8 Ways to Reconnect with Your Partner If You’ve Been Together a Billion Years
He’s the funniest, smartest, most romantic guy you know…and then somewhere around year nine of picking up his dirty socks off every surface in your home, he became the most predictable. There’s nothing wrong with admitting the spark has dimmed in your relationship (hey, you guys have been together forever), but it’s time to take a few simple steps to reignite it.
Create a New Routine
We know what you’re thinking: “I have no time for this.” But if you usually spend half an hour a night talking about bills and schedules and the kids, try a walk or bike meeting around the neighborhood. If you have a little more time on your hands, start a book club with just the two of you. Pick one novel a month and read a chapter every night so you can talk about it together. (Kind of like old-school binge-watching.)
Surprise Each Other
When you’ve been together a decade or more, you can anticipate your partner’s every move (flowers on Valentine’s Day, a book on your birthday, a card on your anniversary, yawn). And chances are, he’s feeling the same about you. So try something you’d never do, like making his favorite meal just because, or hiding a silly note in his pants pocket before he leaves for work. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it’s unexpected.
Go on Solo Vacations
OK, this one might sound counterintuitive, but taking a trip to Paris with your best friends is great for a few reasons: First, it allows you to create new memories and stories that you can come home and share with your partner. Second, it helps you rediscover the fun, single you (remember, the one he fell in love with?). Third, it allows you to miss each other. So try to keep the Google Hangouts to a minimum. It’ll make coming home so much sweeter.
Pick a goal you’d like to accomplish together. (We’ve always wanted to do a half-marathon.) Map out what you’ll need to do to get it done (running outside at least three times a week for the next six months), then hold each other accountable. It’s way more fun than the treadmill, we promise.
Eat at the Table
That gorgeous oak dining room table isn’t just a holding area for junk mail. It’s a great way to connect when you’ve spent the last 2,000 meals in front of the TV. Try to eat at least one meal a day at the table together, whether it’s a quick breakfast before work or a longer dinner when you get home. Put on your favorite tunes and light some candles, while you’re at it—create a calming atmosphere and you’ll look forward to unwinding.
Actually Listen to His Boring Stories
When you’re eating at least one meal a day while staring into each other’s eyes, there’s bound to be a few endless stories in there. But even if you’ve heard him rant about Joe from Accounting five million times, make eye contact and do your best to really absorb what your partner is saying. Listening will help him feel loved and understood, and he’ll be more likely to return the favor when you need to vent. (And the way you listen matters, too.)
One of the biggest keys to reconnecting with your partner? Have more sex, obviously. But this is way easier said than done, especially when there’s a million things to do and you’re exhausted and your kids are asleep down the hall. So lock the door, stash your robe in the closet and sleep naked. Now it’ll be hard not to have sex.
Put Down Your Phone
Remember eating dinner at the table? It’s tempting to check Twitter while your love is finishing his last bite of lasagna, but resist the urge to peek at your phone when you’re together (aka 'phubbing'). Even if he says he doesn’t mind, it indicates there are things you’d rather be doing other than hanging out with him. And that just isn’t true—so stick it on airplane mode. We’ll fill you in on Reese’s thrilling tweets, we promise.