Just like anything in life, a relationship requires work and dedication if you want it to grow. With divorce rates higher than ever before, it is clear that making a loving relationship work should not be taken for granted.
Regarding relationships I’ve once heard someone say – if it’s not expanding then it’s retracting. Meaning either your relationship is in growth or it’s going in the opposite direction.
If your relationship is feeling like it has lost its spark, here are a few ways that you can reignite the passion.
1. Learn each other’s love language.
The 5 Love Languages is a best selling and well-loved book for building loving bonds with your partner. The book details 5 different ways that people show love. They are:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
Take this quiz to find out yours.
You can definitely have more than one love language, but there will be one or more that are more dominant than others. Once you have identified yours and your partners, the idea is to first of all recognise that your partner may be showing their love in a different love language to you and potentially that may be why you are not feeling their love, even though they are expressing it in their own way.
The second part of actioning this is to be mindful of your partner’s love language and choosing to show them their love language. This can feel awkward at first as you might not be used to giving words of affirmation for example, however, the gesture and conscious effort will count.
2. Create Time for Intimacy
Equipped with the awareness of your love languages, make sure you are creating time for one another for more intimacy. This is a little bit like scheduling a doctor’s appointment or a hair appointment. Check in with one another’s calendar to find a time that will work for both of you and make sure that you carve out that dedicated time with one another.
In the earliest days of a relationship, there is a lot of wooing, dates and other gestures are creating the feeling that you are loved and seen. This practice slips away over time so it is no wonder that the spark in a relationship can die out.
While lavish dates might not be viable with kids and commitments, creating time together and without interruption will create deeper and present connections.
3. Know what you want from your relationship and then do more of that
Pointing fingers at the other person is an easy thing to do and it takes a lot more humility and vulnerability to see your own shortcomings in the relationship.
My absolute number one rule is to recognise what you want in your relationship. It could be more intimacy, more quality time, more support or something else. Then make sure you do that for your partner.
It shouldn’t be a competitive “I’m doing this for you so you better recognise it” either. It is about nurturing and creating love in the relationship. It could be your change in attitude and heart that shifts the stalemate in your relationship.
4. More Touch
Touch is actually a lesser known basic need of humans. There is a lot of research linking physical touch to decreased violence, greater trust between individuals, more engaged learning and overall wellbeing, to name a few. Touch activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is connected with our compassionate response and can release oxytocin, aka “the love hormone”.
Spending time in bed cuddling, hugging throughout the day or even a gentle caress or playful smack can be included in the day to inject more love and connection into the relationship.
Try buying some lush massage oils, light a candle and indulge your partner with a massage. They might even be willing to return the favour after feeling all loved up!
As someone who promotes designing your life the way you would love it, creating connection and reigniting the spark in your relationship deserves just as much attention as any other area of your life.