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After the honeymoon period fades, it's easy to feel as if your marriage has puttered into a comfortable, unexciting pattern. You crave the thrill you felt in your first few months of dating — and the good news is, you can get that feeling back.
"It's very normal to want to feel some of the same excitement you felt when you and your significant other were dating," says Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband). "The simplest way to feel the 'newness' again is to introduce new and novel activities into your routine! This will actually temporarily trick your brain into thinking the love and connection is new and fresh again."
Here are five new, novel activities that will breathe that brand-new feeling back into your marriage:
Carve out time for date talk.
"When you were dating, you were curious about each other and you didn't just talk about bills, kids and housework," explains Syrtash. "Find time to connect as lovers and partners — not just as roommates."
Taking different sides doesn't have to be divisive. Placing a bet, indulging in a dare or working out side-by-side can turn you on to each other once more. "Play a sport together that gets your endorphins going," suggests Rachel DeAlto, relationship expert and author of Flirt Fearlessly. "It'll translate in the bedroom too!"
"Take inventory on the great things your partner is doing for you and your household," Syrtash says. "When you focus on the positive — and communicate what you appreciate — you're likely to feel more satisfied in your relationship."
Go back to where it began.
"Recreate your first date, no matter how far you've come," says DeAlto. "It's always great to go back and see where it started." Take the time to reminisce about how you felt that night to get sparks flying.
Fit in a makeout session.
"Seriously!" DeAlto says. "We stop making out when we are in a long-term relationship. Put all the responsibilities aside, and make out after dinner." Of course, no one's saying it can't lead to more!
"I think the bottom line is that relationships are work," Syrtash says, "but part of the work is keeping the play alive!"