How to Get the Spark Back in a Relationship

You love your partner. You’re comfortable, but you’re also craving to feel more in your relationship.

Perhaps, you can look back on your relationship and remember when your passion for each other burned hot. Your relationship was exciting and fun. Past tense. Do you, like so many other couples, feel like the passion “has left the building”? You may be wondering where that spark went.  But it doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. You can get the spark back in your relationship. 

Signs the Spark is Gone

  • You don’t go on dates 

You can’t remember the last time you went out together. Sorry, but work events and parent-teacher conferences don’t count. We’re talking about uninterrupted one-on-one time away from the everyday routine. A date night could also mean staying in, as long as it’s intentional and about connecting. 

  • You don’t hold hands 

Maybe you’re having sex, but are you touching each other? Holding hands, cuddling, hugs, and even a gentle touch on the arm are all a part of intimacy and key to keeping the spark alive. 

  • Spending time with other people is more fun

Do you choose to spend your free time with friends over your partner? Why is that? It wasn’t always this way. Consider how you feel spending time with your partner vs. your friends. 

  • Your sex life is lacking 

Sex can be a big reason why your spark has gone out since sex is connected to other areas such as trust, intimacy, and connection. Are your libidos mismatched, i.e. does one of you want more sex than the other? This can put a lot of stress on the relationship, and make sex a point of contention rather than a pleasurable activity you share. Another reason: sex might not be a priority, and if that’s the case, it’ll get pushed down the list. There won’t magically be room for sex. You and your partner have to make room. 

  • You’ve stopped trying 

Little gestures, words of affection, looking nice for them, surprises or favors, all are ways to make your partner happy. When these things cease to exist the relationship weakens. Relationships are all about participation. Whether you’ve realized it or not, your effort might be little to nonexistent. It could be that you’re so focused on what your partner is not doing that it takes away from putting in effort on your end. 

Why Relationships Die Down

Relationships can ebb and flow. Sometimes boring can be a good thing, especially if it means the absence of conflict. However, isn’t it better to have that butterfly feeling, that yearning for each other? Understanding why the spark has died, is sure to help you reignite the flame missing in your relationship.

  • Change is real 

Just because the spark has faded doesn’t mean your relationship is broken. It may be no one’s fault. The extinguished flame could be blamed on the nature of relationships, which is that relationships are always changing. Why? Because people are forever changing. 

  • You’ve fallen into a routine 

In the beginning, during the honeymoon phase, it was all about each other. Since then you’ve come down from that high and reality set in. You’ve fallen into a pattern that is less-than-exciting. It can be difficult to get out of what’s become a pattern. 

  • You’ve bought into the idea that this “happens”

Whether you believe the myth of the “seven-year itch”, you’ve accepted the idea that kids kill romance, or the big one: “romance always dies”, that means you’re not trying to change anything. Being together for 10+ years and having kids does mean things are different than they were at the beginning, but relationships and lives are always changing. It’s up to you to figure out how to keep your relationship alive in a different way. You may have to be more creative in your efforts. But if you prioritize 

  • You’re parents 

Kids change your life in a massive way. They require a lot of attention. Sometimes that means there’s less for your partner. When kids are in the picture couples can sometimes feel more like teammates or even coworkers than lovers. Less sleep and less time in general, can make you forget words like romance and sex. 

Taking your partner for granted

Feeling comfortable in a relationship can sometimes mean you’ve stopped trying to please your partner.  Sometimes, even without realizing it, we become less mindful of our relationship. It could be that we get “cozy”, and assume things will stay good without being proactive. You assume they know how you feel about them. Things fall to the wayside because of assumptions and feeling content. You don’t pay attention to your partner’s need or offer gratitude, for example, 

You’ve stopped trying 

Taking your partner for granted is often unintentional, and a little reminder can be enough to snap you back. But a lack of trying is a different problem altogether. Ask yourself the following:

  • Have you stopped arguing?
  • Do you find yourself avoiding anything that could create tension with them i.e. walking away when your partner is upset? 
  • Do you ask about their day, their opinion, their feelings? 
  • Do you share with them (your day, opinions, and feelings)? 
  • Do you make plans with friends before thinking of your partner?

Not putting in effort could mean your relationship is in turmoil, but this depends on whether you don’t know what to do, or you don’t care. The former means there’s hope for your relationship, as there’s a lot that can be improved. But if you simply don’t care, it’s time to consider whether the relationship is worth saving.

How to Rekindle the Missing Flame

  • Make the time 

Chances are your schedules don’t have giant holes in which you can fill as you please. And chances are there will also be things that need doing. Therefore, you must be intentional when it comes to spending time with one another.

You might not have a week you can spend together on vacation, or even a full day of uninterrupted time, but can you spare 20 minutes at the end of the day to talk? Can you fit in the time in the middle of the day to send your partner a thoughtful message? Can you find time in your week to do something for them? Think about what your priorities are. Where does your partner fall? It might be time to make changes.

  • Reminisce

Remembering all the good is a way to rekindle your relationship. Tap into the nostalgia by looking at old photos or videos together. Go for a walk down memory land. Maybe even go on a literal trip to the places that were meaningful for you - where you met, first date, wedding venue, etc. Talk about how it was when you first got together. What was it that brought you together? What made you fall in love with your partner? What did you bond over? These questions are not to have you long for the “good ‘ol days”, but to help remember why you fell in love in the first place. 

  • Be romantic 

Remember the romantic gestures at the beginning of your relationship? There’s no reason why they should ever go away. How you do it depends on what speaks most to their heart. You’ll need to know their love language. Do words of affection mean the most to them or is it physical touch that lights them up inside? Whether you surprise them with a gift or you give them the gift of time, make sure you’re doing what they want and not what you would. It’s okay to have different love languages. In fact, this is normal. 

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate 

Maybe you’ve realized that you don’t know how to speak directly to their heart. Or maybe you did know how to show them love, but that was way back when. Things are different. They are different. You’ll need to have conversations about needs and expectations. An open line of communication is a surefire way to have a strong connection and keep the passion alive.  

  • Show gratitude 

The opposite of taking someone for granted is showing gratitude and appreciation. Be more mindful of the things your partner both big and small. Instead of simply saying thank you. Show your partner you see their efforts and tell them. Mention the things you appreciate and why. 

  • Be intimate 

Yes, there’s physical intimacy, sex, and other physical displays of affection, but did you know there are other, just as powerful types of intimacy? You can build emotional intimacy by sharing your emotions and being open with your feelings. You can increase experiential intimacy by sharing a new experience together. Physical intimacy is more than sex. You can work on it by focusing more on little touches like hand-holding and cuddles.  

  • Plan dates

Don’t wait for your calendar to be clear, just make date night a permanent thing. Once a week (or biweekly if that’s too difficult), have a standing date on the calendar. Take turns planning it. It can be as elaborate or as casual as you’d like it to be. If you’re together, without distractions, talking about each other (no kids, no work) consider it a date. 

Start Couples Counseling

You know what they say about the first step. That’s where an expert comes in. Meeting with a couples therapist can help you first understand what is missing in your relationship and what’s blocking you from having that spark you once had. For example, some couples find there is resentment buried under the surface. Or maybe it’s your communication skills that are preventing you from achieving real intimacy.



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