Nothing in life is simple -- especially when it comes to romantic relationships. However, some people make things harder than they need to be.
When all those little habits that your soul mate possesses evolve from endearing idiosyncrasies to the bane of your existence, chances are the spark has started to fade.
If you find that your relationship is losing its "oomph," there are many options available other than breaking up.
You could spend hundreds of dollars on counseling. You could communicate about your problems until you are blue in the face. You could even attend a couples "boot camp" where you are forced to practice grueling and humiliating "trust exercises."
Or you can just speed things right along and follow these five simple tips for reigniting the flame in your relationship ...
No. 5: Take a stroll down memory lane
Sometimes the easiest and quickest way to get that lost lovin' feeling back is to actually transport yourselves back in time.
OK, you can't literally do that -- real life hasn't yet caught up with sci-fi. But you can go back to the restaurant where you had your first date.
Or go dancing and ask the DJ to play "your song." Or bring out those photo albums and love letters you've been collecting over the years and sit together by the fireplace talking about all the great times you had.
Once you remember what made you guys sizzle as a couple in the first place, those old emotions and chemical reactions are likely to heat up all over again.
Plus, a stroll down memory lane is a lot less expensive than couples counseling or divorce court. And so is our next tip ...
No. 4: Try something new
You can't spend all your time reminiscing about the past -- that is just the beginning of the rekindling process. It is just as important to try new experiences together.
Tandem bungee jumping is always good for sparking the adrenaline rush you need to feel forever bound.
But if that's a little extreme for you, try something new in the bedroom, such as new lingerie or maybe even try a little bit of role playing.
Even a change of scenery can help rekindle the romance. If you can't afford a vacation, or don't have time, check into a local hotel for a night and pretend you're in your ideal vacation spot. After all, you don't need to go far away to leave your ordinary life behind for a little while.
A little old, a little new, and a little of our next idea will go a long way ...
No. 3: Be spontaneous
Too often, married couples fall into a routine, especially when there are children in the picture. Every day can start to be the same old thing over and over again and that can take its toll on your relationship.
So mix it up now and then. If you usually spend the night in front of the TV watching the game, decide tonight is the time to surprise your partner by suggesting a walk around the lake.
Or decide tonight is the night to get away from the dinner table and have a picnic in your backyard. Such surprises are a great way to get the whole family involved and spend some time with your husband or wife doing something new and different.
And be spontaneous with your love as well. A surprise romantic night out on the town or any other kind of surprise can bring the excitement back for both of you.
No. 2: Play nice
When is the last time you told your partner why you love him?
Sure, you might be in the habit of saying "I love you" on a regular basis, but after a while those words start to become as pedestrian as "how was your day?"
Sometimes we need to hear from our loved ones why they love us -- we need to hear about those quirky little things we do that make them laugh and endear us to them.
It is only logical that our partners need the same type of reinforcement as we do. So don't just talk about your love generically. Tell your soul mate the specifics of what draws you to her, and ideally, she will do the same for you in return.
Kill 'em with kindness before you kill your romance. And those kind words will help set up our final suggestion ...
No. 1: Get physical
Sex is no doubt important to a relationship, but so is basic everyday physical contact.
Ask yourself this: if your relationship is devoid of physical contact, how can you possibly feel close to your partner?
We're talking simple things like back rubs, holding hands, a touch on the forearm, kissing, hugging, etc. While, as we noted in our previous suggestion, picking the right words can bring back some of that spark, don't ever shortchange the importance of non-verbal communication.
Of course, there is something to be said for striking a balance when it comes to physical contact. You don't want to suffocate your husband or wife with constant hovering or be all over them in public, but as humans we all crave physical contact. Just don't overdo it.
If you concentrate on re-establishing that physical connection, you'll find the romance you used to take for granted will soon find its way back into your relationship.
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