Falling in love isn't easy, but sometimes staying in love can be even trickier. Here's the thing: You can love your partner without feeling like you're in love with them all of the time. You don't even necessarily have to get into an argument to feel like your affection for your partner is waning a bit. But if you want to feel more in love with your significant other, it takes work. If you feel like the fire is fading between you and your SO, there are some strategies you can try that will make you feel like you're back in your honeymoon phase.
I spoke to intimacy expert Allana Pratt, who explained to me what someone can do to feel a deeper and closer connection with their partner. "Whenever things are feeling stale in your partnership, if you really slow down you'll notice that you're not present — you are living in a world of expectations and conclusions," Pratt explains. If you want to see your partner with fresh eyes, it's important to acknowledge that both they and your relationship have evolved since your courtship. To get that spark back, here are some tips Pratt offers to make your love feel as strong as ever.
Reflect On The Best Moments And Experiences You've Had With Your Partner
You and your partner share a past, and there's a good chance some of the days you've spent together were pretty monotonous, or maybe even bad. It's easy to focus on your low moments as a pair, but instead, think about the moments you've shared with your partner that have made you laugh and feel most alive.
"The first thing to do is to open up your heart and let the energy of affinity flow by remembering some of your peak experiences and most memorable moments with your partner," says Pratt. "You can do this just in your mind's eye or you can go back and forth sharing a few memories together." Looking back at old photos can help, too. Revisiting those moments can act as a reset, perhaps even reminding you of all the reasons you fell for your partner in the first place.
Share Something New You'd Like To Try With Your Partner
Relationships can often start to feel stale if you and your partner just stick to the same routines all the time. Think of some new ways you can spend time with your partner, whether that means trying a new activity, attempting a new sexual position, or visiting a new place together. Even something as simple as having your next date night at a new restaurant can make a difference.
Pratt suggests that you ask your partner, "Tell me something you've been wanting to do or try with me that I may not have been interested in or receptive to in the past," and then you can share the same with them. "It doesn't mean you have to go do what they want to do," Pratt adds, "but it opens up that fresh imaginative energy of possibility and could spark some new adventures to share together." Unless their suggestions make you feel totally uncomfortable (like rock climbing if you're terrified of heights), try to say "yes" as often as possible.
Open A Dialogue About Your Favorite Aspects Of Your Partner
Even if there is plenty of love shared between you and your SO, it can easy to forget why exactly you feel that love. You should remind both yourself and your partner of the things you love best about them and your relationship as often as possible. As wonderful as it is to hear or be able to say, "I love you," it's even better to change that statement to, "I love you because..." and then state the very reasons why you love your partner.
Pratt advises going on a walk or sitting down with your partner and taking turns asking and answering a series of questions. Her suggestions: What makes you feel excited or enlivened when you think of me? What turns you on and revs your engine about our partnership? What is something you appreciate about what's possible in our future together? "Make it a sacred time of honestly listening to yourself and sharing your deepest truth with your beloved," Pratt says. By answering these questions, you may just learn something new about your partner, and maybe even yourself.
Begin And End Every Day With A Moment Of Physical Contact
As much as you might like the idea of having wild and mutually satisfying sex with your partner every night, it's probably not going to happen (and if it is, then I tip my hat to you). But something as easy as a hug every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to bed can make you feel closer (both physically and emotionally) than you might think.
In Pratt's fourth book, 7 Steps to Manifest Your Beloved While Staying True to Yourself, she explores the importance of rituals of intimacy. "I believe if we don't maintain consistent rituals that remind us why we fell in love with each other in the first place, we're bound to forget and take each other for granted," she says. An easy ritual to follow is a twice-daily six-second hug. "By the end of the week, watch how much more deeply connected in truth, vulnerability, and intimacy you will be," says Pratt. A daily bang sesh is ambitious, but a daily hug is totally doable.
Like a houseplant, love is something you have to maintain and nourish in order to keep it alive — you can't just expect it to survive on its own. As Pratt says, "Love is literally an action that we choose to flow through our being to ourselves, to others, and to the world. It's a choice. It's like turning on a faucet." If you keep that love flowing, then you might just find yourself falling in love with your partner all over again everyday.