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Relighting a Spark in Your Relationship

by Elise Wile

If you don't experience any more excitement when you see your partner than you do when you greet the dog, it's time to reignite the spark in your relationship. Doing so is not difficult, as accessing positive memories and making small changes in behavior are often more effective than grand gestures. While your relationship may appear to be the same on the surface, underneath, you'll have provided the kindling necessary for a lasting fire.

Remember what first attracted you to your partner, advises clinical psychologist Barbara Markway in a March 2013 article in "Psychology Today." Doing so helps you to become aware of strengths in your relationship that you can work with. Remembering also provides hope, says Markway, as the memory of a once-fulfilling relationship can help provide the motivation to move toward that goal once again. Look at photos from previously happy times and listen to music you used to enjoy together to help you both remember the good times, she says.

Give your partner a gift, advises Utah State University professor Glen Jenson, pointing out that unexpected gifts mean more than those given on occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. You don't need to surprise her with tickets for an all-inclusive Caribbean cruise. Simply bringing home a pair of earrings you thought she'd like or a couple of her favorite gourmet candy bars can make the fire in your relationship begin to smolder.

Break away from your routine -- just the two of you. Leave the children at home and go spend the night in a hotel, says Jenson. If you don't have children, a stay in a bed and breakfast or honeymoon suite might still be just the thing to recharge your relationship. Simply getting away from your everyday activities can help you to see each other in a different light.

Prioritize your relationship. If you only invest time in your partner after you've put in a full day at work, caught up on the laundry and fed the cat, the mundane has taken over. While you likely won't be able to quit your job to improve your relationship, you can schedule time to spend with your partner so the two of you can enjoy a meal at a quality restaurant, watch an uninterrupted movie together or go for a relaxing drive.

Be thoughtful. If your partner often wakes up only to find that her phone isn't charged for the day, make a habit of putting her phone on the charger every night before you go to bed. Once you're in the habit of doing so, think of another way you can show your love for your partner in a tangible way and add it to your daily routine. These little "sparks" will eventually ignite your relationship.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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