In so many couples, feelings of connection and passion disappear over time. The relationship or marriage slides sadly downhill. Researchers estimate that even after a few short years, many couples go on autopilot. In fact, they fail to connect in any kind of present-time, intimate, sexy way. And they drift apart, often to the point of breakup or divorce. But there is great news! These four hacks can actually start reigniting passion and save the relationship.
Remember, how you first fell in love with each other—while you were going out on dates that were fun? So the first question is “What can we do to keep having fun together?” Here are four hacks that can reignite passion: quiet enjoyment, humorous, exciting and novel activities.
Reigniting Passion: 4 Hacks that Rekindle the Fire: Quiet Enjoyment
First off, create situations and interactions where you are happy, content, enjoying yourself and having fun. And your partner is too. Share activities like museum exhibits, plays, movies, picnics, day trips, long walks on trails or in parks. Try lounging in front of the TV and watching an entire season of that sci-fi or comedy series that you both love. These activities inevitably lead to holding hands, touching, looking at and appreciating each other. In fact, the quieter alone-time activities produce the hormone oxytocin which is the bonding and attachment hormone.
Quieter activities for your down-times together are perfect for couples that lead stressful lives. Either because of work or family responsibilities like children or sick parents. If you want to really bond with a highly stressed partner, try not to run him/her around too much and make affectionate contact so he/she slows his motor down. I’m not saying you should never go to a club and stay out all night or go bungee jumping. There’s a place for that as well. But for bonding, there’s nothing like being alone and hanging out doing something you both really enjoy.
Reigniting Passion: 4 Hacks that Rekindle the Fire: Humor and Shared Laughter
Laughter is the closest distance between two people.
Second, make sure you watch funny movies or more sophisticated cartoons, go to comedy shows, joke around or share funny moments of teasing or clowning. Shared laughter is a great stress-reliever and bonding agent. Humor can be used to validate the other person or for you to make fun of yourself as different ways of showing appreciation. It can break through and defuse your arguments and soothe upset or bitter feelings. So for these reasons and more, shared humor has been shown by research to be a key component of happy marriages.
Reigniting Passion: 4 Hacks that Rekindle the Fire: Exciting Adventures
Third, (and I didn’t forget you thrill-seekers!), go on exciting outings that get the adrenaline pumping. These activities simulate the speedy brain chemistry of falling-in-love. So, hit the amusement park, go bungee jumping, take a helicopter ride, hike a high mountainous trail, or scream yourselves silly at a basketball game. Or play strip poker. In fact, studies show that people who are emotionally aroused by any feeling, including joy or fear fall in love more easily. As two love researchers once wrote, “Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder.”
Reigniting Passion: 4 Hacks that Rekindle the Fire: Novelty
Finally, do novel activities together. Novelty has been shown to be a key factor in developing personal and relationship satisfaction. It helps to produce dopamine, the neurotransmitter of pleasure. Change things up like where you eat dinner, where you make out or have sex, or where you go on vacation. In fact, do something crazy like a cross-country road trip or go camping at the beach instead of staying at a hotel.
So make sure you continue to have fun with your partner. I’ve shared four different ways and there are others! The most important takeaway is this. If you and your partner each take 100% of the responsibility for making fun happen, then it’ll happen. And you can fall in love all over again!