1. Do you have time to talk?
When people are at the beginning of a relationship, they tend to be extremely excited and curious about each other, about the new connection they have. This is the phase where you find yourself doing things that you don’t usually do, such as talking on the phone for hours or texting the whole day, even if it means you don’t sleep as much as you used to.
In conformity with Shelley Sommerfeldt, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of the Loving Roots Project, these things happen because people have the desire to be more mindful, more present, and more engaged in spending time with their new favorite person. When you start getting attached to someone, you want to know everything about them, so you make an effort to be engaged in the conversation. Unfortunately, this effort naturally decreases the longer you are a part of a couple.
In order to rekindle the affection and the love in a relationship, be sure to spend time getting in touch with your partner, and to really listen to what they have to say. As Sommerfeldt says, when you ask them how their day went, actively listen, ask questions, show that you truly care.
The same rule applies to more serious subjects, don’t get caught up in simple conversations, because you are not “simple” friends, you are partners. Showing your other half that you are curious about their lives, will show them love, respect, and care.
2. Do you show appreciation?
At the beginning of a relationship, or even of marriage, people tend to observe the little gestures their partners are doing for them more. This can mean tidying up the house before you came home, fixing a plate for when you get home hungry, preparing dinner, and so many other things.
As the relationship grows older, these gestures can fade into the background. You might observe them, but if you don’t show gratitude and appreciation to your partner for doing these, you will make them feel unappreciated.
Think about all the ways your partner contributes to your happiness and to your relationship. As Sommerfeldt says, the key to a strong and healthy intimate life is to say out loud the things that you appreciate, not keep them to yourself. Letting your partner know that you notice and you are thankful for the good things they do for you will show them that you love them and that you don’t take anything for granted.
3. When was the last time that you two tried something new?
When you are at the beginning of a relationship, you are curious and excited, and you are willing to explore more, to try new things with your partner, and to make memories together. Why change that? Why would you want to get comfortable and lose your butterflies for a routine that in the end will leave you looking for ways to rekindle your relationship?
Get up and do new things, go try out what you want! It doesn’t mean you should break the bank, maybe try a new recipe together, go on a date night, watch a movie… the possibilities are endless. You will discover new things about each other and you will remember why you love each other so much.