My relationship has been going downhill for the past couple of years. My partner and I have been together for over five years, and gradually, we lost the spark. He started spending more time with his friends (or at least that’s what he says) or staying at home and playing computer games. He doesn’t want to go anywhere and do things that we used to do together. He’s cold in bed, and it seems like he lost his interest in sex. I’ve been trying to reignite the spark, make romantic dinners, and invite for weekend getaways, but he is not enthusiastic about anything. I even booked a staycation in a lovely boutique hotel, and he went along just because I said it was non-refundable. I am running out of ideas of what else can I do? It feels like I am the only one who is trying to make an effort. Can you give me some advice on how to save the relationship?
You say that your relationship has been going downhill for quite some time, but I wonder if you have sat down and had a conversation about it? If not, it would be a good idea to talk calmly and clearly about how you both feel. Put some time aside and approach the conversation from a place of love and respect. Your partner is more likely to respond openly and honestly if he feels your intentions are positive. Be clear about what you want to say, and be prepared to listen to what he has to say.
Aside from this, I highly recommend that you spend time focusing on your self-worth. You must understand your value so that you are clear on what you will and won’t accept. Focus on things that make you feel good about yourself, and that builds up your confidence. Meditation, mindfulness, or hypnotherapy are great for self-esteem (you can find lots of free things online). As a result, you will probably find that this has a knock-on effect on your partner as other people always mirror what we feel about ourselves.
In terms of some short term things you can do, I suggest that you remind him why he was attracted to you in the first place. Go back to places you went to when you were first in love, see movies that you saw, or revisit activities that you enjoyed doing together. It will allow you both to focus on all the positive reasons you’re together.
Lastly, become aware of each other’s love languages. What do you need to feel loved and appreciated? Do you need words of affection, quality time, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch? When you meet each other’s needs in this way, your relationship can only get better.