When you and your partner first met, the chemistry was palpable. You didn’t just have a spark between you—it felt like a full-on bonfire with no fire extinguisher in sight.
However, as the weeks, months, and even years have passed, you might be struggling to find so much as a flicker of light in your relationship. Maybe you’ve stopped flirting with each other, going on dates, or even being intimate, which can certainly feel like you’ve lost that spark that once shined so brightly.
But just because it feels like the romance in your relationship or marriage has drifted away doesn’t mean you can’t summon it back. In fact, it’s entirely possible to rekindle romance and rebuild the love between you and your partner.
In our guide on how to rekindle a relationship, we offer some tips and tricks that may help you reignite the spark in your relationship. Follow this advice to help get your relationship back to a loving place.
1. Focus on Communication
If you’re looking to rebuild love in your relationship, it starts with strong communication. Carve out some time to sit with your partner and discuss the past, present, and future of your relationship.
What’s working, and what’s not working? Is there something you wish your partner would do differently? Or are there ways you can show up and be more present in your relationship? It’s important to be open and honest with each other, as these conversations can help you address any issues, figure out how to improve your relationship, and explore ways to enhance your romance and intimacy.
2. Reflect on Your Relationship Together
Remember when you first met and could hardly keep your hands off each other? Revisit those early memories with your partner and discuss the special times you had. Go through the text messages and emails you sent each other when you met, visit the places you went on your first few dates, and think about the way you made each other feel.
What made you attracted to each other in the first place? And how can you recreate that attraction? Reflecting on those giddy days when you made each other swoon can help you mentally and emotionally tune into a time filled with mutual love, romance, and flirtation and work on rebuilding it.
3. Try New Things Together
Are things starting to get a little stale, or seem somewhat predictable in your relationship? Then it’s time to spice things up! Try a new hobby, take a class, or join a pick-up sports team together.
By trying new activities, you and your partner have the opportunity to share in the excitement of something that’s new and potentially challenging to you both. As you learn together, you’ll grow together, and this new activity will provide you with common ground on which to connect and reignite the spark. In fact, some studies show that engaging in activities together can boost oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” which can help build relationships.
4. Bring Back Date Nights
Going on dates offers another way to rekindle romance in your relationship. However, it doesn’t have to be some extravagant evening out (although that never hurts!)—you could plan a laid-back dinner at your favorite burger joint, a picnic in the park, or a cozy at-home date night.
The point of going on a date is that you’re dedicating yourselves to spending one-on-one time together without any other distractions. Get a babysitter for the kids, turn your phones off, forget about your work and chores, and focus on this coveted time with your partner.
5. Be More Intimate
If a peck on the cheek is as intimate as you and your partner get these days, this is a good place to start. Physical and sexual connection is a crucial part of any romantic relationship, so if it’s missing from your situation, begin introducing small gestures of affection. For instance, give your partner’s arm a gentle squeeze as a sign of encouragement, caress or brush their shoulder while cooking in the kitchen, and graze their hand as you walk in the park. If your partner is receptive, move on to hugging and hand-holding.
If intimacy is completely void in your relationship, consider breaching the topic during one of your open discussions. Discuss why it might be lacking and how you can implement it with the hopes of reigniting that spark.
6. Tune into Your Partner
When was the last time you asked your partner about their thoughts or feelings? Or can you remember when you last listened to them gush about something they’re passionate about? Oftentimes, we think we know our partners like the backs of our hands, and we forget that that’s not always true. The only way you can truly know your partner is by inquiring and listening to them.
Ask your partner about something that excited them recently or made their day. Or inquire about something that’s sparking their interest lately. As they share with you and you watch as they light up telling their story, you just may notice yourself beginning to light up, too. By taking interest in your partner (and vice versa), you can begin to rebuild love between you.
7. Remember Romance Isn’t Dead
How do you rekindle a relationship? Well, part of it involves being romantic! Just because you’ve hit a lull in your relationship doesn’t mean you should stop making romantic gestures.
Think about what might make your partner feel special and consider their love language. For instance, if their love language is receiving gifts, you might surprise them with a bouquet of flowers. But if their love language is acts of service, you might whip up a fancy dinner for two. Or, if you really want to go all out to reignite the spark, book a couples massage or arrange a weekend getaway to prove that romance isn’t dead. These efforts can help you rekindle the romance and remind each other to prioritize each other and your relationship.
8. Practice Gratitude
If you can’t remember the last time you expressed appreciation for your partner, then it’s high time you introduced some gratitude into your relationship. Expressing thanks—and receiving thanks—can help you and your partner recognize the love and beauty in your relationship that you may sometimes take for granted. By practicing gratitude for one another, you encourage yourselves to recognize how you improve and enhance each other’s lives.
For instance, you might thank your partner for picking you up from work because it gives you a chance to connect and share about your day. Or, your partner may express gratitude for you when you order takeout after a particularly stressful day at the office. Specific thank yous can go a long way when it comes to rekindling your relationship, as it emphasizes the appreciation you have for each other.
9. Meet with a Professional
When you’re looking to rebuild love, sometimes you need to invite someone else into your relationship: a couples counselor. These professionals have the skills and experience to help you dissect your relationship and work on discovering the spark that was once a full-blown flame. When meeting with someone who specializes in couples therapy, you and your partner may find your way back into each other’s arms, filled with more love and appreciation than ever.