There is nothing more exhilarating than falling in love. Getting to know someone on such a deep level, feeling butterflies as your feelings for him or her grow, there is nothing more important. The good news is that you can always fall more deeply in love with someone, whether you've been together for three months or thirty years. It just takes some work and tricks.
For a lesson on how to fall more madly in love, we turned to a psychotherapist and relationship expert, Jacqueline Schatz. She has learned tried and tested ways to bring people even closer than they thought possible through her work with couples and individuals at all stages of a relationship. "I absolutely believe you can deepen love at any stage of a relationship," she tells Brides. "Love can deepen and become richer over time."
Meet the Expert
Jacqueline Schatz MA, EdM, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and relationship expert who works with couples and individuals in New York City and North Carolina.
Read on to learn 10 actions you can take to create or strengthen love between you and your partner.
Don't Skip the Small Things
Building and living a life with someone is a way to grow closer to them. Things like having breakfast every morning together or talking about your days before you go to sleep can have a big impact. If you truly make someone a constant part of your day-to-day life, your connection will strengthen. "Feeling like someone is part of your life, part of your family, and part of your identity, that deepens your love," shares Schatz. "If you've made a choice to put your lives together, to share a life together, that means you aren't two separate selves, and you will grow closer."
Overcome Challenges Together
One of the best ways to strengthen your love is to overcome challenges together. If you are working through something difficult as a couple—maybe you are trying to have a baby or addressing debt—approach it together as a team. If you are having trouble as an individual (Do you have a difficult boss at work or are you struggling with a demanding family member?), let your partner help you. Not only will it feel good to accomplish something together, but you will also learn new things about your partner that might amaze you. "Any challenges that come up, being able to support each other through them will deepen your love," explains Schatz. "Even if the outcome of the challenge isn’t successful, the love can be successful."
Have an Adventure
Life can get busy and it is too easy to fall into a rut as a couple. Make time to escape your day-to-day routine by doing something that stimulates and excites you. (Maybe you've always wanted to try rock climbing or travel somewhere exotic?). You will see a side of your partner you don't normally get to see, and that will help renew and deepen your love for him or her.
Repeat Activities That Made You Fall in Love
Especially if you have been together for a while, Schatz recommends remembering which activities you did when you were initially falling in love (Did you have an amazing date at a winery or an axe throwing bar?) and try to repeat those regularly. "What made you fall in love? What were you doing together? What made you laugh together? What made you know this person more?" she poses. "You don't want to lose sight of those things. You want to remember them and infuse your relationship with them."
Spend Time Doing Things You Both Enjoy
A key to falling more deeply in love is to have mutual, positive experiences. That means you should do activities you both love. "Let’s say you like going to the gym together, or you like exploring a new neighborhood together, or taking a walk?" says Schatz. "It really doesn't matter what the activity is as long as it's something you both enjoy, and in doing that activity, that shared positive experience helps you deepen your love."
Have Honest Conversations
"Conversations are one of the primary ways couples can deepen their love. We all want to be seen and known; it is so powerful," says Schatz. "Talk about your feelings or hopes or dreams or your plans for the present or the future, or what makes you feel most loved. If you have that conversation, by the end of it you will be more in love."
Work on Yourself
You have to be open to loving someone and being loved in return. And that means feeling confident about yourself, adds Schatz. "Working on yourself makes you more available for love. If you are really working on knowing yourself and knowing what you need and who you are, the easier it is to love someone."
You can work on yourself by going to therapy, journaling, or spending some time alone.
Try Couples Therapy
Every couple has issues, and if they are not addressed, they can be a barrier to connection and love. A good couples therapist can help you address issues, even deep ones you might not even know exist, so you can mature and grow together as partners.
Put Away Your Devices
In today's world, we can spend so much time on our phones that we forget to look at the person in front of us. Deepening love requires connection and time, and devices can get in the way of that. So set aside time every day or every week to put away your phones and focus on one another. "Put your devices away, and look at each other and talk to each other," says Schatz. "Give that person your undivided attention."
Make a New Commitment Every Day
Schatz also believes you can choose to fall in love with someone, saying, "In some ways, love is a choice, and relationships and commitments are a choice." Every day remind yourself that you are choosing to be with this person. It will help you not to take this relationship for granted and empower you to look at your partner and relationship in a different light. Love will grow from that.