How to Refresh and Put The Spark Back In Your Relationship

Albuquerque Family Counseling - Couple Holding HandsTake advantage of technology; text and send e-cards. With so many of us pressed for time, why not use technology to “keep in touch” during the day. A compliment, an affection or a quick “Hello, You are being thought of” via text can spark anyone’s day. E-cards are fast, and convenient. There are many sites that allow you to send them for free. You can find any type of sentiment from cute and funny, to serious and romantic or teasingly sexy. The bonus is that you can include a personal message along with it if you’d like. Hold hands, hug and give quick kisses often. Nothing is as good for the soul and the emotional health of a person as the human touch. As teenagers, we hold hands, give quick kisses as hello and goodbye and cuddle as we sit close. Why not keep that sense of youth no matter how old we are or how long we have been have together as a couple? Holding hands keeps a connection and closeness, no matter what we are doing. An enthusiastic hug uplifts us; a quick kiss says “glad to see you”.

Date often. Make dates and anticipate them with excitement. Dress up and look your best. Discover a new cologne or perfume. Set the stage as if you are trying to “impress” the way you did at the beginning of the relationship. If your budget limits you to a rental movie at home, change it up. Set out cheese and crackers instead of the usual popcorn. Turn off the lights and let your fireplace illuminate the room. No fireplace? Candles do just as well. The point is to set the atmosphere of a date. The desire to look your best, feel your best and have the best time possible will rejuvenate those feelings of a first date.

Write old fashioned love letters. There is nothing like the power of the written word. The idea that a person would sit and attempt to convey their feeling through words is not only a heartwarming gesture, but one that can be renewed over and over again through each reread. When you need an emotional lift, you can revisit them and instantly get the emotional recharge. Rereading a partner’s love letters instantly brings you to the intensity when the relationship was young. Writing letters throughout the relationship tells your partner those feelings are still alive and well.

Praise, praise and thank you...and more praise. Rather than concentrating on what your partner “doesn’t do anymore”, think about what they do. He may not bring you flowers like in the beginning of your courtship, but his consideration in packing your lunch or giving you some time with the girls is another type of “blossom”. If she doesn’t seem to be as affectionate as when you first dated, appreciate her watching the game with you, especially if she is not a sports fan. The saying “seeing your glass full or half empty” has validity. If we compliment people on what they DO, instead of harping on what they don’t, we’d be surprised how responsive a person can be. Being appreciated with a “thank you”, makes most people enthusiastic about doing more. Complimenting your partner on their qualities of patience or creativity will easily be a high point in their day. And with enough Thank yous and compliments, you never know. That bouquet of flowers might just follow.

Strengthen your art of conversation. If you find yourself with “nothing to talk about anymore”, find something to start the conversation. Fill your partner in on the “funny“ things that happened at work, the gossip; anything trivial and interesting. Remember, we all need to use our partners as a “sounding board," but if that is the only conversation that we are having with our “significant other," even the most sympathetic listener can have a breaking point. Make “sharing your day” a pleasure event, not a dreaded evil.

Be a good listener. There still is the time when your partner will need you to be there, just to listen. You have probably heard the joke a thousand times and heard the family issue twice that often, so listening to your partner is not always easy. The extra effort, however, can be priceless. Remember, often people don’t want their problems solved, just a shoulder to lean on. Taking away the burden of “fixing it," might make it easier.

Make love often and with passion. The beauty of a long term sexual relationship is that the intimacy builds over the years. That intimacy makes sex much more genuine, gratifying and fulfilling. It is also an area that is not often put high on the importance scale. Work, career, school, and kids often exhaust our energy so we find it hard to “be in the mood." Make the intimate part of your relation a high priority. Make time for “love sessions." Take time to “make love” rather than just have sex. Use candles, perfume, or whatever that is that get your juices flowing. Like all else in life, intimacy dies if it is not nourished. Feeding it with affection, compliments and time will make it something that feels less like an obligation at the end of a hard day, but something to look forward to.

The Key to Success

kissing couplesIf you want to demonstrate to your partner that you respect and care about them, try substituting "I" messages instead. When you start your statement with "I", you are taking responsibility for the statement. It is less blaming and negative than the "you" message. Try this formula: Your feelings + Describe the behavior + Effect on You

Here's how it would sound..     "When I heard that you had to work this weekend, I was angry that you hadn't asked me first if I wanted to spend time with you".

It takes some practice at first, but with a little patience and time you will be communicating in a more positive way with your partner!