We remember when we fell in love. Life felt blissful, without a care in the world!
Initially, love releases dopamine in the brain, giving us euphoric feelings of excitement and positivity. Research shows that with anything new—a car, outfit, home, or even a relationship—over time, we become accustomed to it. The scientific term for this is hedonic adaptation: the tendency for humans to get used to ‘newness’ and return to our baseline level of happiness.
Some people and their partners may sense this return to baseline as ‘falling out of love,’ but this isn’t always the case. Relationships require ongoing effort to maintain feelings of love and long-lasting happiness.
The good news is that a few simple choices to create mini-habits can improve your relationship and make you “fall in love again.”
First, ask yourself, “what did we do when we first met?” Then, create a simple list of your actions and shared moments. Finally, create a few habits from your list and commit to practicing them daily.
Here are a few tips to reignite that spark:
- Greet your partner with open arms, wide eyes, and a colossal kiss when you see them after work.
- Begin a book together, reading two pages a day.
- Light a candle in your bedroom each night to set the tone.
- Hold hands outside and inside your home.
- Create a romantic date at home by turning on a movie for your kids in the other room!
- Watch videos and photos of fun memories together.
- Get a list of questions for couples and take turns learning new things about each other.
- Every evening, share something with your partner they did that you are thankful for. The more specific, the better!
Accepting that it’s normal for that initial euphoric feeling to subside, you can make small, daily choices to reignite that spark in your relationship. Involve your partner by asking them what daily love habits would make them feel special.
Falling in love again is a journey that begins with finding simple ways to express your love each and every day. Begin by practicing mini-habits from your list, and let the sparks fly!
Healthy Love Habits is Raising Arizona Kids’s monthly relationship column for learning simple habits to create the healthy and loving connection you desire and deserve.