Relationship challenges, conflicts, and concerns can cause partners to feel that the initial “spark” of love has gone. When couples say they no longer feel a “spark,” it may mean that they’re missing the initial feeling of infatuation or that long-term commitment has become challenging.
Meeting your partner and falling in love may have felt exciting, new, and intense. You might have felt that it was the only factor in your life. However, as time goes on, you could notice that you see more of your partner’s flaws or that you focus more on other areas of your life without thinking of them.
Studies show that there are several stages of love that couples can go through. Many people feel they are losing the spark after passing through the initial stages. However, there are ways to reconnect with intimacy in all the stages of love. Although relationships can struggle, they can also often be repaired. Moving past the initial stages of your love doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship must end.
What Is The “Spark?”
When you think of a literal spark, you might think of a bright flash of orange light that creates heat and can start a fire. A “spark” in a relationship might feel warm, exciting, or like the beginning of something new and intense. You may feel that the spark is your initial attraction and the fire resulting represents your love and relationship.
However, the fire might feel overwhelming. It could get out of control or burn. In a metaphorical sense, losing a spark and feeling burned by a relationship could mean conflict or the realization that you have committed to a situation that requires hard work and care. With some work, you may get a healthy metaphorical fire going in your relationship or marriage.
What Makes A Spark Disappear?
How to know when love is gone? After some time, you may notice that the feelings you once felt for your partner has subsided. Maybe you feel a new type of love or comfort with your partner, or perhaps you wonder if you love them at all. Although losing infatuation and excitement in your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t love your partner, you may want to reflect on what has changed. It is important to see what caused the spark to be gone before it turns into empty love.
Your Relationship Stage Has Changed
It can be normal for relationships to change over time. As you become more comfortable and familiar with the other person, you might feel calmer, more content, and, at times, bored. You may not feel excited to see their name pop up in a text message but feel happy when you come home from work and see their smile. Even if you love them intensely, you might feel that they have become part of your routine.
You’ve Become Busy With Other Areas Of Life
You might also get caught up in other responsibilities in your life and have difficulty finding time for your partner. You and your partner might have jobs, bills, children, chores, and other responsibilities to turn your attention to. Your feelings for your partner may change, and you might stop making attempts to connect.
Noticing Your Partner’s Flaws
When initial feelings of infatuation start to wear off, you might notice imperfections in your partner. You may notice them to the point that you struggle to remember why you fell in love and the positive qualities your partner possesses.
You’re Experiencing Conflicts
For some couples, recurrent conflicts might make the “spark” disappear. If you and your partner struggle to communicate, you might feel tired of fighting and emotionally try to detach yourself from the relationship to avoid conflict.
Tips For Getting The Spark Back
There are a few ways you may go about getting the spark back in your relationship and increasing intimacy with your partner.
Focus On The Minor Details
Maintaining or reclaiming the spark may be about focusing on the relationship in meaningful ways, even if they are brief or minor. Consider finding daily or weekly ways you can make your partner smile. For example, you could try the following:
- Leaving them a good-morning note by their toothbrush
- Texting them a song that makes you think of them
- Stopping by their workplace with a midday pick-me-up
- Making plans for an old-fashioned date on the weekend
- Going to the spot you met
- Creating a photobook of memories
- Telling them that you love them each night before bed
- Texting them a paragraph about how much you care about them while they’re at work
Try to devise a list of minor surprises to show them you care. Consider their love language when coming up with ways to show love. For example, if their love language is words of affirmation, you could write a small letter and leave it on their car’s windshield for them to find in the morning.
No matter what you do to surprise and treat your loved one, do your best to be thoughtful. If they are stressed out over work, springing plans for a long date night might feel stressful to them. Freshly made coffee and an encouraging word in the morning might feel more comforting, based on the situation and your partner’s personality.
Work On Forgiveness
Relationships can be complicated. In the long term, you and your partner may grow as people and make mistakes. Mistakes and arguments can be a natural part of being close to someone. Although constant fighting, arguing, and yelling are unhealthy, if you have conflicts throughout the years, you may find forgiving your partner and yourself rewarding.
If there’s something you haven’t apologized for, consider telling your partner that you feel remorseful for your past actions and want to improve your connection. They might appreciate the effort and apologize in return. If you struggle to have an open conversation about past conflicts, consider reaching out to a couples counselor to facilitate the conversation. Sitting on conflicts for an extended period may cause you to feel distant from your significant other.
Have Fun With Each Other
Life can get busy, and you might find that you go a few months or years without having fun with your partner as you used to. Studies show that laughter reduces stress. Consider planning a fun and unique date activity for you and your partner to try, such as a comedy show, comedy movie night, or a camping adventure. You might find that you have fun and laugh a lot.
If you’re unsure what dates to go on or how to have fun when you’re busy, consider creating a date night jar. You can do so through the following steps:
- Get a large glass or wooden jar with a lid.
- Cut up 50-200 small pieces of paper about the length and width of your thumb.
- Write down a date idea on each one. If you need inspiration, look at lists and articles online. Consider free, low-cost, and high-cost dates and color code the papers if you want to be able to tell the difference.
- Fold the papers and add them to your jar.
- When it’s date night, pull out a paper and do the activity on the paper.
If you pull a paper with an expensive or impossible activity, you can pull another.
Improve Your Communication Skills
Studies show that commitment in a relationship may not go as far as communication. Healthily communicating with your partner can help you resolve conflicts, express emotions, and increase intimacy. Try to reevaluate how you and your partner communicate. For example, one of you might prefer in-the-moment conversation, while the other might require time to get their thoughts in order before talking. In some cases, differing attachment styles may make understanding each other’s emotions and reactions difficult.
If you struggle with communication, you might benefit from couples therapy or a couples’ workshop. There may also be a communication course for couples in your area. Try an online search and see what comes up.
Talk To A Therapist
Some individuals may believe that pursuing couples therapy means a relationship must end or that there is no hope. However, reaching out for support can be brave and may help you make changes. Studies show that 70% of couples who tried couples therapy found improvements in their relationship up to three years after their first session.
A therapist can help you and your significant other learn new skills to improve your relationship. They can facilitate conversations within a safe and monitored environment if you struggle with communication. These skills may help you re-ignite your spark and feel intimate and close.
If you and your partner are busy with work, family life, or other responsibilities, you can also try couples therapy online. A meta-analysis of nine studies found that emotionally focused couples therapy resulted in sustained improvements in marital satisfaction. If you feel couples therapy could help you reconnect with your partner, you can try an online platform like BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples.
Online therapy can be flexible, so you can arrange couples’ sessions according to your mutual availability or pursue individual therapy on your own time. If you’re uncomfortable with therapy or don’t know what to expect, you can also start in live chat sessions and move into phone or video chat sessions as you feel comfortable.
I have had my first few appointments with Karen. I find these to be most helpful and supportive. Her expertise has moved me to clarity and has been a good sounding board for me. I feel like I’m finally getting unstuck in my marriage.
I’ve never had counseling before so I don’t have a base to compare, but I will say that I do feel like Christi hears me, and gives me practical ways to deal with my emotions and/or gives me ideas on ways to solve my problems. She always asks for clarification before giving me a response when talking about big issues, and she is always respectful and engaged with what I have to say. I would recommend her to others in need of therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
For examples of questions that might be beneficial to explore in therapy, please see below.
What to do when the spark has gone?
Is it normal for a relationship to lose its spark?
Can you get the spark back?
Should you break up if there is no spark?
Why do spark fade in a relationship?
How do I make him feel the spark again?
What causes loss of attraction?
How long does romantic spark last?
How do you know love is fading?
Can a guy who lost interest come back?
How do you revive a dying relationship?
How to make him want you by ignoring him?
Can someone fall back in love with you?
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