Dear Alex,

I’m proud to share that my wife and I have been married 22 years this year. I’m less thrilled to share that we are bored as hell. Another Valentine’s Day is coming and I’m sure she is expecting dinner and flowers and I’m sure that’s just what we’ll do — but I fear we will both go to bed wondering where the spark went. Is this just how it is to be now?

~ Bored in Love | January 28, 2022

Dear Bored in Love,

It’s never too late to switch up your routine to create excitement in your relationship, and I’m not just talking about the bedroom! Yes, even after 22 years.

This might be a good time to bring up making a change. You could start by saying something like “Hey honey, for V-day, instead of us going out for dinner like we always do, what about we go to that antique store you love looking around at and then get coffee afterwards?”. Suggest an activity you know she enjoys.

It could be as simple as going to her favorite store, and getting coffee after. Suggesting something that’s personal to her, will make her feel seen and appreciated, even if she says no. It will also let her know where your threshold for change is. She may reciprocate by offering ideas of something she knows you enjoy, and then just go from there. Get creative with your date night and maybe even plan out a few dates for after Valentine’s Day.

If you’re able to start reconnecting on an intimate emotional level, the bedroom part will follow. A resource I personally enjoy is the Gottman Card Decks. You can order these online at or download their free app. Gottman has some fun games to increase emotional as well as physical intimacy with your partner, all based on the science of his research. This can also be a wonderful tool to start an open dialogue about intimacy. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable or awkward at first to talk about sexual intimacy. However, the reward of doing so is often worth it. If you need help on how to approach your partner, reach out to an intimacy coach, or send me an email.

Another way to spice things up, is with the element of surprise! You likely know her primary love language, but do you know how to hit all 5? Look up Love Languages if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Build up to the holiday with a few simple acts that will hit all 5 love languages. For example, bringing tacos home for dinner! Call her on your way home and say “I know you’ve been super busy this week, I appreciate all you do for our family and would like to pick up your favorite meal for dinner (words of affirmation, gift giving). When you get home, give her a hug and kiss (physical touch) and take the time to eat dinner with her and talk, giving undivided attention (quality time). Clean up the table, and do the dishes (acts of service). Guaranteed to make her feel loved and appreciated.

Women often need the emotional connection to want to feel aroused. Find opportunities for surprise and thoughtfulness. Revisit that first date restaurant, play your wedding song, or just leave a little love note in her car before work. These small moments add up, and creating that mental and emotional connection will often parlay into a deeper and more exciting physical connection.

While these are suggestions that you can take the lead on, remember to be receptive to what your partner wants. Listen to her and pay attention to her response to your actions and acknowledge her vulnerability as well. Showing true openness and thanks for the special things you do for each other all year long will help both of you connect and create new sparks for Valentine’s Day and future years together.

Happy Valentine’s Day!