How to Keep the Spark Alive for Empty Nest Couples

conquering the empty nest syndrome

After you say, “I do,” those can’t-keep-your-hands-off-each-other feelings tend to come natural, don’t they? That electric spark is so prominent that it may almost feel like a third person in your relationship. But what happens after 30 (or so) years of marriage? When that spark is more of an occasional visitor rather than a full-time house guest? Or, after the family you worked so hard to create has left you with an empty nest?

Well, we sat down and chatted with couples who are currently in this stage of life! These happily married couples offered up their tips and advice on how to keep the spark alive after 30 or so years of marriage. And the best part? We get to share our findings with you!

A man and woman enjoying an afternoon bike ride together while conquering empty nest syndrome | The Dating Divas
Couple enjoying a bike ride together as empty nesters

Why Couples lose their spark

The longer you’re with someone, the more likely you are to transition from “passionate” love into “compassionate” love, states Dr. Gary Brown. Passionate love is more about sexual arousal, while compassionate love is what helps you forge a deep emotional attachment with your partner. This is a non-offensive way of saying as time goes on, you’re probably less interested in break-the-bed sex than you are in curling up and watching Netflix together.

For better or for worse, relationships change the longer we are in them. We are only human, and it is natural for us to grow and adapt as we mature and get older. In addition, we might find ourselves not trying as hard as we used to within our relationships. Essentially, the “need to impress” might fade. Not to mention, outside factors can also play a huge role in this change. We’re juggling work obligations, family responsibilities, friends, and lots more.

One of the biggest hurdles older couples face is how to manage their marriage after becoming empty nesters. And it’s not so difficult to understand why, right?! We spend two decades catering to our child’s every single need. During our parenting years, the majority of our time and energy is devoted to our children. Because of this, we often see couples putting their marriage on the back burner while they raise their families. The result? Two empty nesters who now have no idea how to be a functioning couple after their kids all fly the nest.

A man and woman keeping the spark alive by holding hands on an afternoon walk | The Dating Divas
An empty nester couple holding hands

11 tips to keeping the spark alive

Even though your compassionate love will continue to grow, your passionate love doesn’t have to disappear completely. It also doesn’t mean that your romantic life cannot be rekindled after you are faced with an empty nest! Below, we are sharing 11 tips for keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship!

  1. Remember you are husband and wife first – It is important for you both to remember that before you were anything else, you were first and foremost husband and wife. Never stop focusing on one another because a strong marriage will form a strong family. Not to mention, kids, pets, and other family members all come and go. But, at the end of the day, your spouse will always be there. Make sure you are placing them as your top priority throughout all stages of life.
  2. Know that your comfort level will continue to increase – After years of knowing each other, you will probably get to a point where you are insanely comfortable with your other half. You may even reach a time where nothing seems to embarrass you anymore. When you are a 25-year-old newlywed, you might still be trying to impress them! Putting on some sexy lingerie and dancing around in front of your spouse might be embarrassing at 25. But, after being together for many decades, these things tend not to matter so much. This will enable you to feel liberated and just have fun!
  3. Revive the activities that helped you fall in love in the first place – Maybe you used to cook dinner together often or play cards on a Friday night date night. Try partaking in the activities that lead you to fall in love with each other in the first place! These might help you to rekindle that romance and flame.
  4. Be adventurous and try new things – At the same time, don’t be afraid to try new things! After being with the same person for decades, it’s important to try new things in AND out of the bedroom! This will help you conquer those feelings of potential boredom or the idea of “been there, done that.” So go on…live a little!
  5. Connect on an emotional level again – Emotional connection may be one of the areas that fell through the cracks over the years. If you feel as though you and your spouse are living as roommates, as opposed to husband and wife, this is definitely something you should draw your attention to! Frequent date nights, uninterrupted quality time, speaking each other’s love language, and good communication are all things that may help!
  6. Focus on what your partner wants or needs – When it comes to intimacy, many of us are selfish in our younger years. We are so focused on ourselves and our own needs that we don’t always think about the other half within the equation. As we get older, though, we tend to be more conscious of our spouse’s desires. So, if you’re not already doing this, try it out! Trust us when we say it’ll make the experience better for everyone!
  7. Keep dating your spouse – Of course, one of the biggest pieces of advice we could give you is to never stop dating your spouse! Frequent date nights are so important to help keep the lines of communication open and stay connected on an emotional and physical level.
  8. Communicate – As with any stage of a relationship, communication is one of the most important keys to success. It is crucial to create a non-judgmental environment to express what you want. Whether this pertains to bedroom intimacy or not, open communication will help you both get exactly what you need.
  9. Keep yourself feeling sexy – Probably one of the most difficult things to focus on as we get older is keeping up with our appearance and image. You may not always want to put in the effort to look and feel your best while you’re at home. However, it’ll make all the difference in the world…trust us! Set aside some time to put on a bit of extra makeup, or throw on some sexy lingerie under your clothing before date night. If you can feel your best sexy self, it’ll help you get into the right romantic mindset!
  10. Know that you have the time now – When you had kids running around the house, or a brand new career to focus on, it might have been difficult to find time for intimacy or romantic gestures. However, many empty nest couples find that intimacy is actually easier in this stage! All of a sudden, you are left with an empty house and all the time in the world!
  11. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your doctor if needed – As we age, it is common to face physical setbacks when it comes to intimacy. Both men AND women deal with physical changes that have the potential to impact intimacy. If this is something that is an area of concern in your relationship, don’t be afraid to seek help from your healthcare provider. We are so lucky to live in a time where we have access to prescription items, over-the-counter products, and homeopathic remedies in order to combat almost any ailment!
A man and woman on an afternoon walk while battling empty nest syndrome | The Dating Divas
Couple enjoying an afternoon walk as empty nesters

Diva Products to help conquer the empty nest syndrome

While the thought of battling empty nest syndrome and entering into this next phase of life might be intimidating, we’re here to help! We have so many amazing and helpful products and resources that could really lend a helping hand. No matter what area you think you might need assistance in, there is something for everyone!

  • ForePLAY Fixes – Change your sex life for good! ForePLAY Fixes is a text subscription service where steamy yet tasteful romance ideas are sent straight to your cell phone 3 days a week!
  • 10 Minute Marriage Challenge – Feel like newlyweds again in 10 minutes or less…with your cell phone! Receive weekly marriage challenges and date ideas straight to your phone that take just 10 minutes or less to complete.
  • Dollar Dates – Dating doesn’t have to look extravagant or be expensive. For only $1 a month, let The Dating Divas provide you with a fully planned, fully prepped, no-supplies needed date idea that comes straight to your phone. Convenient, unique, and SO fun!
  • Sex & Intimacy Dates – If you’re looking to improve your sex life, this can help! Browse the number of resources we created for bringing back the spark in the bedroom, igniting your connection under the sheets, and growing your emotional and physical communication for a healthy sex life!
  • Emotional Connection Date Ideas – We have countless date ideas right here on our site. But, focusing on the ones that are centered around emotional connection would be really beneficial if you’re facing the empty nest syndrome. We especially love our Love Email Club or our Conversation Starter Question Cards.

And just like that, we’ve conquered the best tips and advice for keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship! So, now that you’re ready to kick things up a notch again, what are you waiting for? Let’s get those sparks flying!

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I am a small-town girl from New England turned long-term European resident! I am married to my favorite person in the entire world, and I am a mama to a sweet and sassy little girl. If I am not knee-deep in my latest DIY project, you can usually find me elbow-deep in a bag of sweets! Pretty much anything chocolate will get the job done! I am obsessed with my entire family, love making new friends, and doing any and all things FUN!

Learn more about Kate
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