How to Get Affection Back in Your Relationship

Schedule one-on-one time to restore the affection.
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It happens. Your relationship seems stale, the two of you rarely hug or kiss and the passion is lacking in the midst of the busyness of life. If you miss the way he used to hold you tight or the playful caresses throughout the day, it’s time to find ways to bring the affection to the forefront in your relationship. By scheduling time alone, making efforts to surprise one another and reminding each other of the love you have, you can heat up the passion in your relationship and reignite the spark.

1 Bring Back the Butterflies

Remember the butterflies you felt when your sweetheart walked into the room or met your gaze? These feelings don’t have to be a distant memory. Unexpected kisses and displays of affection can bring the passion back to your relationship, according to family therapist Maud Purcell on PsychCentral. Make it a priority to show your affection through kind words, a love note left in your partner's locker or a quick kiss when you see each other. Surprises throughout the day can also bring back the butterflies. Send a romantic text in the morning, plan a special picnic lunch over the weekend or send flowers randomly to let your girlfriend know she is on your mind. When you make a conscious effort to be affectionate, you may soon feel as if the two of you are dating again.

2 Bring Back Date Night

Whether you have been dating for a few weeks or in a relationship for six months, the responsibilities of balancing schoolwork, household chores and extracurricular activities can take your attention away from each other. Just as you schedule athletic practices, haircuts and medical checkups, schedule date times with your partner. Take a brief walk through the neighborhood or on your way home from school, holding hands at least once a week, suggests Maud Purcell with PsychCentral -- or schedule a specific date to splurge on a night on the town to focus on building the connection you once had. Even a two-hour movie night gives you the opportunity to hold hands and be in each other's presence.

3 Leave the Past in the Past

After you have been in a relationship awhile, it is common to take for granted what you have with each other. You begin to see your loved one's flaws, and resentment can build. You may be irritated with the way he hangs out with his friends more than you, or the way she spends most of her time texting her friends instead of listening to you. Learn to let go so you both can focus on the affection you crave from each other. Instead of obsessing over each other's flaws, focus on the romantic actions and gestures. Does he text you good night before you go to sleep, or does she post her admiration for you on social media? Focus on what your partner does that makes you feel appreciated. Instead of holding on to the negative aspects of your partner, focus on the positives, and accept that there will be traits you cannot change, according to family therapist Maud Purcell.

4 Take Time to Talk

You may think that you know everything there is to know about your loved one, but as time goes by, you both begin to change. Even though you may recognize when he is frustrated or she is sad by the body language displayed, take the time to communicate with each other to understand the why and how. In a PsychCentral article, retired psychologist Dr. Kalman Heller suggests couples schedule at least 20 minutes every day for uninterrupted conversation. Reserve the time for light and casual discussions about goals, dreams, interests and hobbies. Take time to learn more about your partner, and show support with displays of affection, such as an arm around her shoulder or a gentle caress on his arm.

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.