5 Ways to Rekindle the Spark in Your Relationship | HuffPost Life
Relationship in a funk? Need to get your groove back, but don't know where to start? Certified Sexologist, Kelly McDonnell-Arnold, Ceritific has. Boredom is the relationship killer. How do you bring that spark back and make a long-term relationship feel like it's brand new?. Sex isn't always spontaneous and easy. Like any other aspect of a healthy relationship, good sex takes time and energy.
Messenger At the beginning of a romantic relationship, passion is not in short supply. The thrills of learning all about your beloved, sharing new experiences, and having plenty of sex, create an exhilarating state of desire and romantic love. In fact, a number of scientific studies have shown that this kind of love actually changes the chemistry of the brainmaking us temporarily addicted to our partner. But this flame typically dims over time, and a different — perhaps deeper — emotion takes over.
Love on the brain The physiological basis of love and infatuation has been studied a lot. In one studyresearchers used fMRIwhich measures brain activity by looking at changes in blood flow, to scan participants who had recently fallen in love while they looked at pictures of their partners. It found that, compared to when they looked at photos of neutral acquaintances, participants showed greater activation in areas of the brain, like the dopamine-rich ventral tegmental area that is associated with reward seeking and goal pursuit, while looking at their beloved.
Relighting a Spark in Your Relationship | Our Everyday Life
But as anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows, this rarely lasts. As couples build a life together, these highs are joined by the difficulties of maintaining a household, caring for children, and navigating delicate relations with in-laws.
All of these situations create opportunities for conflict and negative emotions that temper feelings of love. Although relationship satisfaction tends to stabilise after these big transitions, the all-consuming, addictive passion that accompanies falling in love rarely returns fully in long-term partnerships.
This reality may seem grim, but some couples do manage to maintain passionate love over time. In another brain imaging studyresearchers recruited participants who had been married at least ten years and who reported that they were still madly in love with their spouse. When these individuals viewed photos of their mates, their brains showed strong activation in the same reward and motivational systems activated by people looking at the face of a new love.
The routine trap Studies suggest that couples who sustain passion over time have something in common: You probably wanted to know everything about them and listened carefully to what they shared about themselves.
That loving attentiveness you once demonstrated and received can easily lessen as the years go by. Taking the time to intently listen to your partner can have a profoundly positive impact on closeness and connection. If your partner initiates a conversation, whenever possible, stop what you are doing and make eye contact with this person you once adored.
As they share their thoughts and feelings with you, truly focus on what they have to say. Remind yourself that since what they are saying feels important enough for them to share with you, they deserve your undivided attention. If the timing is not good for you, respectfully tell them, "I really want to hear what you have to say but I need a few minutes to fill in the blank with your need in order to be able to give you my full attention.
Would that be okay? Inquire Deeply -- In the courting stage of relationships, people usually want to know more about each other. Granted, all the stories are new and hot off the press when you first meet, but even if you have been with someone for years, you can still remain genuinely open to wanting to hear more about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Even if your partner is retelling a story that you have already heard, think about how many times you have repeatedly listened to a song or watched a movie. There is always something worthwhile to learn from your loved one's experiences and thoughts.
Relighting a Spark in Your Relationship
Practice asking your partner about their day or seize the opportunity to inquire more deeply if they voluntarily share something about themselves. See if you can really listen to what they are saying and respect that what they are telling you matters to them, even if it might be about a subject that you do not personally relate to. Try asking a few follow-up questions about what they shared. The key is to be fully present with this person you care about and to give them your full attention as they share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Listen to them in the same respectful, attentive, considerate manner that you would like them to have with you. Mind Your Manners -- Take an honest look at the way you speak to your spouse or partner, particularly when you are frustrated, angry, tired, or depressed.
Unfortunately, for many people, if they spoke to their friends the way they speak to their partners, they wouldn't have too many friends left. The tone we use and the words we choose can have a profound impact, both positive and negative, on the quality of our relationship. So it's extremely important that we manage our emotions, which requires self-awareness, self-control, commitment, and maturity.
- The routine trap
- 2 | Touch, touch, touch, and touch some more
- Love on the brain
Remember to stay tuned in to your own thoughts, feelings, and needs so that you are able to communicate respectfully when your emotions are triggered. Too often people use harsh words that can unwittingly do damage and echo in their partner's ears for a long time.
To prevent this from happening, it's always a good idea to ask for a time out when things heat up. Try using these three words in a respectful tone: Unlike Arnold, you're not issuing a violent threat; rather, you're informing your partner that you will be back when you've cooled off, and you will then be able to finish the conversation in a more respectful manner. Stoke the Fire -- In our busy, task-oriented world, we too often put our relationship on the back burner and forget to keep the spark of love alive.
Getting caught up in our daily rituals and routines, we may miss the opportunity to shake things up romantically with the one we love.
5 Ways to Rekindle the Spark in Your Relationship
It doesn't have to be two weeks in Tahiti. It could be a special date night or a spontaneous dance in the living room with the lights turned low.
Find things that you both enjoy doing and then make the time to do them together. Maybe it's engaging in an activity that you both used to enjoy -- or trying something new and "out of the box.
5 Ways To Relight The Spark In Your Relationship | KELLY MCDONNELL-ARNOLD — Jamie Scrimgeour
Silence the phones and play a board game, read a sexy book out loud, or slow-dance. Leave a love note in an unsuspecting place, give your partner an unsolicited massage, light some candles in the bedroom and play a song from your dating days.
Shake up your routine, be creative, be playful, be open and kind. Look for opportunities to stoke the fire.
The possibilities are endless. Will recalling the good times, minding your manners, listening attentively, inquiring deeply, and shaking it up romantically really make a difference?