One of the first questions that I ask couples when they come to see me is, “what first attracted you to each other?” Guess how many times that question leads exactly to what their current problem is? It is related almost 100% of the time. You remember what your spouse used to be like back in the beginning when things were great and you want to have that back! To bring the honeymoon phase back to your relationship (and have it stay for good), you need to remember these things:
#1 What did you do for fun?
Enjoyment and novelty are key to a satisfying relationship. Without fun the relationship gets dull and boring. What did you in the beginning that you both enjoyed? If you had a lot more date nights or enjoyed a simple walk every now and then, figure out ways to start bringing those things back in to your relationship.
#2 Who took initiative?
In the beginning, remember who took initiative and planned activities/dates. Without one person taking initiative, the relationship goes stale and next thing you know, you aren’t having ANY fun. Usually the person who first took initiative is the person who should keep taking initiative (this is what worked well during the honeymoon phase). But if you never liked that arrangement, make sure you have an agreement about who will come up with things to do for that week.
#3 What were you physically attracted to?
There are features that you appreciated about your partner: their eyes, their physique, their facial features.. Take the time to admire those attributes again. Look them in the eyes, admire their body, smile at them and be grateful that they are yours! Bringing your attention back to your attraction will likely spark a romantic chemistry again too.
#4 When did you feel chemistry?
Remember the times that you felt chemistry – whether that was during conversation, while cuddling, or watching a movie together. Bring back old habits to re-ignite that chemistry. A lot of people will insist that chemistry comes naturally. Long-term married couples KNOW that chemistry takes effort.
#5 How did you talk to each other?
- Interest and tone are most important!
- Interest – Do you remember maintaining eye contact, being focused on this new person in your life? They are still that interesting person that you knew and loved. If you’re telling yourself that your partner is not that interesting, then “fake it ‘till you make it.” What I mean is, at least pretend to be interested by keeping your eyes on them and asking engaging questions. Later on, you’ll ACTUALLY become engaged again. (Extra tip – put your phone away during conversations!)
- Tone – How did you talk to your partner when you first met? Likely in a caring, joking/fun, or nurturing way. If there is one complaint that I hear most about communication, it is that the tone is terrible. Use a calm and caring tone of voice during conversation and you will see your communication take off in ways that it never has before. Also, use joking and fun to enhance rough times or tension-filled conversations.
There are 5 things to remember about your honeymoon phase to make sure you keep that type of love throughout your relationship. Remember what you did for fun. Figure out who needs to take initiative again to decide on activities or dates. Bring your attention back to what you are attracted to in your partner. CREATE chemistry through doing the things that used to spark the chemistry. Finally, talk to each other in an interested, caring, or joking/fun way.
About The Author
Chris Cummins is a couples counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He focuses on working with with couples in high conflict and couples who are experiencing substance abuse. Living in Colorado, Chris enjoys hiking traveling and anything else outdoors.