3 Unsexy Ways To Immediately Rekindle Romance

Photo: Sarah Noltner on Unsplash
tools to rekindle romance in your relationship

By focusing on a set of tools for reconnection, and maybe with a bit of guidance from a professional counselor, couples can reignite the spark of passion they enjoyed early in their relationship.

The spark commonly is identified as "romantic love." That feeling of "romantic love" is actually a result of your brain making a cocktail of chemicals that are very similar to addiction chemicals, a reward system.

When couples harness their romantic feelings, they can channel the biological responses that trigger those feelings — within themselves and toward one another.

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What follows is an overview of the tenets of the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), developed by family and relationship therapists Stan Tatkin and Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin.

This approach to couples therapy incorporates the latest research on brain biology, adult attachment styles, and couples therapy. 

Here are three unsexy ways to immediately rekindle romance in your relationship:

1. Practice the 'lovers gaze'

Biologically, when we gaze lovingly into each other's eyes we mutually amplify or "get high" off of our internal brain chemicals, specifically dopamine.

Dopamine is also the same chemical that is part of the reward center of the brain involved in addiction. We have all heard the phrase, "the eyes are the window to the soul."

For example, if I lovingly gaze into my husband's eyes and he gazes lovingly back, both of our brains set off a series of chemical reactions that makes both of us feel good.

If you remember the early stages of your couplehood, did you gaze at each other more often than you do now? My guess is that you did.

If you are like my husband and me, both of you got busy with life and forgot to gaze lovingly at each other.

But you can rekindle desire and well-being together by looking each other in the eyes and exchanging fondness and love.

RELATED: What 8 Types Of Eye Contact Mean When It Comes To Attraction

2. Pay joint attention to a third object

Realistically, we can't just gaze at our partner indefinitely. So, another way we can choose to engage our attention is with a third object or person. The important part of this tool is to jointly gaze at the third together, interacting with your partner. It involves participation and doing something together.

For example, my husband and I make a salad together in the kitchen and enjoy each other's company in conversation. Both of us share equally in the preparation and conversation.

We might enjoy watching television together while chatting about the story and cuddling.

Watch out for what is called parallel play.

Parallel play is when two people are in the same room doing the same or different things and emotionally in their own worlds.

It looks like sitting on the couch watching television together with no talking, touching or interaction of any kind. Each person is playing in their own way without the other's attention, which is not the purpose of this tool.

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3. Share your excitement and joy

This tool involves sharing personal excitement, such as seeing a beautiful sunset, watching a creative fun video or other fun exciting things that caused you to feel good. Then, convert that positive feeling into a statement your partner can hear.

For example, my husband finds joy in seeing small animals like squirrels when we are walking.

If he takes the joy he feels and converts it for me into "I love you so much" or "I'm so lucky to be married to you," then we both feel great.

My husband took his joy and converted it to my language so I can then "hear" him and "catch" his excitement. This benefits both of us. 

If my husband took his excitement about a squirrel sighting, for example, and said to me "check out that squirrel" excitedly, I may be annoyed he wasn't engaged in our conversation and not paying attention to me.

The key to this tool is to convert your excitement into something your partner can get excited about too. Then you both win, with a "hit" of dopamine in your brains and romance in your veins.

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Teresa Maples is a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in working with women who have experienced betrayal in intimate relationships.