In a long-term relationship, it can be difficult to maintain "spark." When you first met your partner, you were likely smitten, and there's nothing more exciting than the new. But after years together, you must consciously tend the flame to keep your relationship or marriage happy and healthy.
"It's no secret that relationships can be hard work, but there are ways to make them easier," says Megan Harrison of Couples Candy. "Keeping the spark alive in a relationship takes effort from both partners, but it's worth it in the end."
To do so, therapists recommend asking your partner specific questions that show your commitment to your relationship and actively listening to their response. Six questions to ask to keep the spark alive.
If your relationship is tense, you or your partner may need some time alone. This isn't a drastic separation, but rather taking time to do what you enjoy, says Colleen Wenner, LMHC, MCAP, LPC, of New Heights Counseling & Consulting, LLC.
You may have heard of "love languages," or how you prefer to give and receive love, such as physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, or quality time. Asking your partner about their love languages can rekindle the flame.
Wenner says you can also ask them about future adventures. "Being adventurous as a couple keeps you close. You don't have to go on an epic trip, but you could try something new together "says "Making memories together will make you feel closer and more excited about the future."
"Make your partner feel loved to meet their needs. Pay attention to their emotions "Wenner says. "Listen to their problems and concerns. When appropriate, compliment and communicate honestly. By making your partner feel special, you'll draw them closer."
"Feeling positive about our partner and relationship makes us want to be closer," Gulotta says. When we're vulnerable and share what makes us feel sexy and desired, we meet needs, build a deeper connection, and keep the spark alive.