You've been married or together for years, maybe even decades. It's natural to be asking the question, "How do we rekindle the love and passion we once had?"
As my dad would say, let's not beat around the bush.
Let's get straight into this one with 10 ways to rekindle love and passion within your marriage or partnership.
ONE. It's Not Just About More Effort!
When things aren't as exciting as they used to be, the most common advice you're going to hear goes along the lines of "Try harder."
To rekindle your love and passion you just need to...
"Do the things you used to do!"
"Put more effort into the relationship."
"Go back to dating again."
Sure, some of this advice might contain half-truths. But even the half-truths are oversimplified and unactionable. But depending on your situation, sometimes this type of advice is just plain WRONG.
When your relationship is by-in-large healthy, you can skip straight to putting in effort and trying new things which we'll list out in Tips 3-10.
But when you're relationship is not in a healthy or stable place, putting in more effort or even spending more time together can end up destroying the relationship that much quicker.
In trying to rekindle love, you're going to end up destroying it.
For this reason, Tip #02 is to do a Regard check first!
TWO. Repair Regard First!
Within our caching program Crystal Clarity Online we ask clients to first check in on their sense of Regard for one another.
Regard is the KEY component of Desire.
Meaning your want or Desire for a relationship is dependent on having a high sense of Regard for your partner.
So, what is Regard?
Regard encompasses the trust, respect, and admiration that attracts you toward a relationship.
It's as critical to the feeling of romantic attraction, as it is to the basic want for any friendship or relationship.
Because the truth is this...
It's virtually impossible to want a relationship with someone you don't trust, respect, or admire.
In marriage, what often happens is that our Regard for one another is slowly eroded over the years. We lose our sense of trust and respect for one another. Then one day we wake up and think to ourselves...
"I know that I should work on my marriage, but why is it that I don't WANT to work on my marriage? Why is it that I have no desire for this relationship?"
Such a feeling might even make you feel guilty for thinking it, but that doesn't stop it from being a true and accurate representation of what you're feeling.
This feeling comes from the loss of Regard, and it's further exaggerated when your Regard has been replaced with contempt.
In these moments, before we can look to rekindle love or passion, we have to repair our sense of Regard.
But understand this simple truth.
When Regard is lost, putting more effort and time into a relationship will only speed up its demise.
It's like running a broken engine even harder, thinking that by doing so it will naturally fix itself.
THREE. Rekindle Love by Nurturing Emotional Intimacy
The next few tips are going to be about sexual intimacy. You know, the fun stuff!
But intimacy isn't just about physical connection; it encompasses emotional closeness too.
When it comes to rekindling love and passion, we'd argue that emotional intimacy is the precursor to a good sexual connection.
Dedicate quality time to talk and truly listen to one another. Share your thoughts, fears, and dreams. Emotional intimacy acts as the foundation for a passionate and fulfilling relationship.
Both of you should be able to truly relate to one another by understanding and aligning Core Values. Again, this is something we spend quite a bit of time helping couples to do within our coaching programs.
Because when you're emotionally connected, creating a space to explore sexual desires becomes far more simple and organic.
FOUR. Communicate Your DEEPEST Desires!
Goodness, this one sounds terrifying, doesn't it?
Start by having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your desires and fantasies. Encourage them to do the same. Understanding each other's needs and wants can create an intimate space where you can explore new adventures together.
And think of it this way.
If you can't create a safe space for such a conversation, then aren't there bigger relationship issues to fry?
FIVE. Explore Your Sexual Desires
Once you've communicated your sexual desires, it's time to do something even more terrifying...
Start exploring them! Haha!
As long as it's safe, legal, and consensual you can't really go wrong. Maybe it's new positions, maybe it's sex in a different place. Try it once and if you don't like it, don't do it again.
SIX. Foreplay Starts Long Before Sex!
I want you to think back to when the relationship was new. Before sex, weren't you often flirting and talking about sex?
You were leaving little love notes around for one another. You were maybe sexting and sending randy little text messages back and forth. Before each time you had sex, you were playing and flirting with one another.
You don't need to do the same things you used to do, but we do want you to start flirting and engaging throughout the day.
SEVEN. Allow for Sexual Tension
This one might sound a bit strange.
You're going to allow for sexual tension to build by not engaging in sex or sexual activities.
This includes pornography! Meaning if one partner is engaged with pornography, it becomes difficult if not impossible to allow sexual tension to build.
Rather than engaging in sex every single time one person feels like it, start creating a little anticipation. Take your time engaging in flirting and foreplay, then once the anticipation has built have at it!
Allowing for sexual tension is a simple yet powerful way of enhancing passion through the anticipation of the event.
EIGHT. Rekindle Love via Risk!
One of the components of our relationship framework is Risk. Risk defines the possibility of an unwanted outcome and while that sounds scary, it's what makes something feel adventurous and exciting.
While we're OK with unknowns in a new relationship, we struggle with it over time. It's why over time we tend to fill our relationships with routine because there's comfort in what's known.
But what's routine, by definition, can't be exciting and adventurous.
So what does this mean?
Well, we'd say ditch advice like "go back and do the things you used to do" or "make sure you're doing date night every Friday." Regular date nights are a wonderful thing. But there's something more important than doing date night every week at the same time.
Date nights should consist of things you've never done before!
Rather than go back to the things you used to do, you should be exploring new experiences you've never shared with each other. And don't worry, even when things go wrong, you'll be left with an incredible experience and story to share with each other.
NINE. Touch Doesn't Have to be Sex
Focus on being affectionate and touching each other without engaging in sex. Being intimate is not just about sexual intimacy.
Give your partner a massage. Hold each other in a tight embrace. Even the simple act of holding hands and looking into each other's eyes for an extended period of time is shown to improve connection.
Even if you're not a "touchy feely" person, bring back touch outside of the bedroom.
TEN. Prioritize Quality Time
We define quality time as "meaningfully engaging activities."
This means that quality time is less about the specific activity, and more about what you find meaningfully engaging as a couple.
Make time for each other on a regular basis.
This one sounds incredibly simple, and yet those with children and busy work schedules can attest to just how difficult it is.
Regardless, make time for each other. When you do, don't allow that time to pass sitting silently watching a movie, or having yet another quiet dinner at the same restaurant eating the same food.
Spend time together doing things that allow you both to be present and meaningfully engaged.