How to unexpectedly up the romance.
By Leigh Norén — Updated on Jun 02, 2023
Photo: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock
An attraction that’s been lost can be gained again.
If you’re looking for ways of how you can rebuild attraction in a relationship, it’s important to know this: You need to work at it and you need to be sure you want to continue investing in the relationship.
Figuring out how to build attraction takes time and effort. But it is worth it in the end to rekindle the romance and passion between the two of you.
You may have many expectations surrounding attraction, just as you do around sexual desire. One of the most common ideas people hold is the belief attraction is constant over time.
Regardless of whether you have time for each other in your relationship or what’s going on in your life in general, you’re meant to find your partner as irresistible as you did at the beginning.
And wouldn’t that be great?
The thing is — this isn’t how attraction, sexual desire, or sexual arousal works for most people.
If you’re wondering how to rebuild attraction in a relationship, one thing you need to start doing is working on your expectations — of the relationship, yourself, and your partner.
This is something you need to practice over and over again in order to be aware of the expectations that are negatively affecting your relationship.
If you want to know how you can rebuild attraction in a relationship, this can be done in several ways.
Here are four unexpected ways to build attraction in your relationship:
1. Act more like individuals
This means you must keep your individuality as a person and not just act as one part of a partnership.
In order to do this, you can meet a friend on your own, do something just for yourself, or plan an evening where you both do something separately and then meet up at the end of the evening.
Keep your own hobbies and likes, do things on your own, and try to bring the things you love to the table. Your relationship is healthier when you’re both strong on your own and can build it up together, instead of just supporting it as it crumbles.
2. Practice looking at your partner with fresh eyes
Ask yourself a couple of questions to determine where the level of attraction in your relationship currently stands.
What did you use to think was attractive about your partner? Is it still there?
What do other people think is attractive about your partner? Do you agree?
Think of an occasion when you felt strongly attracted to your partner. What do you think made you feel that way? How could you experience your partner in the same or a similar way now?
Remembering what you think is attractive about your partner can help you regain the spark that’s still there hidden below the everyday things that get in the way.
3. Practice thinking of your partner’s positive qualities
At the end of every day, you may make a mental note of three positive things about your partner.
It could be things that only have to do with attraction, but it could also be about practical matters. Keep doing this for at least one month to see if it has any effect.
You love this person, and you were once so attracted to them, you could hardly think straight. Recall what drove you crazy and remind yourself of where it still is in your relationship.
4. Question your expectations of attraction in your relationship
How do you think you ought to feel every day?
Why do you think you ought to feel that way?
Are your expectations of attraction reasonable? Or could they be scaled down somewhat?
Expectations play a significant role in how you can rebuild attraction in a relationship. By shifting what you expect from your relationship, yourself, and your partner, you can regain that intimacy and desire you once shared.
Esther Perel, a well-known psychotherapist and sex therapist, is of the opinion that an important aspect of keeping sexual desire and attraction alive is to continue being individuals — even if you’re in a loving relationship.
According to her, many people feel their partner is most attractive when “seen from a distance.”
And this isn’t as depressing as it may sound!
What this means is that when you see your partner doing things on their own, or those things that remind you that they’re attractive, you’re going to feel that attraction level increase.
This might be when you see your partner talking to someone else, or they’re doing something they’re good at and enjoying it.
It could even be when you notice someone else is romantically interested in your partner. When you notice someone thinking your partner is attractive, it may remind you of what you fell for in the first place.
Distance also adds to a sense of mystique, which, according to Esther Perel, is important for attraction and sexual desire.
Continuing to be separate individuals isn’t about not doing everything together. Even if it feels good and you may want to be with your partner as much as possible, a bit of time apart may be useful.
It truly is possible to regain attraction that once has been lost. If you’re looking to feel more attracted to your partner, completing the four exercises listed above will help you get back on track. Good luck!
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Leigh Norén is a sex therapist and coach with a Master of Science in Sexology.
This article was originally published at Therapy by Leigh. Reprinted with permission from the author.