Re-Ignite Your New-Relationship Groove
Nearly every long-term relationship settles into a comfortable stage that’s filled with companionship and everyday minutia.
Did you remember to call about the oil change? Should we see a movie this weekend or just binge-watch something on Netflix? No, you can’t put that in the dishwasher.
Although you’ll likely never hear lines like that in a torrid romantic drama, that’s definitely the glue holding many romantic bonds together. But that doesn’t mean you can’t feel a little wistful about those butterflies of a new love.
Those heady, giddy early days can sometimes feel long gone, but relationship experts note that you can recapture some of that spark—and it doesn’t take a grand, honeymoon-type trip to do it. Here are some everyday ways to get the butterflies off the ground again:
1. Go Back to a Shared Interest
Maybe you fell in love on a hiking trail, at a hockey game, or over a midnight patio dinner. Now it’s been years since you dug out those hiking boots or found a free evening for a sporting event, and you’re in bed by 10 p.m. But, according to relationship expert Mary Valentis, revisiting the things you had in common can be invigorating.
In her book, Romantic Intelligence, she writes that she and her husband often go back to the restaurant where they had their first date, and that it always “fans the sparks.”
2. Use the Mail
Remember letters and cards? Apparently they still exist! Although you’re likely sharing the same domicile, getting a sweet note in the mail can still feel like a bit of a thrill, especially if one of you is away on a trip.
People don’t tend to save love-drenched emails, points out Christina Chaey, writer for romance advice site The Date Report. She writes that old-fashioned love letters allow the reader to devote attention to what’s really being said—a sentiment that can’t always be said about emails and texts.
3. Share Some Thrills
When thinking about new experiences together, consider choosing ones that might boost your adrenaline. That doesn’t mean you have to go bungee jumping (although if that’s your groove, go for it!). You could do any activity that feels exciting—riding a rollercoaster, climbing an indoor rock wall, even going to an outdoor concert.
As counseling firm Marriage Solutions notes, when adrenaline is released, it creates a closer and more romantic bond with your mate. That’s because it elevates dopamine, the hormone most associated with romantic love. Research suggests that couples who do exciting activities together (as opposed to sedate outings) tend to have more intense feelings of romantic connection.
4. Small Moments Add Up
By incorporating “little sparks” into everyday life, it can help recapture some of that new-relationship spirit. To be honest, there will always be times when you do have to ask about those oil change appointments, watch forgettable shows, and talk about sleep-inducing topics like grocery items, lint traps, and dishwasher loading.
That’s a good thing. Meaningful connections are the key to happiness, according to a Harvard study that followed a group of undergraduates for an astounding 75 years. But it doesn’t hurt to add some freshness and spice to those connections on a regular basis.