After years of running around after careers, family, and hobbies, how did you and your significant other survive lockdown together? The plan has probably always been to slow down and settle into a gentler rhythm of life, but since that was hurriedly enforced, it might have been a shock to your relationship.
Of course, every relationship is different. Some will have thrived and flourished with more time and a chance to share passions and interests. Then again, after so many days in each other’s company, you might have been left wondering where the spark went.
If you feel like your marriage or relationship has been drifting of late – too much routine and not enough magic – we’ve got some ideas for you. We’ll be looking at:
- Ways to make every day a little nicer.
- How to rebuild a sexual connection.
- Ideas to recover after a row.
How to Rediscover the Spark in Your Relationship
Can you still remember those early days with your significant other? Whether it was pulling pigtails on the school playground, buying a half a shandy in the local pub, or a romantic chase across months of dating – the start of a relationship is always golden. It’s unrealistic to expect it to be the same forever, but you also don’t have to put up with drudgery.
When was the last time you got your glad rags on and went on a date? After years spending most evenings together, going on a date might feel a little redundant. Bring back a little romance by treating your partner to an evening out.
Everyone loves to put a suit or a lovely dress on. Shine your shoes, book an appointment at the hairdressers, and head out for dinner and drinks and spend some time focusing on each other.
Take a Break
Pretty much the exact opposite of date night is to take some time away from each other. We all know that cliché “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, well it didn’t become a cliché for nothing.
After a lifetime of rubbing along together at home, taking a few days apart can remind you why you enjoy each other so much. Head away to a spa with family or friends or take a few days to go to that museum you’ve always wanted to visit. The time indulging yourself should also make you happier and more relaxed with your partner.
What’s her favourite flower? Which Scotch does he like? Think of a treat that your partner would appreciate and buy it for them, for no reason. You don’t need to wait for a birthday or anniversary to show them that you think of them.
Bring some spark back to your relationship with random acts of kindness. Here are a few suggestions to get the ideas flowing:
Treats for Her
- A bunch of flowers – from a florist, not the local garage.
- A voucher for a local spa.
- A bottle of her favourite wine.
- A silk scarf in her favourite colour.
Treats for Him
- A new pair of slippers.
- A selection of craft beers.
- A voucher for a traditional barber’s shave.
- A pair of driving gloves.
How to Liven Things Up in the Bedroom
When you sit down and think about it, it might be hard to remember when you last had sex. It can be weeks or even months between sexual encounters, even when you share the same bed every night.
Life can get in the way, and it’s not always easy to find your libido. If after trying all our tips, you still physically struggle to be intimate with your partner, have a chat with your doctor.
You need to communicate with your partner that you want to have sex, verbally. They’re likely feeling the same way. Make the conversation calm and not confrontational. Talk about what you want to achieve and how you want your partner to feel, too. Just by chatting about sex, you may feel much more inclined to get physical again.
We’re not twenty-somethings anymore, jumping into bed/on the sofa/against the kitchen cabinets. With busy lives and lots of commitments, you really need to find time to have sex. Coordinating bedroom time with your date night could be a great way to build some anticipation and get your sexuality flowing again.
As we get older, we should be more comfortable with ourselves. Sex doesn’t have to be candles and soft jazz. Do what makes you happy and remember that your partner isn’t going to be judging you. Be sure to give lots of compliments along the way, so you both know you’re enjoying yourselves.
How to Bring Your Relationship Back After an Argument
We all row sometimes. What can feel like the most important issue in the world – squeezing the toothpaste from the middle or staying out past midnight without a phone call – can be recovered from with some work.
Here are some tips to recover from an argument and get back to normal:
- Talk – being the first person to initiate communication can be hard, but you won’t get past a row without chatting.
- Admit fault – it’s crucial that whoever was wrong in the argument can accept it and say sorry. Remember that sometimes you’re both wrong and you both need to apologise.
- Find resolution – once you’ve figured out why the argument happened, you need to find a way to stop it happening; find a compromise. There’s always room to change the way you do things to make everyone happier.
We spoke to Carole Spiers from The Love and Relationship Expert, who told Age Times: "Learn the art of forgiveness.
"When someone you care about hurts you, you can either hold onto anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge, or you can embrace forgiveness and move on. People waste a lot of energy and compromise their health - and even their lives - when they fail to forgive. Forgiveness is good for your soul, heart and body.
"If our spouse does something that upsets us it’s always worth taking a step back from the hurt to try and gain some perspective. Try not to be too judgmental and remind yourself that you’re both human beings: we certainly don’t get everything right ourselves, do we?"
Bringing It All Together
Every relationship is different. At the same time, we’re all human with similar wants and desires. The first step in bringing the magic back to any relationship is talking. You need to discuss your date night, talk about what you want out of your sex life, be able to explain why you were upset in an argument.
The important thing is not to dismiss the life you’ve made with your significant other after a tough time. Make sure you both put some work into livening the relationship back up and be sure to show your appreciation for each other’s efforts, too.