Are you having trouble rekindling your relationship? Want to recapture the excitement of falling back in love? Here are five things you may not have tried to fix your broken relationship.

Are you having difficulties with your relationship? Have you lost the excitement and intimacy you once had?

Depending on how severe your relationship problems are, some people may need the help of a professional mental health practitioner, and that's okay.

It takes two years or 3,000 hours of clinical experience to be a licensed marriage and family therapist. Add to this a Master's degree or doctorate and further specialist training. Perhaps this is where your issues are at.

But before you turn to the professionals, consider these five things to fix your relationship.

What is a Broken Relationship?

Relationships go through ups and downs along with your other life experiences.

But sometimes the downs are serious enough for you to question whether the relationship can survive or is even irrecoverable. This is when you might classify the relationship as ‘broken’.

Sorrows and crises in your life can cause the breakdown, or it can be a repetitive pattern of behavior that undermines the relationship.

You could describe the experience as a loss of excitement, falling out of love, boredom or resentment. Rekindling relationships is complex depending on the causes of breakdown and the emotions involved.

If you want to know how to spark a relationship again with your loved one, begin the journey with hope. It won't necessarily be easy, but many couples can recall times when they had to overcome difficulties. You are not alone.

1. Really Listen to Each Other

Stephen R Covey describes one of the seven habits of highly effective people in the statement, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

Communication is a vital skill in all parts of our lives and so much more so in our personal relationships. Listening is the part of communication that many are poorest at.

To understand how important listening is, try recalling a time when you wanted to communicate with someone who wouldn't let you get a word in, or who changed the subject back to themselves quickly.

It's frustrating, isn't it?

Listening is the beginning of understanding, and understanding your partner will help determine how to rekindle a relationship.

Effective listening means holding back on your emotions and responses. Use your whole body to actively listen. Give your partner your full attention, keep eye contact, and remove distractions such as your mobile phone.

It can be helpful to summarize what your partner has said without judgment. This helps to check your understanding, as well as give them a chance to hear back what they have said to you.

2. Learn to De-Escalate Conflict

When emotions are at the surface and you are feeling threatened, you may say and do things that you later regret.

Keeping control is essential to constructively working through issues with your partner. Learning to de-escalate conflict can be an invaluable tool.

Be aware of the "hot" issue that will create conflict.

Recognise when you raise issues in a destructive way.

Your own fears about losing an argument can mean you sabotage the relationship by raising issues from the past.

Deal with one issue at a time and deal with the ‘here and now’. Talk about what you need from your partner at this present time. Ask them what they need from you, now.

3. Look for Compromise

A relationship takes two. There has to be a meeting of minds, and this requires compromise.

Listening to each other helps to find where the compromises need to be.

It's not about one person giving way to the other. You should look for win-wins. If there appears to be no win-win situation, then look for the bigger picture.

The bigger picture in a relationship is about how important the relationship is.

Do you want a sustainable healthy relationship, or are you more interested in winning the argument about what TV program to watch?

Keep it in proportion.

One way of deciding on compromises is to consider how important the various aspects of your life are.

Think about your relationship, other family and friends, work, other interests, your spiritual life and any other aspect of your life.

Is there a gap between what's important to you and how you are living your life?

Hold firm on what is a priority to you and don't be rigid on the things that are less important – as this may in fact damage what is important.

4. Make Changes

There are many ways to rekindle a relationship, and doing nothing is not one of them.

For a change to happen in your life, you have to expect to change yourself in some way. Change can be a challenge but it can also be exciting and hopeful.

Think about times in the past when you have changed something in your life and it worked out well. Use this positive experience to build your confidence. Keep your eye on the prize, which happens to be a great relationship.

If your relationship has become routine and dull, then introduce variety and excitement. It won't happen without a conscious decision to make it happen. Start dating each other again, give a romantic gift, cook together or go camping.

If your problem is persistent arguments, you may need to get some counselling.

5. Don't Give up Without a Fight

How important is your relationship?

If the answer is "very", then it is key that you find ways to rekindle the relationship. That means you have to be willing to put effort into it.

It may not be easy. You may not find the right thing to do immediately. Be prepared for difficulties along the way.

Build your resilience to cope with the challenge. Look after your physical and mental health. Eat healthily, get plenty of rest and exercise.

Mindfulness activities such as meditation, yoga or relaxation therapies can help you find balance, calmness and keep things in proportion.

Bring Back the Romance

Even the happiest relationship can face difficulties from time to time.

Addressing these difficulties can mean building a foundation for an even better, more sustainable relationship.

If you feel that you need outside help to fix your broken relationship, then seeking professional help can be an answer.

For more relationship advice, click here.

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   


Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS