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As 4th of July celebrations light up the sky with dazzling displays, they can serve as a reminder of the sparks that once flew between you and your partner. Just like a spectacular fireworks show, maintaining the excitement and passion in a partnership requires effort and creativity. If you feel the fireworks in your relationship have fizzled out, you might be wondering if it’s time to consider marriage therapy*. But don’t worry—there are effective ways to reignite that spark that don’t require that level of expense or time commitment.

In this article, we’ll explore three strategies to bring back the fireworks in your relationship: scheduling sex, traveling through time, and switching up your routine. These approaches can help you reconnect with your partner and reignite the passion that initially brought you together.

Schedule Sex

It may sound unromantic, but scheduling sex can actually be a great way to make sparks fly in your relationship. Life is busy, and it can be difficult to find time to connect physically with your partner, especially if you are only looking for a spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment interaction. This becomes even more true as you add in different factors like kids, conflicting work schedules, hobbies, and other things that take up time throughout the week.

Scheduling sex can help you more intentionally connect as a couple, which can help you stay out of marriage therapy.

Making an effort to prioritize your sexual relationship can help you and your partner connect emotionally, feel more in-synch with one another, recommit and reignite your love for each other, and keep that love burning bright over time—all of which will help you stay out of marriage therapy. And while scheduling time for sex may remove some of the spontaneity, there are other ways to keep it fun and fresh, such as flirting and building anticipation leading up to that scheduled time together. Here are a few techniques you might try:

  • On the day you and your partner plan to have sex together, spend the hours leading up to the event sending flirty texts to let them know how excited you are to be with them.
  • Spend some time fantasizing about how you might like your time together to go. Share your fantasies with each other and then make those fantasies a reality!
  • Take a little time to set the mood by lighting candles, slipping into your favorite lingerie, turning on some music, etc.

Time Travel

One of the greatest tools that we have to create fireworks in our relationship is our brain, and one of its many tricks is its ability to work outside of the constraints of time. Think about it: at any moment, your brain has the power to take you outside of the present, and move your consciousness to another place and time. While this sometimes can get in the way of connecting authentically with your partner (e.g., thinking about tomorrow’s to-do list while your partner is sharing about their difficult day), it also can be used to your advantage. And you don’t need marriage therapy to teach you how!

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Here are ways you can unlock the power of your time-traveling brain to get the fire going in your relationship:

  • Past (Reminiscing): Memories are often closely connected to our emotions. Because of this, remembering times when we felt closely connected to our partner can help us rekindle the love we feel for them. Try tapping into the past through:
    • Telling the story of how you fell in love with your partner
    • Recreating your favorite date you’ve been on together
    • Looking through old photo albums or digital photo collections and reminiscing about the moments captured
    • Revisiting the place where you first met or had your first date
    • Sharing your favorite memories of your partner and what made those moments special
    • Listening to music or watching movies that you both loved during the early stages of your relationship.
  • Future (Dream Together): Envisioning a future together is an important indicator of a couple’s commitment and relationship health. When you can see yourself being with your partner for a long time, it motivates you to be a better partner and leads you to invest in your connection. Thinking about your future also can be a fun exercise to get you feeling excited about your relationship! You can dream together about your future by:
    • Creating a relationship bucket list
    • Planning a trip together to celebrate your love
    • Talking about your hopes and dreams for your future together
    • Hopping on Zillow and doing some dream house shopping together.
  • Present (Mindfulness): Don’t neglect the power of the present! Research has recently shown that mindfulness is an incredibly powerful tool for deepening love and connection in relationships. Being present in the moment can:

Mindfulness is something you can learn and practice at home without having to pay for marriage therapy. And there are lots of ways you can incorporate it into your daily life, including meditation, grounding exercises, keeping a gratitude journal, deep breathing, slowing down, spending time in nature, and identifying your feelings while avoiding judgment. Just remember that being mindful takes practice, so be patient with yourself and your partner.

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Switch Up Your Routine

Another way that our brain impacts our relationship with our partner is through its response to novelty. Our brains naturally seek out things that are different and new—it’s an important adaptation that keeps us safe, helps us learn, and promotes efficiency in our day-to-day life. Because of this, however, routine can sometimes get in the way of feeling the fireworks in our relationships. Instead of letting the monotony get you down, try giving your brain something to get excited about by implementing one of these ways to introduce variety into your relationship routines: 

  • Plan Surprise Date Nights: Take turns planning surprise dates for each other. The anticipation and unpredictability can rekindle excitement.
  • Learn Something New Together: Take a cooking class, learn a new language, or try a new sport. Shared learning experiences can create new memories and strengthen your connection.
  • Spend Time Together Unplugged from Technology: If you aren’t relying on tv or phones to do the talking for you, you may find yourselves reconnecting in a more meaningful way.
  • Indulge in Random Acts of Kindness: Surprise your partner with small gestures of love and appreciation. A handwritten note, a favorite snack, or an unexpected hug can make a big difference.
  • Pretend Like You’ve Never Met: Go out on a date and pretend like you’ve never met before. Asking questions and getting to know your partner all over again could send you falling head over heels!
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By incorporating these strategies into your relationship, you can reignite the passion and excitement that may have fizzled out over time, even if marriage therapy isn’t an option right now. Whether it’s scheduling intimate moments, reminiscing about your past, dreaming about your future, or breaking free from routine, these approaches can help you reconnect with your partner on a deeper level. Remember, relationships require effort and creativity to keep the spark alive. Embrace the challenge with an open heart and mind, and watch as your connection transforms into a vibrant and enduring love story. Celebrate each other, nurture your bond, and let the fireworks in your relationship light up your lives once again.

*Marriage therapy can be an incredibly valuable resource for many couples who are struggling to connect. However, we also understand that it can be expensive and feel out of reach for many. If you and your partner find yourself struggling, consider theR3 Academy for Couples as a free alternative to marriage therapy for enhancing your relationship communication and strengthening your connection.