It is normal for sparks in relationships to sometimes wane. This is just an indication that something has to be done, and more attention has to be given to the relationship. So, do not fear that the spark in your relationship is fading; instead, realize that something has to be done—do it. These are 15 signs that the spark in your relationship has gone and how to fix it.
1. Something Just Feels Off
This is called a gut feeling and is usually the first indication that your relationship is losing its spark.
You can’t exactly point at what is wrong, but deep down, you know a couple of things require attention. You don’t feel calm. Instead, you feel edgy and can’t relax into loving your partner the way you should.
2. Fewer Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation are necessary for every healthy relationship. Partners have to let one another know how they feel and be honest and open about it.
When you notice that you or your partner is saying fewer and fewer words like “I love you,” you should realize that the spark is fading.
Even when they do say it, how does it sound in their mouths? The way it did when you both had first started all of this, or just bland? Bland means the spark is fading.
Most marriages screeched to a halt because at least one and often both yearn for companionship, passion, and connection.
3. Fewer Dates
And we mean real dates. The kind you both used to go on earlier. Eatery dates. Swimming dates. When the spark is gone, you will have much fewer dates because it just isn’t going to matter anymore.
Rather than be concerned with the relationship and how to spice it up, you will be concerned with just your own routines. The relationship becomes a routine, even. No spice. No dates. Nothing.
4. Sex Needs Resurrection
Healthy sex life is an indication that the relationship is going well, as both partners are so attracted to each other that they feel intense sexual tension when the mood is right.
However, when the spark starts to fade, this sexual tension follows it.
Spark is very related to sexual tension. If you find that you are no longer that sexually aroused by your partner, you should know the spark is fading.
Especially if, after sex has been initiated, it feels like a chore—like just rocking bodies with no emotions involved.
5. No Cuddles
You know the after-sex routine. Cuddle and chill and just enjoy each other’s company.
When the spark starts to fade, this routine will fade with it. You will find that not only is the sex bland, the events that follow after the sex become weird and uncomfortable.
For example, instead of leaning in for a kiss or trying to hug you, or just keeping eye contact, they just get off the bed and leave. It becomes as though they have only been having sex to satisfy an urge and nothing more. A 2012 study found that 55 percent of couples who got divorced were due to growing apart.
6. Validation Problems
Couples are supposed to seek validation from each other in one way or another. You have to want to make them smile, to have them say they are proud of you.
Ten people can tell you they don’t like your outfit, but the moment your partner says they do, you become more confident.
When the spark is fading, you’ll find that your partner’s validation doesn’t just do it for you anymore. It becomes one of those ‘normal’ things. He tells you he likes your outfit now and nothing. It is normal now.
The same thing from your end: your validation doesn’t do it for them.
Sometimes, it gets so bad you might even feel the need to seek validation from elsewhere.
7. No Heartfelt Conversations
Conversations keep relationships quite healthy and strong. So, when you start having fewer and fewer conversations, it is only a pointer that your relationship is taking a hit.
You start to find that not only are the conversations fewer; they are a lot shallower now. You sit to talk and nothing.
You are talking, yes, but nothing is going on. You don’t feel that healthy emotional stimulation that comes with conversing with people we love. And if you do, it is to a very small degree. So small, it is almost not noticeable.
A relationship losing its spark is going to start breeding a lot of secrets.
You will want to handle all your difficulties alone without involving your partner, forgetting that it is a relationship and that you both are supposed to handle things like a team.
Should they ask what is wrong, you will reply with the all-too-common: “Nothing, I am fine.” This is going to get worse and worse until the spark is no longer there.
9. Frequent Misunderstandings
This will happen because the communication between you both has taken a hit. Healthy communication in healthy relationships is everything. In fact, it is what makes the relationship healthy in the first place.
When you lose the spark due to your feelings of confusion and resentment, you will start to fight about things you naturally wouldn’t fight over.
The fights will be characterized by blame games. Your partner is going to blame everything on you, and you will blame everything on them in return.
You’ll blame them for being the reason your relationship is currently losing its spark—Vice versa.
10. Misunderstandings Take Longer to Resolve
Not only will the arguments become much more frequent, but they will also take longer to solve. It isn’t difficult to tell why.
The built-up resentment and confusion, the lack of communication, and the blame games all work together to make misunderstandings last longer.
No one wants to apologize to the other person because they don’t want to be seen as desperate. This is a move people make to keep themselves from appearing vulnerable, which brings us to the fact that a loss of vulnerability is also a loss of spark in a relationship.
When you find that you are no longer that comfortable being vulnerable with your partner, something wrong is going on.
11. It is Now a Thing of Memories
I like to stress that the relationship is happening NOW. It isn’t happening tomorrow, and neither was it happening yesterday. It is happening NOW.
So, when you start to judge the relationship based on what it used to be when only memories make you smile brightly, then you should know that you are losing the spark.
Every moment in your relationship is supposed to make you treasure that relationship. When the present moment isn’t healthy, something is wrong.
12. You Think Someone Else is in The Picture
When the relationship has lost its spark, your partner may go on to satisfy their emotional needs by being with other people.
Since your company is not it anymore, someone else’s company might be. He will start to text other women. She will start to go out more.
You will notice them avoiding you. They don’t want a confrontation, so they try not to be around you.
Are you suddenly insecure? Then the spark is fading, and you should do something about it.
13. Someone Else is In Your Own Picture
No, I am not saying that you are cheating. I’m not even suggesting it.
What I’m saying is that there is now someone who makes you look at your phone screen all day and smile. Someone whose company is getting more and more desirable. So desirable you want to spend time with them, and a lot.
If this is you right now, then the spark is fading. Actually, it had been fading for a while before it got to this point. It will keep fading, even.
14. They Forget Details
This is also one of the earliest signs that the relationship is fading.
Have you heard a couple say something like: “I can’t believe you forgot my birthday”? Yes, that was the spark leaving.
They forget the details because the details no longer matter that much since the spark is leaving. They may apologize, but eventually, they are still going to do it again.
It isn’t going to be only with birthdays. It is going to be seen with other things. For example, they’ll forget that they had to come to pick you up somewhere or that they had promised you a gift.
15. They Get Harder to Please
When the spark starts to fade, you will find that it gets progressively harder to please your partner.
What would have gotten them impressed earlier just doesn’t do it anymore. For example, you fix them their favorite meal, and it is just ‘blah.’
They smile less, too. They give you less praise. You also find that it is harder to please you when the spark is no longer there.
How to Get the Spark Back in Your Relationship
If you find that a number of the signs listed above describe your relationship, then it really is time to get to work reviving the spark. These methods have been seen to be effective in getting back the spark in your relationship—I call it the fantastic five:
1. Stop Getting Validation Elsewhere
It starts with realizing that you and your partner are in this together and have to work it out together. If you have been getting attention and emotional support from someone who isn’t your partner, then it is time to stop.
Keeping your friendship with that person is only going to keep your relationship at the point it is—it is going to draw your attention from your partner until there isn’t any more left.
Stop talking to them. Just let them be.
2. Bridge The Communication Barrier
You’ll be surprised at how much is going to change when the communication barrier has been bridged.
First, you will find it easier to apologize, and then you will find that the misunderstandings become very minimal. Talk about anything bugging you both without resorting to blame games. No one in a relationship is a saint. Realize this.
Talk about the little things, too. Cultivate a habit of talking about how your days went at the end of the day.
Be vulnerable when you communicate. It is your partner. It is not a stranger. You can be vulnerable with your partner. In fact, you should try to be. Let all the secrets out.
3. Pay attention
Start to pay attention to your partner. Be there, and be concerned about whatever they are doing. Pay attention to the details, no matter how little.
In relationships, most times, the little things matter so much.
Don’t forget their important dates.
Don’t forget the story they told you days ago.
Show more care. Get them gifts.
Ask what is wrong if you notice that their mood has been a bit off recently. And ask as though you really care.
Start saying more words of love and affirmation. Say them like you mean them, and mean them.
Tell your partner they look very beautiful.
Make them know you love your relationship with them. Tell them exactly how it makes you feel.
“I love our relationship because it makes me very happy.”
Also, improve your sex life.
Try out new kinks; make sure sex feels good.
And after sex, work on your cuddles. Stay more in bed. If you can watch a movie there.
Initiate sex whenever you feel there is a need to.
5. Remake Memories
Work on making more memories in your relationships.
Start with reliving the ones you miss the most. Visit the park where you first met. Be at the place where you had your first kiss.
Do the things you once used to do. Then, begin to do new ones.
Try to make as many memories as possible.
Go on a vacation. Take some pictures. Have dates very so often, and don’t forget it is on your both to make your relationship work. No one is going to do it for you.
Photo by Gustavo Fring