There are many reasons why the honeymoon phase is an incredible time—like steamy texts, unexpected dates, and hot sex.
But when those days of not being able to keep your hands off one another come to an end, it might seem impossible to recapture that same excitement.
“It’s human nature to take what’s consistently available to us for granted,” says Ginnie Love, Ph.D., psychotherapist.
But it’s easy to recover that same chemistry—you’ve just got to put in a little extra effort to get it back. Here’s what you can do to reignite that spark.
In the honeymoon phase, the only time you look at your phone is when you’re not together, and it’s just to see if she’s texted you yet.
After a few years, technology can be a huge distraction. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
When you’re super-busy, your phone can actually be your wingman.
Send her flirty texts, risqué photos, and promises of what’s to come when she gets home.
“Fun is the name of the game,” says Love. “Keep it lively.”
Some people show they care with hugs and kisses, while others rely on the L-word.
“People speak love languages—or the ways we show and feel love—in different ways,” says Marla Zeiderman, Psy.D., licensed clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente in Colorado.
And while you might have spent a lot of time making each other feel loved when you first got together, there’s a chance that’s fallen by the wayside over time.
So how can you get back on track?
Have a conversation about the things she does that mean a lot to you, whether that’s kissing, holding hands, or cooking dinnner together, says Zeiderman.
Then, ask her what actions make her feel most loved.
This way, you and your partner will know how to demonstrate how much you value each other, she says. This ultimately strengthens your bond.
The honeymoon phase is all about playfulness, so why let that go?
Plan mini-honeymoons that regularly take you back to how your relationship felt in the beginning.
“Mini-honeymoons don’t require large investments of time or money,” says Zeiderman.
“They can include a round of mini-golf, sharing a triple-decker ice cream cone, exploring a new part of town, and even a pajama Saturday.”
Bonus: They’ll remind you of what you originally found attractive about your partner and how great you are together.
“Anyone who has ever been in a relationship that did not last long after the honeymoon period can tell you that what was once cute and sexy can become immature and annoying after lots of time together,” says Jill McDevitt, Ph.D., sexologist at Swiss Navy lubricants.
The solution: Spend solo time with your friends and family, or just try to regularly do something you love alone, says McDevitt.
“Having alone time is very important because it gives you an identity outside of the relationship,” she says.
You’ll have more to talk about without that feeling that you know all there is to know about each other.
Put this strategy into action by designating time to do something alone at least once a week.
When it comes to gifts, it’s the thought that counts, not the price tag.
Leave quirky notes in her gym bag or whip up her favorite dinner.
The time and intention you put into these random acts of kindness will reignite the passion and memories of when you first got together, says Love.
“Almost a decade into my relationship, after the initial honeymoon phase ended, the thing that got me most excited about my partner was seeing his baby pictures for the first time,” says McDevitt.
“He was such a cute kid, and we bonded over him telling me some of his childhood memories,” she says.
When you’ve been in love with someone for a long time, old photos remind you that they had a whole life before they met you.
That can make you feel like there’s so much more to learn about them—and so much more to love
If you’re not spending enough time alone together, then you aren’t evolving as a couple. And growing together is crucial for keeping that same excitement from when you met alive.
“Spending time together helps ensure you’re continuing to learn about the new person your partner is becoming every day,” says McDevitt. “That primes your relationship for more honeymoon phases to come.”
This doesn’t mean that you two need to spend an entire weekend glued at the hip.
Just set aside time once a week to do something fun together.
Maybe that’s catching up on your favorite Netflix show, going to a movie, or hitting up the driving range.
The important thing is that you’re catching up and discovering more about who your partner is as a person.