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What to do when the spark is fading

What to do when the spark is fading

Why do you feel butterflies at the start of a new romance, and how can you keep the flame burning in a long term relationship as the spark starts to fade?

At the start of a new relationship, you're on Cloud Nine with that "first-date" butterfly feeling. But the euphoria seems to fade after a few months, and as time passes, the relationship can start to feel predictable and stale. But is it possible to keep excitement and romance going in a long term relationship?


What causes that first date feeling?

That feeling of butterflies in your stomach that you experience when you first start dating someone new is all down to your hormones, especially vasopressin in men and oxytocin in women.

Other hormones such as dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good hormones, also play their part. Physical reactions such as a dry mouth, sweaty palms and your heart going pit-a-pat are the result of increased levels of adrenalin, a hormone your body releases when you are stressed. These are the signs and symptoms of "love at first sight".

However, we can't maintain these intense feelings of" being in love". When you settle down into a long-term relationship, you feel comfortable and relaxed with one another, and the euphoria fades. When you understand this concept, the worry that you might no longer love your partner enough will disappear.

Once you settle down, the emotions in a relationship will wax and wane over the years. This is natural, but there's a risk that your relationship will become routine and boring. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to keep the spark alive.

1. Try new things together

The thing about a new relationship is not just the romance. It's that it's new, and new things stimulate our brains. Every now and then, try out new experiences together. Take a cooking class, volunteer at a food bank, or take tennis lessons together. Learning something new can help you to recapture that warm, fuzzy feeling.

2. Surprise your partner

Small surprises keep the excitement going and will help to stop you from getting stuck in a rut. The possibilities are endless: treat them to a weekend away, bring them breakfast in bed, cook a special meal, or come home with a small gift. Small surprises

3. Enjoy date nights with your partner

During the early days of a relationship, most couples go out regularly on dates. But as time passes, going out for coffee, to the cinema or for dinner is often swapped for watching a box set on the couch. Reinforce your relationship by scheduling quality time together as often as you can.

4. Talk to each other

Don't forget to talk about what's important. Once a relationship becomes a habit, it's easy to forget all the romantic things you used to say. Don't stop expressing your emotions and telling your partner that you love them.

5. Build anticipation with messages

When you're away, text messages help to build excitement about when you meet up again. Spicing things up with some sexy messages is an easy way to rekindle the flame in your relationship.

6. Get physical

Frequent physical contact expresses intimacy and affection, essential for a healthy long term relationship. Give your partner a hug or a cuddle when they leave for work or arrive home, or touch their arm as you pass them. Physical contact doesn't necessarily have to lead to sex. But if your sex life is underwhelming, Bach Flower Mix 41 can help to treat a lack of desire.

7. Create goals together

Establish some goals that you can aim for as a couple. Your targets could be anything from saving for a mortgage deposit, running a marathon, or ticking off destinations on your travel bucket list. Shared goals not only let you work as a team, but they also give you things to do together and plenty of topics to talk about.

8. Spending time with others who have good relationships

Spending time with other couples who share your values and are in strong, long term relationships can reinforce your own commitment. Positive role models help to inspire and motivate you to keep your relationship fresh and exciting.

9. Talk about your dreams and aspirations

When you were first dating and getting to know one another, you probably talked about your aspirations and dreams. As time passes, these types of conversations tend to get forgotten. We assume we know everything there is to know about our partner. Make time to discuss your goals and future hopes, and help each other to bring these dreams to life.

10. Stay curious

As a relationship matures, people tend to change the type of questions they ask each other. "What is your earliest memory?" gets replaced with" Did you remember to buy milk?". Rather than keeping the conversation superficial, ask your partners opinions and thoughts about their past, as well as about current events and topics.

A final thought

While focusing on your relationship, don't forget to look after yourself. If your life is very intertwined with that of your partner's, you're at risk of losing your own identity. Make sure your own hobbies, friendships and interests aren't squeezed out. Establishing and maintaining autonomy and independence will rekindle your attraction for each other.

Created by Tom Vermeersch

Tom Vermeersch

Tom Vermeersch is a certified Psychologist and Bach flower expert with more than 30 years of experience.

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What to do when the spark is fading

What to do when the spark is fading
What to do when the spark is fading

Why do you feel butterflies at the start of a new romance, and how can you keep the flame burning in a long term relationship as the spark starts to fade?

At the start of a new relationship, you're on Cloud Nine with that "first-date" butterfly feeling. But the euphoria seems to fade after a few months, and as time passes, the relationship can start to feel predictable and stale. But is it possible to keep excitement and romance going in a long term relationship?

Bach flowers personal mix

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  • Based on your symptoms and character
  • Bach flower remedy personally selected by Tom
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Discover how Personal Bach flowers remedy - Wizard can help you

What causes that first date feeling?

That feeling of butterflies in your stomach that you experience when you first start dating someone new is all down to your hormones, especially vasopressin in men and oxytocin in women.

Other hormones such as dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good hormones, also play their part. Physical reactions such as a dry mouth, sweaty palms and your heart going pit-a-pat are the result of increased levels of adrenalin, a hormone your body releases when you are stressed. These are the signs and symptoms of "love at first sight".

However, we can't maintain these intense feelings of" being in love". When you settle down into a long-term relationship, you feel comfortable and relaxed with one another, and the euphoria fades. When you understand this concept, the worry that you might no longer love your partner enough will disappear.

Once you settle down, the emotions in a relationship will wax and wane over the years. This is natural, but there's a risk that your relationship will become routine and boring. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to keep the spark alive.

1. Try new things together

The thing about a new relationship is not just the romance. It's that it's new, and new things stimulate our brains. Every now and then, try out new experiences together. Take a cooking class, volunteer at a food bank, or take tennis lessons together. Learning something new can help you to recapture that warm, fuzzy feeling.

2. Surprise your partner

Small surprises keep the excitement going and will help to stop you from getting stuck in a rut. The possibilities are endless: treat them to a weekend away, bring them breakfast in bed, cook a special meal, or come home with a small gift. Small surprises

3. Enjoy date nights with your partner

During the early days of a relationship, most couples go out regularly on dates. But as time passes, going out for coffee, to the cinema or for dinner is often swapped for watching a box set on the couch. Reinforce your relationship by scheduling quality time together as often as you can.

4. Talk to each other

Don't forget to talk about what's important. Once a relationship becomes a habit, it's easy to forget all the romantic things you used to say. Don't stop expressing your emotions and telling your partner that you love them.

5. Build anticipation with messages

When you're away, text messages help to build excitement about when you meet up again. Spicing things up with some sexy messages is an easy way to rekindle the flame in your relationship.

6. Get physical

Frequent physical contact expresses intimacy and affection, essential for a healthy long term relationship. Give your partner a hug or a cuddle when they leave for work or arrive home, or touch their arm as you pass them. Physical contact doesn't necessarily have to lead to sex. But if your sex life is underwhelming, Bach Flower Mix 41 can help to treat a lack of desire.

7. Create goals together

Establish some goals that you can aim for as a couple. Your targets could be anything from saving for a mortgage deposit, running a marathon, or ticking off destinations on your travel bucket list. Shared goals not only let you work as a team, but they also give you things to do together and plenty of topics to talk about.

8. Spending time with others who have good relationships

Spending time with other couples who share your values and are in strong, long term relationships can reinforce your own commitment. Positive role models help to inspire and motivate you to keep your relationship fresh and exciting.

9. Talk about your dreams and aspirations

When you were first dating and getting to know one another, you probably talked about your aspirations and dreams. As time passes, these types of conversations tend to get forgotten. We assume we know everything there is to know about our partner. Make time to discuss your goals and future hopes, and help each other to bring these dreams to life.

10. Stay curious

As a relationship matures, people tend to change the type of questions they ask each other. "What is your earliest memory?" gets replaced with" Did you remember to buy milk?". Rather than keeping the conversation superficial, ask your partners opinions and thoughts about their past, as well as about current events and topics.

A final thought

While focusing on your relationship, don't forget to look after yourself. If your life is very intertwined with that of your partner's, you're at risk of losing your own identity. Make sure your own hobbies, friendships and interests aren't squeezed out. Establishing and maintaining autonomy and independence will rekindle your attraction for each other.


Marie Pure

Other articles


Top 5 nonsensical reasons to have doubts about yourself

Top 5 nonsensical reasons to have doubts about yourself

It happens to everyone at times: we start doubting ourselves. We worry about the decisions and whether we can face future challenges that life has in store. And sometimes we feel that we just aren't good enough.

Read the complete article

Let's make 2021 better than 2020

Let's make 2021 better than 2020

For many people, 2020 has been one of the worst years they can remember. The COVID -19 pandemic and social unrest have changed our lives in ways we would not have believed possible a year ago. And when January 2021 comes around, we're still likely to be facing many challenges. Can 2021 be a better year?

Read the complete article

Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

When you think about things that will make you happy, what are the images that come to mind? Wealth, beauty, a dream house, long holidays, a top of the range car? Happiness is not a constant and how happy we feel depends on the way we choose to live our lives. 

Read the complete article

Choose for your happiness

Choose for your happiness!

Being happy is something everybody strives for, but unfortunately there are a lot of people who go through life unhappily. A lot of people take life how it is.

Read the complete article

Hiding a depression find out if someone you know - or you yourself! - is doing this

Hiding a depression: find out if someone you know - or you yourself! - is doing this

It's not always easy to tell if someone has depression. While some signs such as sadness, pessimism and withdrawal from social interaction are easy to recognise, other symptoms may be less obvious. And some people are very good at hiding their depression - even from themselves!

Read the complete article

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice. 

Read the complete article

Feeling blue

Feeling blue?

Feeling blue? You're not alone! We all feel sad at times; it's a normal human emotion. Sometimes, it's clear to see what has triggered our depression. Common reasons for feeling sad include bereavement, the end of a relationship, losing your job or money problems. But it's not always so clearcut.

Read the complete article

How to beat irrational anxieties

How to beat irrational anxieties

Irrational anxieties can seem overwhelming, affecting every aspect of your life. Learn how to beat your fears and worries and take back control.

Read the complete article

How to prove your value

How to prove your value

Feel like everyone takes you for granted? Whether it's working late to prepare a presentation or cooking a special birthday meal for your partner, it's nice to be appreciated when you've made an extra effort. And if it seems as if people don't notice, you might feel as if no one values you.

Read the complete article

Fact or fiction Is it truly healthy

Fact or fiction? Is it truly healthy?

There's so much contradictory health advice out there, it gets confusing. One year, butter is said to be bad for you, and margarine is better. The following year, it's the other way around. One article says running causes strain on your joints; another says it's good for you because it increases bone strength.

Read the complete article

Bach Flowers are not medicinal but harmless plant extracts which are used to support health.

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