The longer we desensitize ourselves to discontentment and mediocrity, the harder it is to recognize the need to change and break bad habits.
So, start right now and don’t look back. Choose to have an amazing relationship.
1- Be Aware of the Spark in Your Relationship
A little awareness goes a long way. Before you fix a problem, you must first recognize that there is one. When we are disconnected and dissatisfied in our relationship, realizing that something needs to change can be difficult.
Here two ways that will help you recognize that it’s time to learn how to reignite the spark in a relationship:
Ask yourself, “How am I?” or “How is my relationship?” and if the answer is “fine” or “good,” that’s good, but why isn’t your answer “great” or “amazing?” Can something be improved?
Wouldn’t you like to feel better than “fine?”
Develop a growth mindset. Remind yourself daily that there is always room for improvement.
If you think you know everything there is to know about being a great partner and having a great life, and you are perfectly implementing that knowledge, I gently suggest that you reconsider.
We can’t expect to be a natural at communicating, empathizing, emotionally regulating, and compromising. A happy relationship and happy life require you to develop these things as well as an attitude of learning.
I always feel the most “on track” when I realize I’m just scratching the surface of knowledge and self-improvement. When I get too comfortable and confident in my ways, that’s normally when I say or do something really dumb.
Read my article 10 Ways to Have Good Communication in Your Relationships to find helpful material on how to work with your partner better to reignite the spark in your relationship.
2- Reignite the Spark by Working on Yourself
Most of my single friends have this down: “I need to work on myself right now before I can get into a committed relationship.”
I said this a lot when I was single too. We are so aware of this principle when we are single, but then treat our new chapter of marriage as the end of our story.
News Flash! Marriages, or even relationships, do not solve your problems or magically make you a better person, nor do they cause problems or make you a worse person.
Marriage may change your roles and responsibilities, but it does not change who you are.
Nothing can change you except YOU!
Your partner is not your savior nor your enemy; they, like you, are just a human being who wants to love, be loved, and be happy.
Think about when you first started dating and you cleaned up before your partner came over. Why? Because they were important to you and you wanted to impress them.
News Flash #2! Your partner still wants to feel important to you. Put in that extra effort to impress your partner. Throw your socks in the hamper instead leaving them under your covers (I’m calling myself out here) or dress up when you go out together.
Finding yourself does not end when you get married. Read my post about How to Find Yourself Again in a Relationship- The 5 “Dos and Don’ts” to take a self-improvement journey and learn more about being your own person in your relationship.
3- Know Each Other’s Love Language
We often think we are really good at showing our partner we love them, but often we are loving them in our way and not theirs. If you haven’t already, read The 5 Love Languages and take the love language test to find out how you like to give and receive love.
My number one love language is physical touch.
A simple hand hold while we are driving in the car says more than just “I love you,” it tells me “I’m here for you, I care about you, I appreciate you, and I want you here with me.”
Knowing your partner’s love language can unlock an entire realm of emotional connection between you and will help in keeping the spark in a relationship.
Integrating one another’s love languages into your everyday interactions can make a powerful impact on your connection and communication and reignite the spark in a relationship.
4- Be Grateful and Express Your Gratitude
This is the most important step to keeping the spark in a relationship.
Some parts of life just aren’t pretty, and that’s okay. You can come home to that same old pile of unfolded laundry on your bed and your son throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t want to eat his vegetables and still have a great life.
Instead of wishing for the perfect life or perfect partner, remember that you are not perfect either. So, stop expecting your partner to make life perfect for you. You are only human.
Before you blow up about how they “never” help out around the house, think about the things they do, do.
Stop keeping score and start being grateful.
Even, simply going to work every morning without a complaint or the fact that they asked you how your day was is something to be grateful for. Though this kind of responsibility and kindness should be expected, it should also be appreciated.
Sometimes we play “hot and cold” with our partner with the goal of intimacy and connection, but we forget to tell them when they are “hot” and only make a fuss when they are “cold.” How can we expect to reach our goal this way? Better yet, why don’t we quit playing games and tell them exactly what we want?
In Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman says building reserves of admiration and fondness for your partner is one of the 7 most crucial ways to make a marriage work. If you want to learn how to reignite the spark in a relationship, start looking for the positive and express your gratitude to your partner often.
5- Make Reuniting Special
This one is simple but impactful.
When you see each other again, make sure your partner knows you are happy to have them with you again.
These moments happen every day and it is easy to let them slip by. You get home and immediately attend to homework, your phone, or the TV without acknowledging that you are in each other’s presence again.
As I said in my last post, spending time apart is healthy, but it is important to show your partner they are your first priority by checking in with them when you reunite.
You can jump into each other’s arms and twirl around or simply say, “Hey you’re back! I missed you.”
Either works, because what matters here is that you acknowledge and express your happiness to be with each other again.
Daily moments like these can create a safe, happy space between you where you both know you belong.
Making the most of these small moments can help in keeping the spark in a relationship.
6- Try Something New
The number one cause of boredom and dissatisfaction is mindless routine. Falling into a routine makes us feel safe, but then we stop paying attention to the opportunities around us that are waiting to take us by the hand and open our eyes.
So, try something you haven’t before, or do something you haven’t done in a long time.
Go on a walk, take a nap, make dinner, or take a class together. A gorgeous getaway on a tropical island would be nice too, but it’s not something you can do every day. Find happiness here and now.
One of the 18 exercises in Getting The Love You Want is called “The Fun List.” In the exercise, both you and your partner make a list of things you would like to do with each other, combine your list, and then do one of these things each week.
Doing items on “The Fun List” is all about letting go of your inhibitions and having fun like you did as a child, unweighted by self-consciousness and the demands of the “real world,” at least for a little.
However, if you are the couple that’s always on the go, try taking time to relax together. Take a bath together or sit on the porch and watch the sunset. I cherish the moments when Sabe and I are so relaxed and unbothered by the demands of life that we fall asleep on the couch.
From Getting The Love You Want we learn that instead of letting yourself and your relationship be a product of your circumstances, live a life based on consideration rather than impulse.
7- Dream Big Together
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work gives us a great exercise to find and make shared goals. Just write down your goals separately, then come together and see where they align. These can be deep and personal, but they can also be fun and exciting. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Now make a bucket list!
Sabe and I want to build our own home one day and even though it’s far away, we love to talk about it. We’ve watched all of “World’s Most Extraordinary Homes” on Netflix and I have a Pinterest board full of home inspiration. We like to look through it sometimes and talk about our future dream home without considering costs or practicalities. This gets us super inspired.
So, find a goal, a dream, or a vision, or a passion you share and talk about it!
One question in the exercise from the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work made me think. The question was, “Are there meaningful activities that could be great sources of energy and pleasure for you but keep getting postponed or crowded out by more immediate, but less significant, concerns?”
This question is so important but so overlooked. We guilt ourselves into doing the “responsible” thing, when the reality is that it can actually wait. It really can.
We get caught up in day to day concerns and put off doing things that we are passionate about and make us come alive.
So, share your dreams, and come alive together.
Keeping the Spark in a Relationship
It’s not about the quantity of love, but the quality of love you give each other that keeps the spark in a relationship.
Fill your moments together with gratitude, meaning, fun, and big dreams.