How To Bring Butterflies Back To Your Long-Term Relationship

A therapist's tried-and-true routines for rekinding that "sparkly" feeling.

Couple embracing each other in the morning, bringing butterflies back into relationship MAOIKO | Shutterstock

Can you easily and quickly bring romance back into your relationship — even after many years (and maybe many kids)? Yes, it is possible! But first, you have to start by identifying what caused the romance to end in the first place. What got in the way of feeling "lit up" inside? Are there heavy issues you need to resolve?

Once you've worked on those (or found a way to let them go), try adding these seven simple routines back into your daily life. You'll be surprised how easily that loving feeling comes back!


Seven ways to bring butterflies back to your relationship

1. Take notice of your partner

When we know someone so intimately, it's easy to forget to ask about simple things like how their day was. Even if there's nothing important to say, it's still vital to share these everyday things. It's all about showing your partner that you care.

Close couple hug and laugh to keep a long-term relationship JLco Julia Amaral via Shutterstock


2. Go on a couples retreat

Why not book a weekend retreat at a spa and wellness center, or go camping together? A change in surroundings can set the scene for romance.

RELATED: Taking This Specific Trip With Your Partner Is The Secret To Lasting Love

3. Don't rely on gifts

Flowers and chocolate are adorable and loved. But if the only time we receive these gifts is an apology for doing something wrong, the relationship becomes transactional. By giving her these items, you're shutting down any opportunity to address the real issue by talking about it.

The next time you frustrate your partner, gift them your attention. Save the flowers and chocolate for when they'll be a surprise.


4. Touch each other

Physical contact is the best way to show intimacy. Simply holding your partner's hand, playing with her hair, or resting your hand on her leg will tell her that you enjoy her company. Just don't create the expectation that every time you touch her, it should lead to sex.

RELATED: True Intimacy Comes From One Particular Kind Of Touching

5. Go on a date

Dates shouldn't only be on special occasions. Go out more often. You'll find the change in surroundings adds excitement and makes it much easier to talk. It doesn't have to be somewhere expensive, just somewhere you haven't been a thousand times before.


6. Surprise your partner

Planning and organization are the enemy of romance. To set your partner off, you need to bring some spontaneity back into your relationship. Surprise your loved one with tickets to a show or take her on a picnic.

RELATED: What The People You Love Really Want From You, According To Research

7. Take time apart

This may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes time apart is the healthiest way to rekindle a relationship. Give your partner the space to satisfy their hobbies and pass-times. After time apart, they won't be able to wait until they're back in your arms.

There are many possible reasons for romance to fade away:

  • You discover your partner's deep dark secret, and you find you are unable to recover from this.
  • You or your partner has a history of trauma, physical or mental abuse, and the after-effects are resurfacing.
  • You chose this partner on the rebound when you had broken up with someone else who you loved.
  • Your love styles do not match and one pushes for intimacy (physical or emotional), while the other pulls away.
  • You feel disappointed, hurt, betrayed, angry, frustrated at work, with your partner, or with your life and lifestyle.

If the love is still there, still strong and neither of you wants to break up, here are some tactics that can bring both of you back into a romantic state of mind.

Every couple experiences ups and downs in their relationship. When you've been with the same person for many years, the excitement will inevitably subside and you'll be intimate less frequently.

The worst thing you can do is to assume that there's nothing that can be done. There are plenty of ways to bring romance back into a long-term relationship. You just have to make a few small changes.


Super happy couple got the butterflies back in their relationship Gonzagon via Shutterstock

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Erica Goodstone, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, marriage counselor, certified sex therapist, somatic body psychotherapist, and board certified life, health and wellness coach.