There’s nothing like the honeymoon phase of a relationship, right? You’re lovey-dovey, head over heels, and can’t keep your hands off each other! As with all good things, it does come to an end at some point, and you may not feel as “crazy” about each other as you used to (and that’s completely normal). It doesn’t mean you love each other any less—it just means you’re more comfortable and relaxed in the relationship.
Embracing normalcy and companionship is an important step in any romantic relationship, but it is also important to recognize the difference between stability (aka normalcy) and a rut. If you and your partner develop bad habits in the relationship (not prioritizing the relationship, not making time for intimacy, etc.), then it’s possible for your relationship to end up in a rough patch.
Here are ten practical tips for couples that are looking to rekindle their relationship, and get out of a rut:
1. Recognize the rut
The most important step is recognizing you’re in a rut. Ask yourself: When was the last time you and your partner shared an intimate moment? When was the last time you felt emotionally close to your partner? When was the last time you had sex? Are you satisfied with the relationship? If you’re not happy with any of these answers, then it is possible that you and your partner are in a rut! Try not to worry, though—every relationship goes through periods of closeness and distance, highs and lows. Recognizing the rut, and choosing to do something about it is the first step to overcoming it!
2. Revisit the beginning
If you’ve lost that special spark from the honeymoon phase, try revisiting the beginning of your relationship. It’s never too late to court your partner! Bring them coffee at work, send sweet texts throughout the day, or kick up the flirting a notch. This can inspire a “mini” honeymoon phase that can help reignite the spark.
3. Step out of your comfort zone together
If you feel like you’ve lost the excitement in your relationship, a great way to overcome it is to try something new together! Getting out of your comfort zone together can add some excitement and freshness to the relationship. Maybe you pick up a new hobby, try something new in the bedroom, or visit someplace you’ve never been. Get creative!
4. Schedule check-ins
As your relationship evolves past the honeymoon phase, it’s important to prioritize communication. Along with making time to ask about each other’s day, it’s also necessary to talk about more difficult topics like boundaries and fulfillment in the relationship. These conversations don’t usually come up organically, so it’s a good idea to schedule time to check in with your partner, whether it’s weekly, monthly or yearly. Check-ins can help ensure that you and your partner are on the same page about your relationship and serve as a platform to air out grievances before they lead to conflict.
5. Focus on affection
Focusing on affection is a powerful way to help get your relationship out of a rut—hold hands in public, rub your partner’s back, or give a simple kiss on the cheek as they walk out the door. Affection can also mean helping them check something off of their to-do list or allow them to vent to you.
As relationships wear on, people often forget how important it can be to show affection to their partner. At the end of the day, affection is just a form of attention and it’s important to stay attentive to your partner and demonstrate that they are important to you. There are so many little ways to show your partner affection each and every day!
6. Schedule intimacy
It’s totally normal for the level of intimacy to drop after the honeymoon phase. That said, it’s important not to let it disappear from the radar completely. If you need to, schedule time to be intimate, whether it’s having sex or finding ways to reconnect emotionally. Plan a date night, cook dinner together, or think of any other romantic and intimate activity that can help fuel your emotional closeness.
7. Give each other space
It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s crucial to have boundaries in your relationship that allow you and your partner to take some time to yourselves. Taking space from one another can give you time to practice self-care (more on that below) and it can help you pursue other interests and hobbies so that you have connections outside of your relationship. It’s not only important but healthy to keep up with friends, family, and your life outside of the one you share with your partner.
8. Practice self-care
Self-care is so important while you are in a relationship. Though you should be able to turn on your partner for support, it’s not healthy to rely on them completely. Whether you are single or in a relationship, it’s important to take ownership of your mental health and well-being, whether you exercise, meditate, journal, eat healthy, or simply indulge in some “me-time.” Self-care helps keep you grounded in your relationship, which makes it more fulfilling. It can
9. Talk to a professional
A lot of people think that relationship therapy signals the end of the relationship, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Talking to a professional can offer insight into your relationship and provide an outsider’s perspective. Most couples will have ruts in their relationship from time to time, which means professionals have a lot of experience helping couples navigate them and come out stronger on the other side!
If you and your partner are interested in talking to a professional but are intimidated by the formality or cost of traditional therapy, consider turning to Relish, a relationship coaching app. Relish offers all the perks of traditional therapy with added convenience and flexibility. The relationship coaches at Relish can provide tips on how to get out of a rut by helping you and your partner establish goals for your relationship and move towards achieving those goals.
Remember, a rough patch in your relationship is totally normal! If you and your partner are both willing to put in the effort to rekindle the spark, you’ll be back to the honeymoon phase before you know it.