Married people all over the world may have asked the question, “How do I put romance back into my marriage?” In this article, we will aim to answer this question – but we also believe the answer is in you.
So first, let’s examine the issue at hand:
Married people commonly feel that their marriage is lacking the romance that was once present in the relationship. So why does the romance fizzle out of marriage? The sources we consulted pointed to the following underlying conditions and contributing factors as reasons of the decreased spark.
- Growing tired of one’s partner
- Decreased interest in, or frequency of, sex
- Loss of “love butterflies”, the nervous sensation produced by endorphins when in love
- Lack of emotional intimacy
- Lack of affection
- Lack of surprise (dates, gifts, unplanned events and kind gestures)
- Taking one’s partner for granted
- Differences, growing apart, or lack of common interests
- Married for the wrong reasons, rushed marriage, or married too young
- Partner has changed
- Poor communication
- Change in dynamics, or lack of time due to career and other obligations
There are many other obstacles couples face, but the above listed are the most commonly cited contributors to the state of decreased romance.
Can I get the romance back?
The answer to this question varies per relationship. Some of the underlying factors are more damaging than others. In unfortunate cases, attempts to add romance to the marriage will ultimately fail, or will not yield the desired result.
The answer to whether you can get the romance back in your marriage can be best answered by first determining the underlying issues or factors contributing to the problem.
Step 1. Brainstorm the issues you face, use the list above as a guide, and write down any 1-3 possible contributors as they come to mind. Use the above list as a guide if you need help.
Step 2. Look over your factors. Now, flip them around from negative to positive statements.
For example, let’s say your note says “Lack of Intimacy”- Write in “Strong connection, emotional intelligence, affection.” You’ve just described what you would want this to look like, or what it did look like when the circumstances were ideal.
To further develop your positive phrase, consider what it would take, or what looked like in the past when the positive conditions existed. If you’re still having trouble, reflect on times when there was lots of emotional intimacy (or whatever your notated condition is) and write down what was different about that time. Use words, events, names of people, and any other descriptors you think of, that connect to the memory and that are meaningful to you.
Step 3. Now identify the elements that made it possible to feel the romance or the positive feelings, actions or activities you’ve cited in your step #2. What were those times like? What made you feel mutually connected? Who were the people in your lives? What attitudes, activities, conditions, or circumstances existed that made you feel loving toward that person? Record these answers quickly, without thinking too hard about the question. You are writing down events, people, conditions, attitudes, or any other things that connected you emotionally to the time you were happiest in love with your partner.
Step 4. Congratulations. Your Step 3 answers are the key to your future. You now need to re-introduce whatever has changed. In step 3, you identified the conditions and circumstances surrounding the positive feelings that. Now you will consider the ways in which you can bring those elements back into your relationship. If it is not possible to do so, figure out what the connecting factors are again, branching out further with connecting words, people, or feelings you associate with your ideals. Or go back and add to your answers until you make some discoveries that lead to actionable strategies.
An actionable strategy is an activity. For example, rekindling connections with old friends you and your spouse spent time with, resuming your old workout routines, always giving your partner a foot rub at bedtime.