Relationship Problems: How to Spice Up a Relationship and Bring Back the Spark
Can you tell me how to spice up our relationship and bring back the spark?
Between jobs and kids and various commitments, it's often a challenge to find time keep the flame alive. The good news is that with both of you willing to take some steps to spice up your relationship, you can surpass where you were when you first got together. Instead of just the spark of a new relationship, you can have passion plus the intimacy that comes from having a history of commitment to each other.
So how do you do this? First of all, take the time to be together. Have a regular date night alone. Get a sitter and go out, or have a late romantic dinner after the children are asleep. Intimacy comes from shared experiences, so it's imperative that you begin to build some time together.
Ensure that you are having regular sexual contact. The sexual aspect of a romantic relationship is a vital one and serves to bring you both together. If your sex life has become tense or non-existent, seek the help of a trained couples therapist or counselor.
Talk with your mate about what is going on in your lives, about your thoughts and feelings. Oftentimes our adult communication is distilled to "Can you pick up Emily from the babysitter?" or "Did Isabel finish her homework?" Take the time to talk about each other instead of just the business (and busy-ness!) of family life.
Find out from your partner when he or she feels most loved, and make a concerted effort to show him or her love in those ways. It could be when one of you cooks dinner, brings flowers home, or just when you are holding hands. Random, affectionate touches (hair tousles, hand squeezes, hugs) are a great way to quickly reconnect and spice up a relationship.
Sometimes people assume that having a spark equals being spontaneous and that the only way to have a spark is to have (and wait for) those unplanned intimate moments. There's no doubt that unprompted interactions are wonderful. However, being intentional about time spent together is just as significant and can yield results that are just as positive, if not more so, since you had to invest time and energy to have them. Plus, time is passing and emotional distance is potentially growing while you are waiting for that spontaneous moment to "just happen." By taking the initiative and making time together happen, there's more of a chance that sparks will fly!
Also, realize that nothing is necessarily wrong. It's a normal course of events for couples to experience alternating times of closeness and distance. That being said, you want to do what you can to make sure that the periods of separateness are followed by times of meaningful connection. Everyone has heard the saying, "It takes work to make a relationship work." It's also true that the work involved can be fun, too.