Relationships are generally pretty wonderful. It's nice to have a partner in life, it's great to feel supported all the time, and it's exhilarating to think you might have found your forever person. In the early stages of love, it's almost impossible to focus on anything else. People can get so caught up in their relationships that they forget what it's like not to feel excited and happy. However, as you pass the honeymoon stage, it’s normal for those emotions to mellow out. That doesn’t mean you’ll go from being completely in love to feeling no passion in your relationship, but some excitement subsiding is pretty common.
Even if you and your partner are each other's perfect match, you may find that the passion wanes over time. One day, you may wake up and discover that you are no longer excited about your relationship. But why does that happen? And is there anything you can do to reignite the spark between you and your partner?
First of all, if you feel as if your relationship has hit a rut, don’t panic. Thinking I don’t get excited to see my boyfriend or I don’t look forward to date night my girlfriend in no way indicates that you and your partner are doomed or that your relationship is over. Secondly, there are, in fact, a few signs that you can look out for that could mean you and your SO are headed for a slump, as well as tricks and tips for falling back in love.
Looking for answers, I turned to three relationship experts to get their take on what it means when the fire fades in your relationship, and how to get back on track.
1. Feeling No Spark Because You’re Stuck In A Routine
Feeling no spark in relationships can be a result of a lack of effort. "The most common reason relationships fail is because you both stop making an effort," explains dating guru and relationship expert James Preece.
When couples are together for a long period of time, it's pretty typical to fall into comfortable patterns, and that's OK. You don’t need an exhilarating date with your SO every week to keep the magic alive. The problem is, those patterns can start to feel really monotonous if you're doing the exact same thing every day with no variation. "It's so easy to keep doing the same things, having a regular routine, and repeating everything over and over,” Preece says, “It's dating groundhog day and the quickest way to get bored."
To avoid this, you need to commit to getting out of your comfort zone once in a while. "If you want to avoid this, you have to switch up what you are doing. Have regular date nights and think up new places and activities you can try together." Every date doesn’t have to be an adventure (and you definitely don’t need to give up your Netflix and chill time), but incorporating some variety into your routine as a couple can help you get out of this rut.
For example, my husband and I do a lot of the same things every day: We kiss good morning, we take the puppy out at the same time, we have tea together. And we love it, but we also make it a point to get out and do spontaneous things a lot, too. We go to raves, try new athletic activities, and take a lot of trips.
Take it from me: If you feel like you and your SO are stuck in a boring routine, and that's the reason the spark is fading, get out together and try something new. A little spontaneity could be all it takes to reignite your romance.
2. Feeling No Passion Because You're Unsure Of Your Future
Let's face it: Even the most committed, loving long-term couples can lose their spark every once in a while. That said, if the two of you aren't sure where you're headed as a couple, that ambiguity can cause more frequent slumps in your relationship.
Preece says if the two of you feel like you might be on different pages about your future, or if you haven't talked about it at all, that confusion can contribute to feeling like you've lost the spark. When one (or both) of you is unsure about what's coming, it can be easy to stop putting as much effort into keeping the passion alive. He explains, "Do you know where you see yourselves as a couple in the future? If one of you wants to be married with kids and the other doesn't, there's no point burying your heads in the sand. If you do, you'll never going to resolve things."
If a lack of direction might be the cause of your relationship rut, the best thing you can do is communicate. Best case scenario: You find that the two of you are actually on the same page and you can start building your life together. Worst case: You realize you aren't the best fit sooner rather than later. Either way, opening up with conversation will help clarify things.
"Have a reality check conversation now and find out exactly how much you are in sync,” Preece suggests. “Yes, goals can change, but don't kid yourself if you are dating the wrong person." In other words, having this convo can prevent you from wasting your time fighting for a relationship that doesn’t have a future.
3. Feeling No Spark Because You Take Each Other For Granted
Part of what can make long-term relationships so appealing to people is the level of comfort and intimacy you get to experience with another human. Sometimes, though, it's that exact comfort that makes the spark start to fade.
If that comfort leads to complacency, it may mean trouble for your relationship. "When was the last time you paid your other half a compliment or did something special for them as a surprise? If you get too comfortable, it's natural to feel unappreciated," Preece tells Elite Daily. And it’s hard to maintain a passionate romance if either partner is feeling undervalued.
Taking each other for granted can also happen when you have narrow, unwavering relationship expectations, says Fran Greene, LCSW and author of Dating Again with Courage and Confidence. "For example, you see them only as a provider or he sees you only for your concierge skills; you ditched all common courtesies, and everything (other than your partner) takes precedence," she explains.
Appreciating your partner is not just about giving compliments or doing extra special things for one other, it's also about your day-to-day habits and lifestyle. It is important to keep appreciating your SO. "If you let yourself slip, your relationship will probably go the same way," says Preece. "Happiness comes with the small gestures as much as the big ones.” Boring routines might make the romantic spark fade, but establishing a routine of appreciating one another can help keep it alive.
4. Feeling No Passion Because You Moved Too Fast
Moving too quickly in relationships can cause the spark to fade quicker than it otherwise would, Lori Salkin, matchmaker and relationship expert, explains. "When a new relationship is good, the individuals in the couple tend to move very quickly through the early stages of dating," she says. That’s all good when it's new and exciting, but what about when you hit every relationship milestone immediately?
Picture this: It's only two months in and you've practically lived out the course of your entire relationship. spent every single day together, alluded to a lifetime together and possibly even discussed when the commitment would come, met each other's parents… but it's only been two months. Now what?
My husband and I actually met and got married in eight weeks, but we aren't the norm by any means. Most couples in this situation, says Salkin, tend to get overwhelmed and fizzle out when the spark fades. She says in order to make sure this doesn't happen, it's important to step back and remember to date and enjoy each other.
Salkin explains, "Even though it is exciting and promising when you meet someone, and it seems like this is 'the one,' and you want to run to completely incorporate this person into every aspect of your life, you need to pace yourselves to make sure it develops steadily and grows to last." In this case, all it will take is a little bit of time and some slowing down to make sure your spark comes back.
5. Feeling No Spark Because You Spent Too Much Time Together Early On
If the two of you spent a lot of time being super "on" when you first started dating, it can be hard to transition to a more low-key, coupled-up life — if that’s what you both want. Not only that, but if you are constantly stuck to each other's sides, there’s a chance that the spark will go out more quickly.
Going out all the time and doing new things together can be great in the early stages of a relationship, but real life comes with a little more, says Salkin. It is very important to balance needing to be 'on' with real-life so you do not burn out in your relationships. In this case, being a little more “real” can actually help the spark.
Being a little more independent can help too. Greene says to make sure you aren't spending every waking moment with your partner. "The old adage ‘fire needs air,’ well, it applies to couples as well. Spending every minute together is not good for you, your partner or your relationship," she explains. Just try to be the real you as much as possible — in the relationship and in the intentional space you take away from it.
6. Feeling No Passion Because You’re Too Busy
Unfortunately, you might just find the spark fading because, well, that's life and it happens. "Life is complicated, you each have multiple priorities and often the couple goes to the bottom of the to-do list," says Greene. Cue the spark fading.
Greene adds, "Often, external forces that are equally important to your relationship with your significant other, but are more necessary, such as your work, family, education, [and] housing, can add such stress and pressure to your life that the natural reaction is to pull away from something to balance everything else better."
Unfortunately, your romantic relationship might be the piece that starts getting neglected, making it difficult to keep that spark alive.
Although it can feel like multiple things are demanding your attention at once, it's not the best thing to try to prioritize everything else and leave your relationship behind. "Whether you intentionally or subconsciously pull away, it definitely can make the spark fade and even disappear," says Salkin.
Instead of forgetting about your relationship in times of stress, let it be the thing that you gravitate toward. If you nurture your relationship more — assuming it's a good relationship — chances are high that you'll feel more nurtured yourself.
If you find the spark fading in your relationship, don't worry too much. There are lots of things you can do to work on it. Greene suggests remembering to appreciate each other in big and small ways, like planning special dates and being as affectionate as you were in the early stages of your relationship. Remember, it's normal for the spark to fade a little over time. The important thing is to continue to put the effort in to fan the flames of your relationship so that you feel that passion for the long haul.
James Preece, dating guru and relationship expert
Fran Greene, LCSW and author of Dating Again with Courage and Confidence
Lori Salkin, matchmaker and relationship expert
This article was originally published on