April 30, 2023

Jewish Matchmaker Journal: Rekindle the Romance

Sometimes the struggle isn’t about finding romance, it’s about keeping the romance. “Real life” presents all sorts of challenges that often force our attention away from our relationship. If that happens too often or for too long, even the strongest bond can suffer. The fire of love needs fuel and there are many different types of fuel that keep a romance burning. Some couples wake up one day and realize that they’ve neglected to feed that fire for too long, and the love is gone. It's not uncommon for couples to go through periods of disconnection or boredom - even the most passionate and loving relationship can lose its spark over time. With the right effort and commitment, it is possible to rekindle and reignite the spark that brought you together in the first place.

As a Jewish matchmaker, my work is bringing Jewish souls together but the most I can do to help keep them together is offer advice. If your relationship is on a downturn, here are my tips on how to rekindle the romance and reignite that loving flame:

Take time to reconnect

Fire needs fuel and a major component of relationship fuel is attention. Focused attention requires time - your time and your partner’s time. Between work, family obligations, and other commitments, it is easy to become consumed with the daily grind and begin taking the relationship and your partner for granted. This is a relationship killer. Put life’s demands in perspective and give your relationship top priority. Be fierce about protecting your time together. It’s priceless.

To rekindle a romance that’s low on the fuel of attention, it's important that you focus on reconnection. Make the space and the time to be with your partner and give him/her your focused attention. Be fully present and engaged during this time. Aim for a block of time every day when the two of you can focus on each other. Even if it’s just for an hour after work, make it “our” hour. Add in weekly date nights and regular weekend getaways. Double the effect of your focused attention by trying something new together on your date or your weekend away. This can be anything from taking a dance class to trying a new restaurant, to more adventurous activities like zip lining or a couples retreat. By experiencing something new together, you create new memories and shared experiences, which bring you closer together.

Show appreciation

We all know when we’re being taken for granted and it feels lousy. It certainly doesn’t feel like love. Taking someone for granted means you’ve lost the appreciation for all that the ways that this person makes your life better. The needs of your partner and the relationship are put on a back burner and everything else in your life gets priority. You stop making a real effort to consider the other person. No relationship can thrive if one partner stops making a effort.

To rekindle a romance that’s low on the fuel of appreciation, begin expressing gratitude for all the things your partner does for you and the relationship and all the ways he/she makes your life better. Give freely those words of love and appreciation. We all need to feel valued and loved. When our reserves of appreciation are full, we are more likely to reciprocate. Make it a daily goal to fill those reserves for your partner.

Communicate openly

Communication is key to every successful relationship. When a relationship is low on the fuel of communication, the relationship will not go the distance. Topics around money, sex, family conflicts, and personal habits can be hard to bring up because we fear offending or angering our partner. Communicating about our feelings, desires and needs can seem almost too personal to discuss. Sometimes, it’s not about the topic, it’s that we’ve just stopped taking the time to talk about anything with our partner.

To rekindle a romance that is low on the fuel of communication you must make the time and the effort to regularly talk to your partner about your day, your struggles, your worries, your feelings, desires, and needs - and to attentively listen to theirs. Listen to differing perspectives with the goal of understanding the other side instead of being focused only on getting your partner to understand your side. If a topic feels uncomfortable to discuss, remember that this is your life partner with whom you should be able to discuss everything. Good communication will help you both understand each other better and will lead to a deeper level of intimacy.

Be physically affectionate

Although it’s natural for that intense chemistry and desire that we feel in the early stages of a relationship to become less intense over time, no relationship will thrive if physical touch and intimacy are not a regular part of it. Few people can live happily without regular physical touch and losing that aspect of a relationship is one of the more obvious signals that things are going south.

To rekindle a romance that is low on the fuel of physical touch and intimacy, be intentional about touching your partner in a loving and affectionate way. Holding hands, hugging, and cuddling releases oxytocin which is known as the “love hormone”. This hormone helps strengthen your emotional bond.

If you haven’t been having sex on a regular basis, it can feel uncomfortable to suddenly initiate this type of intimacy. Start with kissing, cuddling, and spending time together alone. Don’t make sex the goal; let it arise (pardon the pun), naturally. Share a bath or shower together, give each other a full-body massage, watch a sexy movie together. Intimacy is a crucial component of a romantic relationship. Rekindle your romance by prioritizing intimacy in your relationship and be open to trying new things to keep that intimate connection fresh and exciting.

Focus on the positives

In a romantic relationship, it’s easy to focus on the negatives – the things that are going “wrong” or the ways that your partner has let you down. Instead, focus on the positives. Think about all the things you love about your partner, all the things they do “right”, and recall the reasons why you fell in love in the first place. Focusing on the best in each other makes it easy to reignite the passion and romance. Rekindling a romantic relationship takes time, effort, and focus. With sincere desire and determination, it is possible to reignite the spark and create a deeper, more passionate connection with your partner. Fuel those flames by prioritizing your partner and the relationship, making time to reconnect, showing your appreciation, communicating openly, and being physically affectionate and intimate on a regular basis.