How to Love Someone When it Feels Like the Spark is Gone
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated September 27, 2021
If you're struggling in your relationship right now, it may be because the “spark” is gone. When you first met your partner, you were likely infatuated with them—couldn't think of anyone else and wanted to spend all your time with them, day in and day out. But now, some weeks, months, or years later, those feelings of infatuation have dissipated, and you might be wondering if it's time to call it quits. Before you jump to any decisions, though, take some time to learn how to love someone when it feels like the spark is gone.
What Is The Spark?
The “spark” is the typical experience of excitement and infatuation at the beginning of a relationship. You feel a sort of chemistry with the other person. It's exciting!
You might get the feeling of butterflies in your stomach. You likely think about them nonstop. When you hear someone mention their name, your heart starts to beat faster. You can't imagine anyone more perfect for you. You don't see any flaws even if other people try to point them out to you.
This is what the spark feels like. It's a fantastic feeling. And it's one of the reasons why so many people like being in a relationship. The feelings at the beginning are exciting and can even make you feel like anything is possible.
What Makes The Spark Disappear?
Even with those incredible feelings at the start of a relationship, though, time passes, and you might wake up one morning wondering what became of your passion for your partner. Many different things can contribute to why you might not feel the spark in your relationship anymore.
One reason why you don't feel it is because it's perfectly typical for the feeling of your relationship to change as it grows and matures. As you become more comfortable and familiar with the other person, you might start to lose those butterflies in your stomach. When they're a normal part of your life, you stop feeling so excited when you hear their name mentioned. They become normal to you. Even if they are an important part of your life, your relationship is not a new and exciting thing anymore.
It's also easy to get caught up in all the other things that are going on in life and lose track of the things you loved about that other person in the beginning. Depending on how long you’ve been together, there might be jobs, bills, children, chores, and a long list of other things that need your attention. If you don't focus on your relationship with your significant other, then your feelings will start to change.
Also, when those initial feelings start to wear off and you start to notice the imperfections that you previously missed, you can end up focusing on them too much. When you do this, it's easy to start overlooking the things that they're doing right and all the reasons why you fell in love with them in the first place.
Why Do You Love Someone?
It's important to remember why you love someone. If you want your relationship to endure after the initial stage of falling in love, when the spark has worn off, you need to know what to build your relationship on.
If you were in the relationship just for the initial attraction and the excitement that it brings, then it's not going to work. In order for a relationship to last past those early stages, you have to have something bigger to build a foundation on.
This is the first step in learning how to love someone when the spark is gone. You need to rediscover why you fell for them in the first place.
Tips On How To Love Someone When There Is No Spark
Get It Back
No, you aren't really going to be able to reclaim the exact same level that you experienced in the beginning stage of your relationship. However, that doesn't mean that you can't maintain any spark throughout the duration of your relationship.
Sometimes, maintaining or reclaiming the spark is about focusing on the relationship in meaningful ways, even if they are brief or small. Leave your significant other a good-morning note by their toothbrush, for example, or bring home a favorite treat for the two of you to share for dessert or a late-night snack. Text them a song that makes you think of them, stop by their workplace with a midday pick-me-up, or make plans for an old-fashioned date on the weekend. You don’t need to go all-out right away; try to think of a few small surprises that will make their day and let them know you love to see them happy.
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 not be the pleasant surprise you think it is. Freshly made coffee and an encouraging word in the morning might go a lot further in showing your affection.
Hopefully, if you initiate these small steps, your partner will follow your lead and reciprocate with their own acts of affection. Knowing someone is thinking of you and trying to make you smile can be exciting and attractive. It might even bring a spark of its own.
Get Better At Forgiving
Relationships are a lot of work, and people are imperfect. That means that somewhere along the way, partners are probably going to do things or say things that they shouldn't. Mistakes, and even intentional arguments, are natural parts of any close relationship. If you want your love to last past that spark, you need to work on forgiving. Holding grudges will not do anything to help your relationship.
Remember, too, that you might unintentionally offend or hurt your partner at some point, and they need to be given the opportunity to forgive you in turn. Along with getting better at forgiving your partner, you need to be prepared and ready to offer your own "I'm sorry" when needed—and mean it.
Have Fun With Each Other
Life is busy, and it can be easy to get caught up in the busyness. When this happens, you start doing the things that you “need to do” but not necessarily giving your relationship the time and attention that it also needs. At the beginning of a relationship, you spend time going out on dates and doing things that you both enjoy. As a relationship continues it's easy to get caught up in obligations and let your mutual interests slide.
If you want your relationship to thrive again, do your best to set aside time that you two can spend together doing things that you enjoy. This will look different for every couple; some might prefer romantic nights together at home, while others might enjoy outdoor activities or sports. Volunteering for a cause you both want to support could be particularly rewarding. You might find a whole new interest to pursue together. The activity that you do isn't the important part. The intentional quality time that you spend together is.
Learn To Communicate Better
Improving one’s communication skills can go a long way in making a relationship work. When the spark is gone, you might want to reevaluate how you and your partner communicate (or don’t) with each other. Do you prefer face-to-face conversations in the moment, but they prefer time to reflect first? Are each of you describing what you feel and changes you’d like to make, instead of listing what the other person did wrong and has to change?
Communication is crucial to understanding, and especially in a long-term romantic relationship, feeling understood will allow each of you to care more fully for each other. It will also help you to get through disagreements without turning them into major fights.
Talk To A Therapist
Some people think that pursuing therapy, either as an individual or in couples therapy, means that a relationship is all but over, but this is not the case. Many couples with successful, long-lasting relationships have been able to sustain their spark precisely because of therapy sessions that have helped them maintain the relationship’s health. A therapist is able to help you and your significant other learn important skills that can improve your relationship. If you're struggling with the idea of ending a relationship because you feel like the spark is gone, talk to a therapist before rushing into that decision.
A therapist or counselor may be able to help you see the relationship challenges you're facing in new ways. They can help you work through your thoughts and feelings so that you can decide your best steps going forward. Just because you feel like the spark is gone doesn't mean it's time to give up. A recent meta-analysis of nine studies found that emotionally focused couples therapy resulted in sustained improvements in marital satisfaction—meaning that once the spark was reignited, it remained strong. If you think that counseling with a mental health professional through an online therapy service like BetterHelp could help you rediscover the spark in your relationship, then you can pursue help today.
Online therapy is flexible, so you can arrange couples sessions according to you and your partner’s mutual availability or pursue individual therapy on your own time. It is also more affordable than in-person therapy, making it accessible even if finances are also straining your relationship. Keep in mind, too, that relationship maintenance is just as important as the work you put into other essentials of your life, like home maintenance. If you would call a plumber to fix a leak, then it simply makes sense to work with a knowledgeable, caring counselor to fix an issue within your relationship. Consider these reviews from BetterHelp users who have used online therapy services to strengthen their relationships.
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 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 response when talking about big issues, and she is always respectful and engaged with what I have to say. I would definitely recommend her to others in need of therapy.
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