Amidst countless emails and dirty dishes, relationships once filled with passion can start to feel passionless.
If you’re looking for ways to revive your relationship – rest assured, there are lots of them.
Here are five expert-approved ones from a sex therapist, that will help ignite the spark again.
1. Share first impressions
Between work, school, kids, and the general annoyances of a long-term relationship, it’s easy to lose track of why you fell for each other in the first place.
By connecting with your partner about your first impressions of them you’re engaging in two really important things for healthy relationships: you’re reminding yourself of how amazing your partner is and you’re letting them know how great you think they are.
If it’s been a while since you met, your first impression of your partner might not be top of mind. By talking about it together – where you met, what they were wearing, what you liked about them – you’ll bring the memory to life and possibly also – ignite instant attraction.
2. Attract yourself
Sometimes one of the best ways to revive your relationship isn’t about your relationship with your partner at all – it’s about your relationship with yourself.
If you’ve been feeling unattractive or unhappy with your body, this might be one of the reasons your relationship is a bit lackluster too.
You see, part of what triggers sexual desire for some is actually finding yourself sexy and attractive. In essence – you’re turned on by yourself, not just your partner.
Rebooting the way you see yourself can be done in a number of ways. For instance, simple things such as putting on an outfit that makes you feel good (even if you’re the only one there to see it!), can truly be enough to start feeling good again.
Sometimes, the remedy goes deeper and it’s about practicing kindness and self-care. By shifting the way you look at yourself: from eyes that are critical, to looking at yourself through the eyes of your partner – you can start to feel better about yourself over time.
3. Delve into your brain
Just as sharing first impressions can do wonders for your relationship – so can tucking into some memories on your own, and in particular, sexual ones.
If you’ve been together for a while, there might be a few sexual experiences to draw from.
Whether you haven’t thought about sex in months or have a few intimate moments you like to think about now and again – consciously fantasizing about them is a great way of getting excited about your partner – and your relationship again.
A good way of doing this is painting a picture – that way you really bring the memory to life.
Try and recall where you were, what the surroundings looked like, and if there are any smells that come to mind. Tapping into your different senses when trying to remember an intimate moment can be powerful.
4. Do an Intimate Q&A session
It’s easy to fall into a pattern of thinking you know absolutely everything about one another. And even if you do know a whole lot – perhaps even things you wish you didn’t (hello weird personal hygiene routine every morning) – there are always new things to learn.
Things that might surprise you. Things that might delight you. Things that might make you go “I want you, now.”
Even when jobs and hobbies stay the same, small changes happen within the fabric of our beings. And it’s noticing these changes that can make all the difference between a boring connection and an exciting one.
5. Change your perspective
How we think about things often affects how we feel about them. And how we feel about things – affects our choices and behaviors.
Oftentimes negative thoughts emerge without us really noticing them.
This is why, in sex therapy with my clients, we work a lot with changing thought patterns about sex, their relationship and their partners.
One of the best ways to revive your relationship is to take stock of what you’re thinking and actively work to counter these thoughts with positive ones. For example, if you find your partner annoying because they always forget to buy shampoo – instead of focusing on the loss of shampoo – focus on what they’re getting right (like offering to do the food shop in the first place).
When you shift perspective from focusing on the irritating habits to the wonderful behaviors – you’re changing your thoughts from the negative to the positive and this can make you feel more loved-up.
Proactive is the way to go
Getting that magic back from the early days seldom happens on its own. But doing it doesn’t have to take up all of your time – or even feel tedious.
Sometimes it’s all about shifting perspectives of how you view yourself or your partner.
Other times it’s about more concrete measures; like fantasizing about intimate moments, engaging in an intimacy exercise together or sharing your first impressions of one another.
Whichever method you choose, all of these five ways to revive your relationship have one thing in common: they’re about being proactive, and in the end, that’s the most important thing of all.