Let’s make things clear right away. This article is not about getting back together after a breakup. It’s for people who have been in a long-term relationship and, over time, the pizzazz has just declined. Each of you has become your own person; you are busy with your jobs/careers; you have friends and outside interests; maybe there are kids in the picture. You still love each other, but your relationship has a different vibe for any of the mentioned reasons. And now, you’re wondering how to fall back in love.
We’re here to share the top 16 tactics you can use today to change the situation. Check them out!
“It is not uncommon for couples who come to therapy to say they love each other but that they’re not “in love” with each other. Often in a longer-term relationship, the humdrumness of life has taken over their relationship, and so, before you know it, people are feeling very disconnected from their partner.”
Ammanda Major, head of clinical practice at Relate
There is a difference between loving your partner or spouse and being in love with your partner like you were when your relationship was new. Life has just gotten in the way over time. And now you miss those early days when your romantic love was new. So, the question is: how to fall back in love again?
The good news is that you can fall back in love with your partner, and the following steps and tips are not all that tough. Take a moment to read through them and see which would be most meaningful for you as a couple.
Physical affection, including sex, is usually more frequent when your love is new. Physical intimacy is a big part of making people feel closer to each other, manifesting itself through holding hands, cuddling on the couch while talking or watching TV, and sexual intimacy in the bedroom. But what if passion now resides only in your memory?
If you don’t feel that spark now, ask yourself these questions to make your situation clear:
Now, compare these answers with how you behaved early in your relationship. Where do you see the most dramatic difference? That’s the area where you need to make a change.
You’ll most likely need to make an effort to feel closer again. Even if it used to come naturally, now you’ll need to make it a habit through practice and effort. As any relationship therapist will say, that’s perfectly normal in this situation.
Free tip? Spark up your sex life a bit – how about:
There are different ways to add interest and excitement back into sex. A major research study on the effects of sexual satisfaction on physical and mental health shows a direct correlation between them. So don’t underestimate the importance of sex and practice a more mindful approach to it.
“To fall back in love, you and your partner need to learn (or relearn) how to truly know and understand each other. When we show empathy to our intimate partners, we say and demonstrate three powerful words: ‘I understand youʼ.”
Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD
The love language theory is based upon a book by Dr. Gary Chapman, The 5 Languages of Love. According to it, each person has a preferred way of giving and receiving love:
Once you find yours and that of your partner, you can show your love to one another in a desired way. Say what makes them feel most loved, and look deeper into what makes you feel that way too.
And here’s the thing about giving love to your partner, wife, or husband in the way they prefer. You are showing empathy – “I understand you,” “I want to express that understanding with compassion about how you feel and what your needs are,” “I can put myself in your shoes, see things the way you do, and respect your perspective.” These words are powerful for feeling love again, notwithstanding the love language you have.
How and when did you first meet? What were some highlights of your early relationship? Maybe you met through a friend or at an event; maybe you met on an online dating app and developed your relationship there before you met up in person; maybe you met in a college or cooking class.
Go back to that time and make a list of the endearing times you had together – big and small. Maybe it was that camping trip where you had complete togetherness; maybe it was a song that became a point of connection and that described your love life with each other perfectly.
Share that list with your partner and see if you can recreate at least some of those moments. You each are the same person you were when you fell in love – you have just forgotten those feelings as life has rolled on. It’s time for some relationship-building that comes from the past.
Yes, it’s better your time together if you want to make it high-quality. “The world is too much with us,” said poet William Wordsworth. And while he was talking about the negative effects of the industrial revolution, those words are just as true today. We get so involved in our day-to-day living that we have a difficult time making a mental shift in our relationships with loved ones, especially our partners.
You need to try to schedule meaningful time together – only you and your partner. Maybe it’s Saturday morning breakfast together or a regular date night each week, during which couples can spend time alone together. It’s up to you to decide on the exact surroundings where you will take a deeper look at each other.
And one additional point? Make a rule with your partner that you will not talk about work, the kids (if there are kids), or your daily grind. You will each come up with some other topic for conversation. Remember, the point of your alone time with your partner is to build connections between you, not your family, co-workers, or other friends. You’re trying to rebuild a healthy relationship based on what you had in the past.
Related reading: Quality Time – It’s a Love Language
Over time, it’s easy to begin to focus on the faults of your other half – the little things that have become irritants. These may be habits or occasional deeds. Maybe you hate the sound of someone chewing ice and they do it all the time; maybe they don’t rinse their dishes before putting them in the sink. There are other things that may be bigger – like consistently being late or not giving you space when you need it.
Make a promise to yourself. When you need to communicate with your partner about a flaw, limit that criticism to only one thing a day. And make it short and sweet, be honest, and use “I” messages.
“I am hurt when you are late, and you don’t call me to let me know. Can you make an effort to be better at this?”
Every couple is unique. Maybe you have a friend whose partner is always giving them little “I love you” gifts, and your partner doesn’t think to do those things.
But before getting disappointed, think twice: maybe your partner is helpful in any other way, like easing some of your insecurities at work by helping you with reports and projects.
Think about those love languages again. If yours is receiving gifts, speak up. But also, show appreciation for what your partner does that brings them emotional satisfaction in how they give love. You can’t build trust if you cannot speak the truth.
When was the last time you sent a text to your partner that was something other than dealing with your schedules or routine tasks? If you can’t remember the time, you are in the process of falling out of love.
You love them, of course, but you are not in an emotional place of being “in love” with them. If you want to rekindle that emotional love connection, take action and do some new things to spark it.
Here are a couple of things you can do for them – but the more little surprises you can plan, the better:
And remember: one partner should not be responsible for all these gestures. Once one partner begins this “routine,” the other should get the idea. Get the sense that you are in this “how to fall back in love thing” together.
There are various reasons why relationships become mundane and rather rote. At times, the real reason your love has gone is your insecurity which prevents you from building trust and falling back in love. If that’s your case and you fear your partner will reject your overtures and hurt you, try getting some support from a professional – there are plenty of relationship therapists online to help you work through those emotions and build your confidence.
Remember: you have to feel good about your life before you can work on falling back in love. Are you feeling a bit crappy about your life? Then, work on that. Take a course; get out with your friends more often; have some retail therapy. Sometimes, a bit of space away from partners makes people more interesting and improves relationships.
And there’s a strong logic behind it: when you feel good about your own life, life with your partner can become more fun and meaningful.
Related reading: Insecure Men: How a Fragile Ego Can Ruin Romance
This may seem like a minor thing, but it’s not. We get into a routine of saying such things as, “Hey, what time are you getting off work?” or “Hey, can you pick me up some razors on the way home?”
How about each of you come up with one or more endearing nicknames? Perhaps you used some when your love was new. Revise those sweet words – they can recharge those old feelings and lead your relationship back to love.
Relationships are not all about two people walking hand-in-hand through life. Concentrating on each other and neglecting all the other factors around you eventually results in a rather boring existence.
Each partner should have other relationships with friends before and after you get together. And it’s important to keep those relationships ongoing – it makes each of you more interesting to each other.
Spend some energy getting together with each other’s friends. You will see how your partner interacts in those relationships and gain some insights. And you also show your partner that you are invested in their life outside of your partnership.
While this is no magic bullet to make you fall back in love, it is one of those little things that build up over time. Most couples have memorable dates – the day they met; their first real date; the day they moved in together or got engaged, even the day they made love on the beach, etc.
Pick a few dates to make your holidays, celebrate them together, and rekindle some of the passion you felt then.
There is something to be said about spending time apart. For example, a wife or husband takes trips with the girls or guys or dedicates time to their hobbies after work. When such partners meet again, they have an interest in each other’s lives, and talking about love and missing each other is the first thing they do.
Missing someone can renew the desire, and when you reunite, it’s like you fall in love again. This can be a bit fleeing, though, unless you both commit to keeping that fresh love relationship alive in other ways as you move forward.
Related reading: Does Distance Really Make the Heart Grow Fonder?
Making the same thing can do a lot for partners to renew what they may have lost. Think of something you can do together – decide to join a gym and workout together; pick a cause and volunteer together.
As you work in tandem toward a common goal, your partnership or marriage will be strengthened. And you will have more to communicate about and celebrate as a team. You will easily realize how much you mean to each other, and your ability to feel love will be restored.
What made you fall in love with this person intitially? Make your own list and ask your partner to do the same. Then find a space where you can be alone and share your lists.
This will open up a lot of communication about your relationship and what has changed since the beginning. What were your feelings in those early days of your lives when your love was new? Share those feelings with each other and talk about how you might both support the work on mustering up those feelings and keep them more a part of your relationship now.
It’s easy to list the things the other person doesn’t do that they should to keep your relationship alive:
But before blaming them, ask yourself, what are you doing to give your partner the same things you want in your relationship? A partnership or a marriage is a two-way street. Maybe your partner hopes you will take the ball and initiate some of these behaviors. So, take a look at the things that are significant to you for falling back in love with your partner, and make sure you’re doing your part.
You come home after a really rough day. Your relationship partner has had an equally rough day and starts talking about it as soon as you walk in the door. It’s the last thing you want to hear right now.
What do you do? You have several options:
If you choose the latter, you are showing your partner one of the reasons they fell in love with you initially. So go for it – give your partner a loving hug, rub their neck and shoulders, plant a big kiss, tell them how much you love them, and order their favorite takeout for dinner. Even if you’re not feeling it, your actions will scream love to them. And that’s the most important thing here.
Every relationship has its ups and downs. But long-term ones can fall into a rut of “ho-hum” living that people come to accept as the normal progression of things.
This does not have to be you. Get you and your partner back to those early days of your relationship, when love was new and your world became brighter. You can do it – it’s just a matter of the right words and actions towards the same goal.