it’s the day after Valentine’s Day – and the perfect time for this story from mindful wellness pro, Sophie Jaffe of Philosophie. Sophie and her husband Adi are on a mission to help others build radical honesty in their relationships through a podcast and relationship workshops that dive deep. Here are four simple, daily practices from the couple on making love last in a long-term relationship…
Finding love is magical. To make the decision to welcome another soul’s life into your own is beautiful and, to an outside observer, it comes across as pure happiness. February is the perfect month to offer the space to find love, explore new love or rekindle excitement in old love.
Existing in an over decade-long relationship, you learn a thing or two. My husband, Adi, and I have survived a break-up after countless sessions with therapists and healers. We persevered, became raw and vulnerable with each other and are now stronger than ever.
Over the years we’ve decided to open up about our journey. We began to offer counseling, talks and, more recently, we started IGNTD. This program offers retreats and workshops for men, women and couples. This program gave birth to our IGNTD podcast where we really get down to the nitty gritty details. There’s nothing we won’t talk about.
Over time and throughout the chaos of life, the lust and excitement of a new romance starts to fade. We want to remind couples to continually seek out that passion. To realize that because the “newness” of a relationship is gone doesn’t mean the fire has to die. Life decides to match you up with certain people for a reason and we often forget the magic of this connection.
Here are 4 ways we found help rekindle your romance:
Keep wooing and dating each other
Over the course of a relationship things start to take priority – work, money, kids – and it’s easy to cut date night and alone time from your list of priorities. However, in these chaotic times spending a few minutes or hours alone with each other is more important than ever.
A relationship takes work, hard work. It’s like putting in hours at the office. You show up, you’re present and put in the effort.
Try scheduling a date each week and even put it in the calendar. Challenge yourself to try something new and different. If your partner resists then it’s up to you to push back stronger. Once you begin to rediscover the fun in your adventures together you’ll begin to fall in love over and over again.
Often when a relationship begins to fizzle out there is communication breakdown. You forget how to open up to one another and talk things out. Once this happens, it’s almost too easy to become distant and resent each other.
If it’s difficult to immediately begin to open up and communicate, start by journaling and write notes to each other. When things are good and you’re in synch, write a love note. When things are bad, write it out. You’ll begin to understand your partner’s true feelings, even if it’s just through a pen and paper.
Get physical (this doesn’t mean sex)Intimacy with the same person for years can get well, boring. Try going back to the basics. Experiment with your sense of touch. You’ll be surprised by the excitement you receive from refraining from sex and practicing touch.
Sit in front of your partner and take their hand. Feel it. It takes focusing on a really average part of your partner’s body and zoning in on it to really bring out your initial romantic feelings with your partner. Practicing this exercise will allow yourself to become more attune to your partner’s emotions and energy, especially during times of stress.
Learn your partner’s love language
Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, was a relationship lifesaver and helped keep our relationship grounded. You must become aware of your partner’s needs and what makes them happy. This book can help figure it out.
Basically, the book explains that everyone has different ways of translating and receiving love, which can be roughly placed into five different categories. For example, Adi’s love language is largely verbal affirmation while mine is more physical.