Love

A Marriage Expert Explains How To Bring Actual Love Back To Your Relationship In 16 Sweet Steps

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how bring love back to marriage

By Casey Caston  

When my wife Meygan and I got married, I honestly thought our love would never fade. There was so much passion in our relationship that we must have been on some kind of love high.

Remember how sweet and passionate things were when you were first dating? I'm sure those days included a lot of handholding, kissing, cuddling, date nights, surprises, gifts, and dreaming together.

Those were the days when you couldn't get enough of each other and wanted to spend every waking moment in their arms.

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Fast forward past our wedding day, the honeymoon, and years of marriage. There are kids, bills, piles of laundry, meetings at work, and a never-ending to-do list. We're exhausted. Maybe you can see yourself in our love story.

Has handholding been replaced with pointing fingers? Has conversation been replaced with silence? Has a connection been replaced with loneliness?

We like to geek out about marriage, so we put together some powerful yet simple marriage tips to renew that passion you had in the beginning, all of which will help you learn how to fall back in love ... again.

But first, let me explain why this is important. Dr. John Gottman, the nation's leading marriage researcher, suggests that couples hoping to spark romance need to turn toward each other even when they don't feel like it. Yes, even when you're exhausted or irritated.

Friendship is absolutely essential to thriving marriages. In relationships that thrive, partners consistently make and receive bids for positive connections. It does take work, but it is so worth it.

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16 practical ways for you to reignite your love

1. Schedule a next date night and keep the plans a surprise

The anticipation will spark a renewed sense of fun.

2. Practice the daily 60-second blessing

This is a daily habit of affirming the positive qualities you see in each other.

You begin by speaking 60 seconds of encouragement to your spouse. Once you’re finished, your spouse spends the next 60 seconds sharing what they love about you. It’s that simple!

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3. Send flirty texts to each other throughout the day

Trust me, your partner will appreciate it.

   

   

4. Make foreplay a priority

Make more room in your calendar to make out before jumping into the hot and heavy stuff.

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5. Be affectionate and playful with each other in front of others

It's not enough to just brag to each other in private, it's significant to compliment your spouse in public — and do the little things that remind one another of your bond.

6. Start a new hobby together

Brainstorm some ideas and create a list of shared interests.

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7. Show appreciation by saying 'thank you' and 'I appreciate all you do'

This goes a long way in showing respect to each other.

8. Take a walk hand in hand

Nothing gets the blood moving and the connection juices flowing like taking a walk around the block.

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9. Focus on the positive qualities of each other by writing them down 

Better yet, write it on Post-it notes and stick them up around the house where your spouse will find the spontaneous expressions of love and appreciation.

   

   

10. Plan a vacation together — no kids allowed

It doesn't even have to be extravagant, but time alone is so important.

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11. Dream together

This helps build security. Have you created a dream board where you jot down your goals or things you want to do together? Might be a good way to start.

12. Pay attention to your spouse more than you pay attention to your phone and TV

Less screen time, more face time.

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13. Reminisce about your favorite moments together by pulling out old photos

Nothing like honeymoon pictures to remind you of why you fell in love in the first place!

14. Learn something new about your spouse

Play a game of 20 questions, or Never Have I Ever. Make it a fun journey into the past or delve into one another's deepest aspirations for the future. Create a lifetime "bucket list" together and surprise one another with your list of items.

RELATED: 50 Relationship Questions To Deepen Your Special Bond

15. Buy a new board game and have a game night together

Scrabble is fun. So is Trivial Pursuit. Want to change it up? Go for Cards Against Humanity or two-handed poker. The point is to spend time together spread out on the floor or at the kitchen table playing a 2-player game, just enjoying each other's company.

   

   

16. Learn something new about your relationship

Ask one another to tell a secret that no one else would know. Then reverse it — what do you wish your partner knew about you?

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Casey and Meygan Caston are the founders of Marriage365, a nonprofit dedicated to helping couples connect on a deeper level. They reach two million couples around the world each month with their resources.

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This article was originally published at The Gottman Institute. Reprinted with permission from the author.