If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, or even friendship, you know they are susceptible to low periods where it seems that certain “spark” that was there in the beginning has dimmed. Now what exactly is this spark? Maybe it’s that excitement of seeing the other person, the chemistry you two share when you are together, the laughter and inside jokes you have, or the butterflies in your stomach. It’s the feeling you get when you find your person, when you two just click.
It’s a common misconception that romantic relationships and friendships in general progress on an upward trajectory where both parties just become more and more close and connected. However, we all know that relationships go through highs and lows, and there are periods where it can feel quite dull. Some reasons the “spark” fades may include you feeling like you’re not appreciated, that the other person isn’t putting in effort anymore, or that the novelty of your connection has faded since you have learned everything you can about each other.
Another reason your spark is lost could be that you feel your relationship isn’t living up to the #relationshipgoals that you see all over social media. If you find yourself comparing your relationship to others’, it is important to consider what makes your connection special rather than wishing it was more like the perfect couples you see on Instagram. In reality, people only post what they want you to see and the state of a relationship can be a whole different picture from the idealistic image people try to portray. No one is truly happy 100% of the time.
If you are worried that the disappearance of the spark will lead to the breakup of your relationship, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet. There are steps you can take to bring the spark back into your relationship and make you and your significant other (or friend) feel more connected again.
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Bring it back to the beginning.
Nostalgia is a very powerful tool to make you remember some of the times when you were most happy in your relationship. To reignite those romantic/feel-good emotions try to recreate a moment when you feel you were closest to the other person. Try recreating your first date, going back to where you first met, or doing an activity that you both enjoy doing. Reliving past times where you were at your peak of closeness can really bring you out of any slump you feel stuck in.
Talk about it (seriously).
Even if you feel that your relationship is not in the best condition, the other person may be totally oblivious. Don’t just expect them to read your nonverbals or mood automatically. Don’t play it off as not a big deal if it is one, be clear about how you feel and choose your words carefully. Actually putting into words that you’re unsatisfied with the state of you relationship will make sure you both are on the same page, and therefore have a better chance of fixing your situation.
A change of environment.
A lot of times relationships fall into a slump because they’ve been in a routine for so long. When you can expect the same thing, there lacks an element of excitement and adventure that you two experience together. Try going away together for a weekend, or even a day trip. When you are taken out of your daily routine and the focus is left solely on your relationship, a spark is bound to be reignited.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
Maybe your relationship is past the point of a slump and you really feel like it’s doomed for a breakup. Try going a week or two without seeing the other person. See what kind of emotions come out from not being together. Do you find yourself missing them more and more everyday, wishing they were there to enjoy something, reminiscing about your memories together wishing those times could come back? If so then when your period of separation does end, your time apart should have made you both appreciate each other realize that you want to avoid losing them ever again.
Trust your gut.
If you know deep down that your relationship’s spark is never coming back, it is best to trust your gut and take steps to possibly separate. If you are unhappy and you can sense that the other person isn’t finding fulfillment in the relationship either, both of you could benefit from a more permanent period of time apart. Maybe you’ll get back together, or maybe you won’t, but staying in an unhappy situation is holding you back from your full potential.