Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we will be discussing how to reignite love. Love comes in many forms and in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s going to be full throttle and full of passion. Other times, it’s about tender, love and care. If your relationship has suffered in the love department, there are some strategies you can use to reignite it. We’ve rounded up several relationship experts to share with you their recommendations on reigniting love.
One of the best strategies to reigniting love is to discover your partner’s love language and then identify ways to show them you love them. Gary Chapman, the author of “The Five Love Languages” is a genius. He was able to layout in a very simple manner five ways people give and receive love. He describes them as: acts of service, touch, gifts, time spent and words of affirmation. When you know your partner’s love language, you can start doing things for them that make their heart swell up with love. You can start with small gestures, especially if you have been disconnected for a while. Start with baby steps and work your way up to a grand gesture. Let your partner know meeting their love language need is a priority for you. This can be an excellent way to reestablish connection.
One of the best ways to deal with relationship stress, or a rut, is to use the power of play to relax and have fun. Create a romantic scavenger hunt. If you’ve been together for a while, use this as an opportunity to revisit your most favorite joyous, loving, sexy, and cozy memories together. For newer relationships, put a spin on this game to explore and learn more about each other’s passions and interests. Whether you make it a day trip, a night on the town, or a date night at home with well-placed photos and mementos, each partner simply follows these steps:
1. On small notes of paper, write down one or two words about each interest or memory you want to lovingly share
2. Hide each one in different places at home (or have them in your pockets when you are at the place the memory was made or the interest relates to)
3. Give short, simple, sweet hints about where to look
4. When found, talk as long as you can about it, what it is that you love about it, and why you love sharing it with your partner
Pressed for time? Try one note a night for the whole month, or dedicate one day a week for four fantastic days in February! Want to be even more creative? Create a bingo card of all the topics you both want to cover. A beautiful way to tie it all together would be to keep these in a nice box or jar, and have it handy for rekindling those flames again.
As a therapist who specializes in couple counseling, when I hear “reignite” it makes me think of curiosity which I believe is one of the key factors in a lasting relationship. Inquiring into our significant other’s world tends to dissipate over time. This may happen because we assume we know our partner in and out and there’s nothing new to learn, we find the curiosity is not reciprocated so we decide not to show interest, or perhaps we are just plain tired and it takes a back burner. Whatever the reason, when you minimize the role curiosity plays in a relationship, you diminish the connection between you and your partner.
Here are three simple and effective ways to reignite the curiosity in your relationship:
1. Build Love Maps. Get to know your partner. Be curious. Show interest. The idea of Love Maps, ones internal blueprint, is from the great researcher and couple therapist, Dr. John Gottman. After years of research he discovered that when you share your inner world with someone (ie: your hopes, desires, values, and favorite pizza toppings) from the very beginning and continue updating each other over time, it lays a solid foundation for a lasting relationship. Updating is key! One easy and fun way to do this is to download the Gottman Card Deck App onto your phone. Use it when out on a date or when you have alone time with your partner. It’s super fun and it’s free!
2. Schedule time. I encourage my clients to spend at the very least 20 minutes a day with one another. I also encourage scheduling weekly or monthly date nights, couple therapy, even sex! There is no shame in scheduling. This is uninterrupted time for your relationship. For some, the waiting and anticipation can be a sort of fore play. However, what you do with the time is what matters most.
3. Communicate. Invite your partner in on your daily process. Share with one another your needs and wants. Use nonverbal communication like a six second kiss. Try texting a picture or flirting with your partner when they are away at work. All of these can leave your partner wanting more which is the essence of curiosity.
February can be a great time to talk and reminisce about some of your favorite memories together. Your physiology will respond as if you’re actually reliving these loving events. If you’re too busy to make big plans, let your mind time travel to joyous times so you can recall, emotionally, how you felt and feel it again (without having to go anywhere). Feel how livening it is to reminisce. Once you and your loved one have more time, you can plan a date and create more experiences together! Have fun! I hope this meditation-time travel tool excites you! Let me know if you have any questions!
For me, reigniting love with myself is most important! If you’re single, make sure to fall in love with yourself everyday! Wear an outfit you feel amazing in, write yourself a love letter, make time for more self-care! Talk to yourself like you would a best friend. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.
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