Can You Extend A Relationship That's Lost Its Spark? It’s Not Always Easy
It's one thing to hear that "all relationships have ups and downs," but it's another thing entirely to experience it firsthand and realize it's not just a cliche. The chemistry and excitement that once felt effortless to you and your partner can become difficult to maintain after you've been together for years, and it's normal to worry about what those changes mean for the future of your relationship. But just because you've hit a lull, that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. In fact, depending on how you go about extending a relationship that’s lost its spark, you may not only revive the relationship, but also learn important lessons that can strengthen your love as you move forward together.
In order for that to happen, it's important to address the root cause of the problem, Lisa Concepcion, certified dating and relationship expert, and founder of LoveQuest Coaching, tells Elite Daily. "It’s normal for long-term relationships to lose their spark, and typically the reason for this is one word: routine," Concepcion explains. "When couples slip into a routine, things get boring. The same two restaurants. The same Friday night of Netflix and ordering food from the same place. The sitting together in comfortable silence on the phones scrolling. This all adds up to routine, rut, and disconnection."
If this all sounds a bit too familiar, then Nina Rubin, a life coach and psychotherapist, says not to panic. “If the spark is dim or hidden, it can definitely be reignited,” she tells Elite Daily. Here’s how the experts suggest you go about re-igniting your spark and making it last.
Talk About The Issues You're Facing.
When there's a problem in your relationship, Rubin says it’s essential to begin addressing it by getting on the same page so you can tackle the issue together. Her advice is to talk about what you think is lacking, whether it’s passion, fun, or even just a feeling of connection and unity between you. “Also discuss what drew you to each other and how you felt when the spark was fire,” says Rubin. “This will help you both know what’s at stake and remember how you want to feel.”
Break Out Of Your Routine By Setting New Goals.
Once you’re a united front, it's time to break out of your comfort zone and get out of your rut. One great way to get started is by setting a goal together. “Couples who set and achieve goals individually and as a couple rarely fall into a rut or routine. They always have something they’re aiming for or curious about,” Concepcion explains. “Sit down together and have an open conversation about where you see yourselves headed in the next six months, both individually and as a couple.” It doesn’t have to be a relationship goal, just something that the two of you can work toward together and get excited about. “This doesn't have to mean a talk about marriage or babies. It can simply mean taking on a business goal, learning something new, a seminar, a vacation, getting a pet, or volunteering!”
Prioritize Being Kind And Loving To One Another.
One of the things couples can forget to do when they're in a comfortable routine is prioritize one another and carry out small acts of kindness. Rubin says another great way to extend the relationship and reignite the spark is to refocus your energy on taking care of each other. “Do small things for each other, with small, personal gifts and acts of service, quality time, and even physical touch. Acknowledge each other... value and honor each other,” she says.
Ultimately, extending your relationship is about giving yourselves time and space to reignite the spark, but it does take work, and both parties need to be on board. “It's time to let go when one person simply isn't into it. When people don't want to grow and expand as a team, the relationship is going to fizzle out,” Concepcion says. Conversely, if both you and your partner really want to give it a shot, there’s plenty of reason to be hopeful and hang in there. You've just got to be willing to put in the work.
Lisa Concepcion, certified dating and relationship expert and founder of LoveQuest Coaching
Nina Rubin, life coach and psychotherapist