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how to reignite a relationship 7 tips from a psychologist

The initial excitement and butterflies of a new relationship can fade over time if not nurtured, leaving you wondering how to reignite the spark later on. This is why the honeymoon phase receives so much attention — it's a period when both partners actively work to keep each other satisfied and happy.

However, as a relationship matures, the effort to maintain that special connection can gradually diminish, and the passion you once felt may dwindle. Things can become monotonous, and the thrill may seem almost nonexistent. Shelley Sommerfeldt, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of the Loving Roots Project, a relationship coaching site, explains, "Most couples fall into a comfort zone and typical routines with their partner. While this provides us feelings of safety and security in our relationship, it can reduce feelings of excitement, spontaneity, and overall newness that brings a spark."

RELATED: 8 WAYS TO FIX YOUR RELATIONSHIP

If this resonates with your relationship, don't lose hope. As long as both partners are motivated and willing to put in the effort, it's never too late to reintroduce excitement, according to Sommerfeldt. However, it will require addressing some issues that may have been avoided and bridging any emotional distance that may have developed. Communication, reconnection, affection, and intimacy are key.

If you're unsure where to begin in rekindling your relationship, here are seven expert-recommended strategies to help you along the way.

1. Prioritize Meaningful Conversations

The early stages of a relationship are often marked by the excitement of building a new connection. During this time, you might find yourself engaged in lengthy phone calls or hours of texting, even if it means sacrificing sleep.

This eagerness stems from a desire to be present, tuned in, and engaged in active listening, explains Sommerfeldt. As feelings develop, there is a natural inclination to want to know everything about your partner, leading to frequent conversations. Unfortunately, this effort tends to diminish as a relationship progresses.

"Later in relationships, we may not be as attentive, and this can come across as dismissive and uncaring to our partners. To rekindle love in a relationship, it's important to make time to genuinely talk with your partner," says Sommerfeldt. When asking about their day, actively listen. Take these everyday conversations a step further by seeking details, such as updates on a work project they mentioned a few days ago. Being present and mindful sends a message of care and love to your partner.

2. Express Gratitude and Appreciation

"We often pay close attention to validating and positively reinforcing our partner during the initial stages of dating or marriage," notes Sommerfeldt. However, as the relationship progresses, this effort tends to fade into the background, potentially leaving your partner feeling unappreciated.

Take a moment to reflect on the ways your partner contributes to the relationship. It could be as simple as them fixing you a meal when you're hungry, using their skills to repair things around the house, or walking the dog in the mornings to give you extra sleep. While you may have always been grateful for these gestures, you may have stopped explicitly acknowledging them since they have become routine. Strengthen your relationship by expressing your gratitude out loud, suggests Sommerfeldt. Let your partner know that you notice and appreciate the many ways they express their love.

3. Explore New Experiences Together

The early stages of a relationship are often filled with new experiences and memories created with a new partner. While it may seem like those adrenaline-filled adventures are a thing of the past, they don't have to be. It's entirely possible to carve out opportunities for one-on-one time and novel experiences.

"While routines provide predictability and certainty in a relationship, introducing new and spontaneous activities can foster excitement and much-needed change," advises Sommerfeldt. Now is the time to try that new recipe you've been eyeing, invite your partner to join you in a dance class, or start a garden together. Engaging in something completely new will help you discover more about yourselves and each other, strengthening your bond.

4. Cultivate Physical Affection

It's normal for the intensity of makeout sessions to wane over time. However, physical affection is an area where you should make an effort if you want to reignite your relationship.

"Physical affection increases the release of brain chemicals such as endorphins and oxytocin, which signal care, love, and safety," explains Sommerfeldt. The more you engage in it, the more it becomes an automatic but genuine part of your relationship. Start with simple gestures that feel natural, whether it's reaching out to stroke their arm, holding hands while watching TV, or giving them a quick peck during dinner preparations.

5. Prioritize Date Nights for Quality Time

Striking a balance between tending to your relationship and other responsibilities can be challenging, particularly when work schedules, childcare, and life, in general, get in the way. However, it's important to make room for quality time alone together.

"Having dedicated time for just the two of you on a regular basis is key to maintaining a strong connection," advises Sommerfeldt. "During the honeymoon phase, we make an effort to have regular date nights. The same should happen in more established relationships." Planning dates where you can enjoy each other's company, whether it's camping in the backyard or engaging in board games, is an excellent opportunity to express gratitude for your partner and provide physical attention as well.

6. Spice Up Your Intimate Life

Your sex life is not immune to falling into a routine, says Sommerfeldt. At the beginning of a relationship, there is novelty in getting to know your partner intimately, and you may be more open to exploring and trying new things in the bedroom. However, as time passes, it's easy to become comfortable with a routine and stop seeking ways to spice up your intimate connection.

"It can be helpful to shake up your usual sexual routine by trying new positions, changing locations, or incorporating elements such as candles, romantic music, sex toys, or massage oil," suggests Sommerfeldt. Breaking out of your usual pattern will bring back some of the excitement of the honeymoon phase and reinvigorate your intimate connection.

7. Foster Healing and Forgiveness

Arguments and disagreements are a normal part of any relationship. During the honeymoon phase, these conflicts may not surface because, at that point, criticisms or negative viewpoints toward our partners are typically absent, explains Sommerfeldt. However, once conflicts arise, it can be easy to accumulate resentment and negativity toward your partner.

If this situation sounds familiar, take time to reflect on what is bothering you. Consider writing your thoughts in a journal and brainstorming potential solutions. Once you have organized your thoughts, have an open conversation with your partner, expressing how certain behaviors or actions affect you. Chances are, they will also feel compelled to share their concerns. From there, you can develop actionable plans to better support each other.

The Bottom Line

In a world where relationships can lose their spark over time, it's important to talk about the problems that come up and close any mental distance. But what if you think your partner is hiding something from you? Jealousy can wreak havoc on a relationship, but there's a discreet and effective solution available. Without ever touching your partner's phone, iFindCheaters may help you learn their deepest, darkest secrets and collect evidence of infidelity. To help you make the right decisions for your relationship, our web service searches 55+ top dating and alternative lifestyle platforms and generates a detailed report. Get to the bottom of things with iFindCheaters instead of letting envy rule your life. Try us for free today!

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