New relationships start hot and heavy, but after years with your soulmate, things can get… well… boring. The love is still there for sure! In some ways, it’s stronger than ever. But after the addition of children, work stress, and all the other little things that life throws at you, romance often gets put on the back burner. If this sounds like your love life at this juncture (more smoldering ashes than raging bonfire), perhaps it’s time to reignite that flame! Let’s dive into a few simple ideas on how to reconnect with your spouse or significant other.
Starting a Weekly Date Night With Adventures From Scratch: Date Edition
Here at AFS, we’re devoted to helping you create strong, intimate relationships. Our dating scratch-off adventure book is the perfect accessory for your coffee table if you’re looking to reconnect with your spouse. It’s full of unique ideas to help get you out of your romance rut! The process is easy. Just buy the book, pick out a date night, consult the handy key to help you choose a scratch-off adventure, and enjoy it together. With over 50 creative date ideas, we’ve got your weekly date night covered all year long!
Distant Is Normal—Right?
Feeling distant from your partner is a common occurrence, especially among married couples who’ve been together a long time. Life’s challenges and everyday stressors can put a real damper on romance. Many couples also convince themselves that they don’t need all that lovey-dovey stuff, that life is just fine without putting any extra effort or fuss into their romantic relationship. In truth, most of these couples are little more than roommates. Life might be fine, but it could be amazing!
Your relationship with your spouse is the bedrock of your home. It was the original that many of your other relationships were birthed out of. It’s at the core of your life, and it’s important to nurture. Your relationship with your partner flows over into every other part of your life. When your marriage begins to suffer from disconnection, it affects all the other relationships you have, including your bond with your children. If things aren’t going well with your boo, don’t ignore it. If you’re feeling overlooked, stressed, bored, or tired of your relationship, it’s time to make a move and start chasing romance again!
How to Reconnect With Your Spouse
If you’re ready to make the move, here are a few simple ideas that you can implement in your home to get things back on track. Before you initiate any of these, you need to have an open and real conversation with your spouse. They need to know where you stand, what you’re feeling, and why you want to start changing some things.
1. Institute a weekly date night.
According to a research analysis by the National Marriage Project, couples who spend a quality date night together each week report that they are “very happy” with their marriage. That’s 3.5 times happier than those who don’t routinely date. Weekly date nights are also correlated with higher-rated sexual satisfaction, lower rates of divorce, and increased commitment. When mom and dad are happy at home, there’s less fighting and tension, which makes the kiddos happier and more secure, as well.
While it does take time, effort, and devotion, implementing a high-quality date night can do wonders for your overall life satisfaction. We know—spending time together alone is almost impossible with soccer games, community responsibility, work extras, etc., but you must make the bedrock relationship in your life a priority. It has to take precedence over some of these other things.
Date Night Ideas
Quality date nights should be an activity you both enjoy. Aside from providing an element of fun, they should allow for intimate conversation, and they should get you out of your comfort zone (or at least your normal routine). With these three stipulations in mind, here are a few fantastic date night ideas.
- Online Cooking Class: Send the kids to grandma, and spend the evening in your own home, learning to make a gourmet meal, experiencing a virtual wine tasting, or taking a mixology class together.
- Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt Date Night Package: Explore your own city in a totally new way on a fun-filled scavenger hunt. You’ll work together to solve riddles, snap some awesome photos, and end the night with sore abs from all the belly laughs!
- Sunset Walk: Whether you go on a major hike or just a walk around the neighborhood, getting out together, holding hands, and watching the sun go down is a simple way to reconnect. It’s a date night that doesn’t cost anything and offers plenty of time for one-on-one conversation.
- Drive-in Movie: Go old school with some lip-smacking at the drive-in!
- Game Night: Clear out the house, and have a game night. Almost any board game can be altered to include a sexy twist. You can play strip poker, of course, but even Scrabble can turn sexy if you make bets on the winner!
- Something New: Try a new restaurant, indoor rock climbing, or another new athletic feat, or try an escape room. If there’s a new activity in town that you haven’t done, check it out together! You can also introduce your partner to your favorite hobby. This week, you go golfing together. Next week, you try out a yoga class.
Need to date your spouse without blowing up the budget? Here are “20 Fun and Free Date Ideas!”
2. Go back to writing love letters.
Remember in the early days of your romance when you constantly called or texted one another, wrote love letters for special occasions (or just Tuesday), and gushed about your butterflies for each other? Honestly, you’re probably not going to get that back, but you can feel a smidge of it again by taking a moment to write your partner a love letter. Saying “I love you” is one thing, but putting it into words on paper has a totally different effect.
Not only does putting your emotions on paper make your partner feel amazing, but it will give you time to reflect on how you actually feel about them, the life you’ve created together, and how proud you are to be the one they chose to do life with. Just reminiscing on these points tends to remind us of how awesome our spouses are, and how much we really do love them. You don’t have to go with long, sappy, time-consuming letters, either. A short, heartfelt love note on a Post-It works just as well.
3. Send your spouse a romantic playlist.
There’s no better way to let your loved one know that you’re thinking of them than to construct a new playlist full of love songs. Gather some carefully chosen lyrics, and send them to your partner as a surprise. Include a note on what songs you chose and why. They’ll for sure listen on the commute from work and arrive home ready for some cuddling!
4. Check in with each other regularly.
One of the simple things you can do to ensure that your relationship isn’t heading down the slippery slope to roommate-ville is just to ask your partner regularly—are we good? You can have a code phrase or just come right out and ask, but it should be communicated beforehand what exactly that means. My husband and I use the phrase, “Are we good?” But, what we mean is
- Am I making you feel wanted, respected, and loved?
- Is there anything else that you need from me this week?
- Is there anything I can take off your plate?
- Is there anything I could be doing differently that would make you feel more loved?
This little question pops a big punch, but because we have clearly communicated about it in the past, we both know exactly what we mean by it.
5. Start a collaborative journal.
Collaborative journaling is a style of self-expression that you share with your spouse. You can use a collaborative journal app, like Waffle, or purchase a collaborative journal on Amazon. You can also just use a blank-page journal and do your own thing. Most couples’ journals follow a prompt system. It will give you an anecdote or question to answer. Each person will answer it at some point during the day, and then you can read each other’s responses. This is an especially effective way to reconnect with your spouse if your communication skills are lacking at this point or you’re having some tensions that tend to explode into arguments. By writing your thoughts, you tend to think more than when blurting out words. By reading them later, your spouse will also have time to think before confronting you.
6. Change up your sex life.
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you know that the sex can become monotonous after a while. Hey, we like what what we like. However, one partner has often become bored with the situation and just hasn’t had the nerve to say anything. A great way to infuse some fire into an old relationship is to flip the script on your normal sex-scapades.
This might involve a new and more risque form of lingerie. Perhaps it involves having relations in a semi-public place or communicating a sexual dream you’ve been having lately. Maybe you just need to spend an evening researching some new positions together. Of course, any sex act with your partner should always be discussed first, mutually agreed upon, and within both participants’ comfort zones. As long as everybody is on board, go for it!
7. Try a double date.
While having one-on-one time with your partner is a must, some of us fell in love with our spouses because of who they were in public. We often forget how kind, funny, servant-hearted, or rowdy our spouses can be until we see them through other’s eyes. Introducing your spouse to a friend or going out with another couple allows you to see them interacting with other adults—other people you love. Seeing your partner as the life of the party, the consummate helper, the gentleman, or the wallflower reminds you that they’re more than just husband and dad (or wife and mom). Sometimes, that is enough to make you fall in love all over again.
For some fun activities to share with friends, check out our “Ultimate List of Double Date Ideas.”
8. Swoon them with the perfect gift.
While we don’t suggest splurging on an expensive gift to get yourself out of the doghouse, there’s nothing wrong with bringing home something amazing on a random Tuesday! This is especially true if receiving gifts is their love language. We’re all guilty of dropping the ball on this one. After years of marriage, my husband and I rarely even do birthdays, Christmas, or Valentine’s gifts. It’s just one of those things that seem to fall out of importance, but for some partners, it really shows them that you value them.
If gifts are important to your spouse, stop by the store, and bring home a bouquet tonight. This simple, thoughtful gesture might just lead to a worthwhile evening of fun! Note: Gifts don’t have to be expensive. In fact, some spouses will be frustrated if you spend a ton of money on them for no reason. Make it thoughtful, but don’t break the bank.
9. Check off a bucket-list adventure together.
If your emotional connection to your spouse has been waning recently, you might just need to do something exciting together! Now may be the time for that trip to Paris. Perhaps it’s time to purchase those sky-diving tickets. If he’s always wanted to install a hot tub, now’s the time. Everyone’s bucket list looks different. There’s no right or wrong, but we do suggest that you keep a mutual bucket list as a couple. It can include places you want to go, activities you want to do together, or goals you want to achieve. Then, when you have some time and cash flow, pull out the list, and check one off!
10. Visit a couples therapist.
Even in a healthy relationship, having a third party who is unbiased can be of great value. This goes double for when your relationship is feeling a bit washed up. Sitting down with a professional and having an honest, open conversation could be just what you need to get the wheels turning again. It doesn’t mean you’ll be relegated to therapy for life. You may not even need more than one session. You may love it and decide to go back and work on a few more things. Who knows? Either way, it can’t hurt to try!
There’s absolutely no shame in admitting that you need some help figuring out where you went wrong. A good couples therapist has been through the ropes, and they are experts at pointing out common causes of frustration in romantic relationships and suggesting effective and research-proven solutions.
If your romance has fizzled out some, don’t stress. If you’re wondering how to reconnect with your spouse, you usually just need to make a few targeted changes to rekindle the flames. These time-honored tips can help, but remember, the most important aspect of any relationship is honest communication.
When most couples find themselves in a rut, it’s because one or both of them are ignoring their true emotions, pushing them under the rug, and refusing to talk about them. That’s a sure way for a few small things to go unnoticed and unfixed until you have a relationship based on a mountain of small displeasures. Don’t be apathetic, and don’t let your romance take the back burner. It’s one of the foundational relationships in your life, and it deserves first-place treatment, at least occasionally!
For a few more fun and unique date ideas, check out “Quick Date Ideas for Couples High on Love but Low on Time.”
Don’t forget! The easiest way to infuse some unexpected romance back into your relationship is with our handy scratch-off dating book—Adventures From Scratch: Date Edition!
Frequently Asked Questions
When your marriage is feeling busted, it’s time to focus on personal connection. Plan dates every week for alone time, make a bucket list of activities to do together, and consider a couples therapist.
A lack of intimacy often manifests in apathy toward pursuing romance. When you become more like roommates than lovers, it might be time to try reconnecting with your spouse.