6 tips to keep the long-term spark alive

Team Ritual
It might be easier said than done, but here are 6 ways to revive and maintain that life-long spark.
  • Be an explorer
Photo by Wendy Wei

We know it might feel like ‘two becomes one’ sometimes, but you and your partner are two different people. The way you experience, understand and feel this world is different. Even if you’ve lived together for 50 years, you can’t possibly know everything about your partner. Think about it.

Even if you were to spend literally every nanosecond together, you wouldn’t know their inner thoughts, their undercover desires, or their belly rumbles (the last one’s up for debate though).

Get curious and start exploring! Turn off your I know everything about you, yawn glasses and turn on your I couldn’t possibly know everything about you, tell me more glasses. Ask questions. Go deeper. Try one of the following tips, and be willing to see your partner in a whole new light.

  • Shed the expectations

Liberate yourself from everything you’ve been taught about relationships and lean in to what feels good. Instead of using ‘I should’ and ‘I need to’ language, try to apply the ‘I want’, ‘I like’, ‘This feels nice’.

There’s this scene in The Story of Us with Bruce Willis and Michele Pfeifer, where their therapist explains that there are never just two people in bed, but rather six (you two plus both sets of parents - and that’s only if you have each have one set of parents).

The point is, we carry a lot of layers in our relationship baggage, not only from our family of origin, but also from society. By letting go of these expectations and leaning into the present moment of who and how we are now, we create space to leave the old baggage at the door and pack a new bag together.

  • Confidence is sexy

Be your whole self, unapologetically. Are there parts you minimize, hide or don’t share around your partner? We encourage you to let it all out*.* Being yourself is liberating, and when you express yourself openly and honestly - it’s mesmerizing. It’s courageous. And that’s sexy.

What’s one thing you can do today to show a new side of yourself to your partner? Confidence is something we gain when we’re willing to take a risk and put ourselves out there. One hack is to tap into the times you’re in your element and copy/paste that confidence over. If you feel confident professionally, hone in on that feeling and channel it as you enter your relational space (if it’s helpful, you can even role play - that’s hot too).

  • Try something new

That thing you’ve always wanted to try? Do it. The class, the position, the friend, the toy, the place. Change is hard, but choosing to try something new is vital to keeping your spark alive. When you choose to mix some things up, it means you are challenging the boring status-quo you’ve gotten so used to, and inviting new and expansive layers to your same old, same old.

And that will light a spark. Maybe it’ll even start a wildfire. Proceed with care, and always bring a…toothbrush.

  • Return to wonder

Kids ask a billion questions, and get super excited over really small things, and that’s because they’re learning and experiencing things for the first time. They’re not bogged down by the responsibilities of adulting, or the weight of the world.

As adults, we can still connect to that little kid, and we don’t have to lose that state of wonder and awe. We can allow ourselves to get excited by the small moments, like getting an extra discount at the register by surprise (don’t you love when that happens?!) or soaking in a smile from your partner when you lock eyes.

You can be an adult and still choose to return to the wonder of being alive. Be naively happy, even for just a moment. And then share it with your partner.

  • Pleasure is not a dirty word

To quote the yogi Youtube star Adrienne: ‘Find what feels good’. We don’t just mean in the bedroom, though, that’s not a bad place to start.

Living busy lives means that we may not carve out so much time to do fun activities with our partner, like the things that you simply enjoy doing together. (We don’t mean Netflix and chill here.) Yet the fun stuff is your relationship life-line.

Having fun and enjoying each other is what keeps you wanting more. Seek out the places, activities, hobbies, and events that you both enjoy and do them - together.

Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Pleasure is key.

Making the spark last requires effort. Even if the spark goes out, that’s okay. That’s the nature of it. The good news is, a spark can always be rekindled, maintained, and fired back up with the right care, attention, and conditions. These six tips are the right match to reignite your relational fire. Which one will you choose to spark first?