How to Keep the Fire Burning in a Relationship
In the beginning, the flames in your relationship were so hot you were surprised no one wound up with third-degree burns. Fast forward to a few years later and those flames seemed to have turned to embers amid a hectic everyday life.
However, it’s not too late to stoke the fires and ignite the passion in your relationship once again. With a little renewed commitment to one another and some ingenuity, you’ll be flaming hot before you know it.
One of the quickest ways to extinguish a blazing fire in a relationship is to stop appreciating your fellow fire-maker. Life is hectic; it’s easy to start taking your partner’s help for granted and coming to expect the after-work back rubs.
However, he’ll soon feel unappreciated, and the relationship flames will diminish. Show your partner you appreciate him regularly, advises an article from the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center on the University of Texas’s website.
No grand gestures are needed; a simple “thank you” will suffice when he surprises you with a washed, dried and folded load of laundry. Or leave a romantic or spicy thank-you note in his shirt pocket to find at work. Then throw on a white tank top and shorts to wash his car in appreciation for all his help this week.
Talking and Tension
Conflict isn’t always a negative in a relationship. Disagreements are bound to happen when you live in close quarters, but it’s how you communicate with each other and resolve problems that will help to determine the level of satisfaction in your relationship — and just how hot you can keep the fire burning.
Lingering resentments and unresolved conflict can impede passion, so keep the lines of communication open, sharing your wants, needs and concerns with your partner as they arise. Be a good listener so your partner can do the same, biting your tongue when expletives and name-calling tickle your tongue and focusing on bettering the relationship, rather than winning the argument, to avoid fire-dousing conflict.
On issues where there seems to be no accord, agree to disagree and find a compromise instead, recommends the article from the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center.
Between a full-time career, washing the dishes and the floors and caring for the youngsters every day, it might seem like you haven’t time for anything else. However, you and your partner need time to reconnect and remember the characteristics and personality quirks that drew you to your partner in the beginning.
Commit to a date night each week, or if shift work and other commitments make a standing date night improbable, agree to find at least four days each month to spend together. You can go to dinner, play mini-golf or go scuba diving.
Take a cooking class, learn horseback riding or enroll in a yoga program; the particular plans aren’t important as long as you’re doing it together.
When the relationship began, you were lucky if you remembered to come up for air. As you settle into the relationship, the intense passion period may pass, but that only means you now have the time — and presence of mind — to plan your romantic adventures. You don’t need a ceiling-suspended swing, torture equipment or extra participants to ignite a dwindling flame in your romantic relationship.
Book a hotel for the night, where you can enjoy each other without worrying about waking the kids, slip in a morning shower together, share your fantasies in a bubble bath or pick up a book to find activities outside of your regular sexual repertoire.
Incorporate touch into your daily activities, holding hands on your shopping trip, hugging your partner when he comes in the door and stealing kisses while you prepare dinner together to affirm the mutual attraction that remains present.
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