If you’re in a long-term relationship or marriage, chances are you know the feeling of monotony. While there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of boredom in a long-term relationship, it can sometimes put a strain on a marriage/relationship. Many people feel that this “boredom” is the beginning of the end. Newfound relationships have an added burst of new relationship energy (NRE) and so it can feel that the spark isn’t there anymore, especially if you’ve been with your partner for over a decade.
So how can you improve that “spark” between you? How can you talk about something different other than the kids, work or chores?
Hold hands When was the last time you held your partner's hand as you went for a walk? According to studies, it is very important to continue to hold hands with your partner. Holding or touching each other can help to synchronise your breathing and heart rate and can even help to sync brainwaves between the two of you. The power of touch has a significant impact on your mind and brain, even if you don’t realise it. Some people have found through anxious times that holding their partners' hands or receiving a hug from them can help to alleviate anxiety and pain symptoms. Whether you’re going for a walk through the shops or sitting on the couch together, reach out and hold their hand.
Make time for each other and go on dates Think about what you used to do when you first started dating. Did you always go to a new restaurant each week? Did you go on hikes? Whatever it is that you used to do in the early days of your courtship, start to relive them once again. We know it can be hard to find the time to do these sorts of activities, but if you want to help ignite the passion back into your relationship, you need to take the time to spend quality time together. Schedule in time for date night and book a table. Put the phones away and don’t talk about household chores or work. If you want to take it a step further, organise a weekend away to a new place to discover together. Refresh the routine and try some new things together.
Change your sex patterns Are you always the one to initiate sex? Are you sometimes a little withdrawn from sex depending on your mood or how tired you are? It’s time to break any sex habits you have and start to change things up a little bit. Now is a good time to have a discussion about fantasies, what you like (and don’t like) in the bedroom and what you would like to try out. If you’re normally a little reserved and don’t initiate sex, perhaps it’s a good time to be the one to start things up. If you are normally the person pursuing sex, maybe let your partner take over and try something new. If you want to keep things “vanilla”, that’s ok, too! You can still mix things up a little by having sex in a different location, spending more time on foreplay or even just finding new ways to tell your partner that you think they’re sexy.
Focus on self-care Even though you’re working on your relationship with another person, it’s still important to separate yourself from your relationship and focus on yourself, too. Self-care can help you to feel better about yourself and to help improve your relationship due to your newfound confidence in yourself. Make the time to treat yourself to a new haircut and a new colour. Get a massage and work out those daily stressful knots. Or, if you want to start getting fit, join a fitness group or gym and make the time each week to focus on yourself and your wellbeing. As you feel more confident, this could help you to feel more empowered as an individual and as a part of a couple.
Be spontaneous Do you both have a weekend free coming up? No plans on Friday night? Why not book a table or a short mini-holiday for a night or two and surprise your partner? Being spontaneous helps to break up the usual routine that you both go through day in and day out. If you go somewhere completely new, you’ll both be able to enjoy a unique adventure in an exciting new place. Go top a new location and throw in some new adventures like jet-skiing or a new show you’ve both never been to before.
Don’t stop flirting Remember when you first started dating? Do you remember the types of texts you’d send to each other? Perhaps you sent saucy photos to each other throughout the day? Whatever it is that you used to do to flirt your way into your partner’s heart, start doing it again. Just because you’ve been together for many years and know what each other looks like and is interested in, doesn’t mean you have to stop your flirt game. Even a cute message in your lunch break to say that you’re thinking of them and what you’d like to do that night when you see them could be just that little spark needed to refresh your long-term romance game.
Romance and long-term relationships can work. Some couples stay together for decades and still have the passion and romance that was there when they first started dating; but, it can take some time and work to get there. It may seem like you can just back and the passion will just magically be there, but the truth is, you both need to put in the effort when it comes to the long game of marriage and relationships. With some work and dedication to each other, you’ll both be happier and feel that spark once again.
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