Smart Ways to Rekindle a Stale Relationship


Spring 2024

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Everybody wants to be in love. Everyone wants to find “the perfect partner.” But when that dream has been checked off your bucket list, what happens when you look at your once-upon-a-time true-love, and think: why don’t I feel the same way about this person, anymore?

Relationships take effort to build. From the beginning, as you experience the thrill of having found your Prince Charming/Princess Guinevere, you’re elated, as you discover your new friend and lover. Nothing can replicate that newfound passion, fresh intimacy, and sexual exploration. But relationships evolve. What was new at the beginning, becomes old, eventually.

If you truly know your relationship is beyond repair,  if therapy has proven hopeless for coming back to each other, that’s one thing.  However, if you’ve just slid into a smidgen of routine, boredom, and blasé, there are ways to try to rekindle the staleness.

Additionally, if the bones of your love are genuine, and if you’re both willing to undertake the work necessary, you truly can find your way back to the relationship which once had you both flourishing and muttering sweet nothings to each other, all the time. This is no nonchalant arbitrary matter of “we will both try.” You need to recognize together that feelings have dwindled, efforts have indeed come to a standstill, and sadness is descending, as the sacred special relationship you’d both dreamed of establishing, is feeling, well, boring. 

  • Plan Together

If you come up with a plan together, for you both to implement, that is already one giant leap forward, for mankind and womankind. Stay tuned in, emotionally!

  • Reintroduce the Surprise Element

Remember how you used to surprise each other, with small notes, gifts, or surprises? You were trying to impress each other, back then. Can you focus on trying to win each other over, all over again? You’re more familiar, so the search-and-find can be a bit more innovative. Anticipate the smile you’ll see. People love when a partner has made an effort. It can be  tickets to the ballet, a late-night scary movie at a film festival, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the scope and the grandiose nature of your effort. 

  • Put Your Phones Away                                                                                                                                     

Texts can wait until morning.  Cute dog videos from your Bestie do not need immediate viewing. Don’t talk about the kids! Once upon a time, a couple went to dinner, talked, held hands across a candlelit table, looked and listened to each other, and it was apparent they truly wanted to be there. You both need to prioritize each other, and unless a relative is on her/his last leg, put those crazy communication devices away. Besides, being available 24/7 to everyone, and being accountable for every text/email is getting old.

  • Communicate Effectively

Many people proclaim: “ Forgive and forget,”but in the case of a betrayal, for example, some people need a partner to really hear how severely they’ve been hurt, the level of trust they’ve lost, and the terror they have, that the behaviour will repeat itself. When anyone says to “Just forget” something, it truly discounts the emotional pain of the person suffering. 

  • People Never Forget 

Especially, if the incident had such a profound effect on them. If the feelings are acknowledged, if an apology is sincere, and if there’s more discussion about the reasons for a transgression, perhaps the relationship could progress. But the guilty must pay for his/her crime, by noticing  how it impacted the relationship, and coming forth with a commitment that it won’t happen again. This needs to be said. For many, this is non-negotiable. When repairing a relationship, you need straightforward answers. If the cheating party cannot commit, then he/she has to be honest, and admit that. 

  • Change the Mundane Routines

Send sunflowers when unexpected, meet midday for a coffee, or book a day in the country, purchase your partner’s favourite bread.  You used to demonstrate efforts, but perhaps you reached a point where you felt you’d already proven that, and the treasure hunts ceased. You not only stopped looking for the cute daisy candies your partner loves, but you also stopped acknowledging when he/she has spent 3 hours making a seven-layer vegan lasagna, adding nutritional yeast to meet your protein needs! Taking each other for granted is a surefire relationship-killer, but it’s very common.

  • Show Appreciation

Start saying “thank you” even for small stuff, as you yourself find things to do, so you too can get acknowledged and thanked. This plan needs to be mutually implemented.

Cheryl Struzer | Contributor

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