5 Ways to Revitalize Your Relationship

Let’s face it. Every relationship can use a boost from time to time. As the years go by and familiarity sets in, keeping our connection fresh and exciting becomes more and more of a challenge.

Understanding what connects us to each other does make a difference. Common bonds can keep our love alive and help reinvigorate our passion for one another.

According to Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, author, psychologist and expert in the study of positive emotions at the University of North Carolina, being in love with our partner is closely connected to the “positive resonance” between us. She explains that this term is comprised of three essential qualities:

  1. Sharing one or more positive emotions with your partner.

  2. Being in sync with each other’s personality and behavior.

  3. Having the motivation to invest in the wellbeing of another person, knowing it will benefit us personally as well.

Instead of accepting that our relationships have lost their spark, we can actively attract more love into our relationships by using these guidelines of positive resonance.

Dr. Fredrickson’s research points out that it’s not biologically possible to be in love 100% of the time. Our emotions are not constant, but wax and wane. She explains that our actions make a big difference in building and keeping that intimate, loving connection. Positive resonance keeps the bond alive, and strengthens it – even when we are physically apart.

Best of all, you can practice and generate the positive emotions associated with love whenever you want. Knowing that loving feelings aren’t a constant can motivate us to focus on creating that passion and connection on a daily basis. It also can keep us from taking love for granted.  

Studies conducted by Dr. Fredrickson at the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab, UNC’s Chapel Hill location, revealed five ways to put positive resonance to work in your relationship:

  1. Look into your partner’s eyes: “Be one with one another.” Although we have many options for staying connected (texts, phone calls, and Facebook to name a few), scientists say that eye contact is our primary mode of sensory connection. Visually seeing and experiencing each other in the flesh is the most potent trigger for keeping love alive.

  1. Regularly incorporate cooperative silliness in your relationship. Having silly fun together is an engaging way to strengthen the intimate bond. Not only is it a privately shared activity, but humorous situations reduce stress, hostility, and other negative feelings.

  1. Search out and build on a shared history. These times together from our past turn into “micro-moments of love,” or special memories we share with our partner. This might include an adventure (or mishap) just the two of you experienced, or an inside private joke only you and your partner understand. Recalling those shared moments of history increases our sense of connection to another person.

  1. Show appreciation and gratitude on a regular basis. Expressing thanks to our partner for their contribution to the good things in our relationship, and life in general, encourages positivity in return. This cycle of gratitude will build on itself and often becomes contagious, with each partner looking for opportunities to express their appreciation.

  1. Create a “positive emotion bank account.” As also recommended in the research of Dr. John Gottman, regular “deposits” into your positivity “account” can serve you well in the future. Having an emotional reserve of goodwill between you and your partner can act as a cushion, particularly helpful in challenging times, and increases the resiliency in your relationship. 

Give these steps a try and see what you notice. However, if you and your partner find you are still having trouble revitalizing the love in your relationship, consider seeking the help of a skilled couples counselor. With professional support and guidance, you can strengthen your loving connection and reignite the passion.

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