So you’re in a rut with your mate. It happens! But before you go searching for a new guy, consider the fact that you probably just need a new outlook!
Try these 20 simple tricks and you’ll see your love in a whole new light:
Start a new hobby together
“Partners often drift away from each other to do their own thing, spending less and less time together. If you start a new hobby together, you’ll share laughs at each other’s foibles and a sense of accomplishment at each other’s successes,” says Carole Lieberman, M.D., author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.
Whatever the activity, as long as it’s something you can do together, it’ll help the two of you reconnect.
Don’t deny sex
“If you say no to sex — or wear flannel PJs to bed instead of the sexy stuff you used to wear — it tells him you don’t think he’s a stud anymore,” says Lieberman. “He’ll get depressed and his eye may start to rove.
Even if you’re a little bored of the same old routine, doing it more will make you want it more. How? “If you show him you’re hungry for him, his confidence will soar and he’ll become irresistible again.”
If you’re really in a stalemate, suggest some variations to get the sparks flying.
Laugh at his jokes
Instead of rolling your eyes at that story you’ve heard a gazillion times, try to listen to it like you’ve never heard it before — focus on his delivery, amuse yourself with the other people’s reactions.
“Sure, you may have heard all his jokes before, but isn’t it charming that he’s trying to make you laugh?” says Lieberman.
And who knows, if you laugh you just might start to find him funny again!
Take the time to acknowledge the work he does at home or the office and you’ll see a boost in his confidence that you can’t resist.
“It’s easy to get stuck in resenting the annoying little habits your guy has and become oblivious to his endearing qualities,” says Lieberman. “If you open your eyes to the positive things he does, you’ll remember why you chose to be with him in the first place.”
Remember: Focus on what he does right. There’s no better way to see him for the amazing man he is.
Do something crazy together
It doesn’t have to be sky diving, but be a little adventurous and out of your element.
“When you both get out of your comfort zones, your man will likely rise to the occasion and be your knight in shining armor,” says Lieberman. “Seeing your man be brave to guide or protect you is a real turn-on.”
Go on a double date
When you’ve been with each other for a while, you stop wooing each other. But he’s bound to be on top of his game in front of another couple and you’ll remember why he’s such a great catch.
“Double dating also brings sexual tension to your relationship — in a good way,” says Lieberman. “When he sees the guy appreciating you, and you see the woman appreciating him, it awakens a spark of jealousy that interrupts your pattern of taking him for granted. Now he’s hot again.”
Let him be the man
Allow him to hold the door, kill a bug or fix something around the house (even if you can do it yourself).
“If you don’t emasculate him and instead let him be the ‘man’ in the relationship, you can bask in the warm feeling of being cherished,” says Lieberman.
It might be the 21st century and your man might be better at picking wine than putting up shelves, but when it comes down to it, he still needs to play protector and provider sometimes. So, let him. Is it that terrible to let him take care of you?
Ask him what he fantasizes about
You may see a darker, sexier side to him than you imagined, and then you get to act it out!
“Men’s biggest wish is being with a woman who makes him feel comfortable about acting out his fantasies,” says Lieberman. “Overcome your shyness and come out and play. The sex will be better than ever.”
Whether it’s an outdoor sport or board game night, men love to compete. It’s an adrenaline rush.
“Ultimately, most men are more action-oriented then women are,” says Stephanie Knarr, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist in Washington D.C. “Getting competitive is a great way to reconnect with your partner because men communicate through action, so you’re likely to learn more about him and satisfy some of his needs in the process.”
Ask your girlfriends what they like about him
Start by telling them about something awesome he did for you or something funny he said. They may bring up some positive aspects that you’ve begun to overlook.
“It’s super important to stay in touch with your man’s positive qualities, so this is a good starting point,” says Knarr. “You might also want to reflect upon the reasons you were drawn to him in the beginning of your relationship. Stay positive and love the one you’re with!”
Squash the conversation if it starts to turn negative. Venting is good, but save it for when you’re not in the all-too-delicate valleys of relationshipdom. Now is not the time to let outsiders help you blow out the flame.
Do it his way
Whether you’re barbecuing or putting together a toy, you may find that he has some ingenious ideas you haven’t previously considered.
“In today’s world, women have become used to taking the lead, especially in the home. However, letting your man take the lead on some of your projects can get him more invested and help him feel appreciated,” says Knarr.
Brag about him
You may think great things about him but saying them out loud will make you remember them.
“Men have a strong need to be appreciated. They want to be your hero, so bragging about him — in front of him — is sure to get his attention,” says Knarr.
Find his celebrity doppelganger
You’re used to seeing him as the guy next to you on the couch, but does he have David Beckham’s butt, Adam Levine’s eyes or Louis CK’s sense of humor?
“Men are often concerned about their sexual appeal and physical attractiveness,” says Knarr. “Complimenting him on the best aspects of his physical attractiveness will help him feel that you are attracted to him. This can definitely help to turn up the heat.”
Set a huge goal together
Whether it’s to travel the globe, buy a home or have a baby, making big plans can help you see him as a like-minded partner.
“Couples who have mutual plans, projects and goals are more likely to have a successful relationship,” says Knarr. “I recommend that couples clarify, revisit and discuss their goals as well as progress towards those goals on a regular basis. Doing this is a great way to reconnect, so make this one a habit!”
Hit on him
Grab his hand (or his ass!) in public, whisper something suggestive in his ear when you’re out to dinner. “This is a fantastic way to reignite your relationship because men want and need to feel desired. Flirting with your man on a regular basis is meeting one of his most important needs,” says Knarr.
Start by simply touching him more often and see where it leads!
Break your own rules
Whether it’s no feet on the couch or a two drink minimum, when you let down your own boundaries he will relax and go outside his comfort zone, too.
“This is a great way to open up the communication,” says Knarr. “If he likes it when you are flexible, turn off the rules on a more regular basis for him.”
Play the perfect hostess
Throw a dinner party for friends. It’ll force you to put petty differences aside and play the happy and extremely charming couple for the evening.
“Hosting a dinner party involves both of you in a project — trying to make sure that the evening turns out to be delicious and fun. When your guests enjoy themselves, the two of you can bask in the success you created together,” says Lieberman.
Even though it’ll leave you with lots of dishes to do, you’ll also find it will bring new energy into your home.
Wipe the slate
Make a decision to let go of old resentments, no matter how big or small and you’ll enter the next phase of your relationship together.
“This is easier said than done, but it is possible,” says Lieberman. “You need to seal the bargain by engaging in some sort of ritual, like going to a beach or lake or pool and literally washing away the resentments. Then follow with a candlelit dinner and an evening of passionate sex. By morning, you’ll be thinking, what resentments?”
Pretend you just met
Role play old dialogue you once had in real life, or re-imagine ways you might have met or had that first kiss.
“If the two of you really hit it off in the beginning of your relationship, then this is a great plan to spice things up,” says Knarr.
“Try to remember what you did the first time around. For example, were you flirtatious and sexy or were you intellectual? Whatever behaviors you engaged in when you first met, try to re-engage that part of yourself during this exercise.”
Take a trip
It doesn’t have to be an exotic destination — just being in a new environment will give you a new outlook on him, and navigating a new place will solidify you as a team.
“Going away together is a great way to reconnect, especially if you are distracted by parenting, careers and other obligations,” says Knarr. “Just make sure to put away your mobile devices and laptops during your getaway!”