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Even the strongest couples go through their ups and downs.
It’s 2012. The Mayan apocalypse has failed to materialize. It’s impossible to escape Gotye’s incessant hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.” And—after a major dry spell—you decide to download this weird new app called Tinder.
It’s also the year you meet the love of your life. Whether or not that is on Tinder is up to you and how you feel about revisionist history. Regardless, things are great. Your fiery passion for one another can hardly be contained.
Fast forward to today. Nine years and dozens, if not hundreds, of skirmishes later and things aren’t the same. Maybe you have different schedules. Maybe the kids take priority. Or maybe that initial spark has just evolved into a less exciting, dimmer form of heat. The solution?
Prescription medication (kidding). Or, if you want a more natural approach, you can take up the following advice. Some of which, is actually quite good.
You know the old cliché… opposites attract. Some people call it the “law of polarity.” The principle that duality is everywhere: good and evil, love and hate, attraction and detachment. You can use this principle to your advantage in your relationship.
When rekindling that spark, remember to nurture your own natural energy, regardless of how different it is from your partner’s. It’s the reason your partner was attracted to you in the first place. It’s your natural energy combined with that of your partner which creates your relationship’s chemistry.
To quote another old cliché… just be yourself. Unless that involves microwaving soup without a covering on the bowl, causing tomato bits to explode all over the damn place. It’s ok to suppress that part, ALEX.
Break out of your normal habits! Unfortunately, routine can often make us numb to the myriad reasons we love and appreciate our partner. An easy fix to this issue is to switch things up. Take a chance on something new together.
Whether that be a cooking class, or a surprise date, keeping it fresh can remind you of an earlier, more exciting time in your relationship. Hell, you may just fall in love all over again after you tag team the perfect Paella.
Your words have incredible power. Without them, your partner has no way of knowing what you want and need from the relationship. And yet, so many relationship problems stem from miscommunication or no communication at all.
Don’t be afraid to voice an opinion, ask for something you want, or address something that’s been bugging you. Having difficult conversations comes with the long-term territory and can prevent a buildup of resentments. If you find it hard to articulate yourself, write it down beforehand. You can pepper in heartfelt words or phrases like “I love you,” to keep things as pleasant as possible. Just remember good communication is a two way street.
There’s nothing more disheartening than seeing a couple out to eat, with their heads buried in their phones. These pocket-sized super computers have interfered with more relationships than “Fifty Shades of Grey.” There’s even a term for it… “phubbing” (phone-snubbing). Phubbing describes a moment we all know too well, when one partner is distracted by their phone and the other feels ignored.
After you put down the phone, focus on making eye contact during conversation. Not only will it show your listening and are interested in connecting, it’s also scientifically proven to strengthen bonds.
In the words of Oscar Wilde, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” Trite as this quote may be, it is also true. Couples that make it are often couples that understand this concept. They are able see the humor in their disagreements and laugh at themselves. Laughing can diffuse a conflict and prevent it from blowing up into something much bigger.
Besides, is there any better feeling than making someone you love laugh? We think not. Ok, maybe one…
Sex. We’re talking about sex. Need we say more?
Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows they take work, but they aren’t impossible. You can rekindle that spark—without tinder—for a happier, heathier relationship. So there you have it. Good luck out there lovebirds.