No matter how much you love each other, for most couples the ecstatic feeling of being in love slowly disappears after a few years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t feel sparks anymore. This is how you make the butterflies return.
You don’t have to put a banner with a declaration of love behind a plane, tattoo your lover’s name on your body or fill the living room with thousands of candles to give romance a little push. These suggestions will do the trick too.
1. Write a thank you note
We tend to take it for granted when our partner does something for us. That’s a real shame, because recent research from the University of Texas and the University of Chicago shows that a thank you note now and then has a very positive effect on the receiver. You bet they will appreciate it when you write them a thank you note – thanking them for the great food, the beautiful flowers or, even better, just for being there.
Make it more special and send them a postcard, put your note in the pocket of their coat or lunch box. Showing your gratitude often doesn’t just make your partner feel better about your relationship, it also has a positive effect on you. Win-win, right?
2. Plan a date
Make something special out of date night. Don’t just mark it in your diary, but organize all of it, and keep it a secret to them. It makes you feel excited, because you’re curious what they’ll think – and it makes them excited, because they don’t know what the day or night will bring.
3. Try something new
Going to the movies, having dinner at your favorite restaurant or doing a Netflix marathon is fun and good for your relationship. But exciting? Not really. Suggest to try something both of you haven’t done yet. If you guys have been talking about kite surfing, salsa dancing or sky diving, now is the time to do it.
4. Touch them more often
Touching sends a signal to the brain that stimulates feelings of love. It has to do with a hormone: oxytocin. An intense cuddle of about 20 seconds creates a big dose of oxytocin. If you give your loved one a sincere cuddle a few times a day, it will make the two of you more connected in the long run.
5. Flirt through text messages
Spending all the time you share on your phone, doesn’t have a great effect on your relationship. But why not use technology to your advantage? A sweet or naughty message can make a boring day into a special one.
6. Make an effort with your looks
Of course, after a long day at work, track pants or yoga leggings are tempting. But did you even think about wearing that when you guys just met? Of course, love isn’t all about looks, but making an effort to look attractive every once in a while is a good idea. On an average Monday or Wednesday, put on your best clothes, wear some make up, do your hair, spray your favorite perfume and appear at the dinner table. Surprise!
7. Create little rituals
In the morning, turn on the coffee machine when your love is in the shower, make them their favorite breakfast on a Sunday: repeating certain little gestures makes them into rituals. Everytime you repeat it, you show you still love them as much as you ever did.
Being in the here and now
It’s not a gesture, but a change of behavior. And it’s probably more of an effort than writing a thank you note or putting on your best dress. But it’s worth it, because living in the here and now can give your relationship a real boost. If you put the past and the future aside, you see your partner exactly the way they are right now and your perspective isn’t blurred by memories. Just like when you just met. Hello, butterflies!
Text: Sanne Eva Dijkstra - Photo: Sweet Ice Cream Photography