Marriage is like a garden. It requires patience, nurturing, and the occasional weeding of misunderstandings. There will be harvests of joy, laughter, and unforgettable memories. Just as there will be raking through tears, frustration, and the occasional cold shoulder. Just as you feed a fire with wood to keep it burning, you need to feed your couple’s passion with shared experiences, emotional connection, and intimacy.
Why do couples lose their spark?
Over time, couples may feel their love or passion dwindle. One common reason is the familiarity and routine that often develops in long-term relationships. “As couples become more comfortable with each other, they may unintentionally neglect the excitement and effort that was present early on,” says Suman Kumar Sahni, relationship expert and co-owner of Moodfresher.
Work life, paying the bills, taking care of kids – the mundane parts of life require quite a bit of energy. We can restore some of that energy by sharing our emotional life with our partner. “Couples that don’t know how to share the emotional load of life (especially the grind), end up being functional (because life requires it),” says Kelly Bourque, marriage and family therapist from Nashville.
Why is it important to maintain the spark?
Romantic relationships with a spark provide a refuge from life’s challenges. If it is purely practical and lacks excitement, it fails to offer that refuge.
- Oxytocin (the love hormone) is released in happy relationships. This hormone can be a source of strength for loved ones to face challenges in their daily lives.
- It keeps the relationship exciting and fulfilling. When the spark is alive, both partners feel a sense of passion and desire, which enhances their overall connection.
- A strong spark helps to prevent complacency and boredom in the relationship.
- Couples who actively work on maintaining the spark tend to report higher levels of happiness and fulfillment in their relationship.
It is a popular belief that keeping the spark alive requires a lot of effort. But Sahni and Bourque believe it need not be that hard. Here, they suggest simple tips on how to keep the flame going:
- Make spending quality time together a priority by exploring new activities or hobbies that you both enjoy and scheduling regular date nights. Build in date nights or day dates in your schedule. Small budget? Go on a walk or run an errand together.
- Talk about your feelings, desires, and concerns openly, without fear of judgment. Effective communication is the foundation of any successful relationship and helps to maintain a strong emotional bond.
- Let your partner know how much you value them and their efforts in the relationship. Simple acts of appreciation, such as saying “thank you” or leaving love notes, can go a long way in keeping the spark alive.
- Surprise each other with small gestures, love notes, or unexpected acts of kindness. Keeping the romance alive means consistently finding ways to make each other feel loved and desired.
- Continuously find ways to connect physically and emotionally, making sure both partners feel satisfied. This can involve trying new things in the bedroom or simply engaging in deep conversations that promote emotional intimacy.
- Break free from routine by planning surprises or trying new experiences together. Spontaneous acts of adventure inject excitement and novelty into the relationship.
- Encourage individual goals and aspirations while offering unwavering support. By nurturing personal growth, couples can maintain a sense of admiration and respect for each other.
- Maintain a healthy balance between ‘we time’ and ‘me time’.
- Figure out how to repair conflict effectively. This builds a strong bond. Success doesn’t come from avoiding fights; the most satisfied couples know how to repair effectively.
- Regularly explore your partner’s interests, dreams, and desires, fostering a deep connection. Trying to understand and support your partner’s ever-evolving self is crucial in maintaining the spark.
- Laugh together. If this doesn’t happen naturally, find an avenue in which laughter comes easily. Do you have a favourite comedian or a game you love that brings out the silly side of you?
- Couples who grieve together come out stronger on the other side. The weighty grief processed relationally makes for a resilient couple. Resilient couples who have really been through something together look at each other with unbelievable love.
- Build enough trust that you can poke fun at each other. Have tiny squabbles that don’t amount to much. And flirt.