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My Relationship Feels More Like A Friendship (29 Ways To Make It More Passionate)

Last updated on September 12, 2022 by Brooke Aldrich

Do you feel like your boyfriend is more like your best friend? Or do you ever wonder why there’s a complete lack of passion in your romantic relationship? I’ve felt like this before. Something was missing in my long-term relationship, but I didn’t know how to fix it.  

Many relationships lose passion within the first few years of dating. Once I learned this, I was worried that there was no way to get the excitement back. There is good news, though, you can fix a relationship that has turned platonic

29 Ways To Make Your Relationship More Passionate

1. Learn to speak your partner's love language.  

Gary Chapman, author of "The Five Love Languages," observed that every single person has a specific love language. The love languages include:

  • Words of affirmation, 
  • Quality time, 
  • Receiving gifts, 
  • Acts of service, and 
  • Physical touch.

You may be speaking to your partner in a way he doesn't resonate with. For example, my husband's love language is physical touch, and mine is words of affirmation. 

Once I understood my husband's love language, I made some adjustments. I hugged him and held his hand more often. Chapman states, "If you don't speak a person's primary love language, that person will not feel loved." You can learn more about love languages here.

2. Communicate with your partner.

If you feel your lover is more like a friend, you must tell them what isn't working for you. Talking about difficult topics is never easy, but being open and honest without accusatory language can go a long way. There are many proofs as to how listening can help in your communication.

3. Be interested in your partner's favorite activities.

My husband and I have different hobbies and interests. We're often in the same room doing other activities. My husband will be playing a video game, and I'll be reading a book. I'll be practicing yoga, and he'll be taking an online course.   

It's great to have individual passions, but showing interest in your lover's activities can spark more connection and desire. My husband lights up whenever I ask him about his favorite video games. We laugh and play together. And as a result, we're more connected. There are so many ways to get closer to your partner.

Couple playing console games in bed

4. Go on a romantic getaway.

According to a survey by the US Travel Association, 8 in 10 couples believe that traveling together positively impacts the relationship. 

My husband and I made significant career changes two weeks before our first wedding anniversary. We were both tired and grumpy. So, we booked a romantic getaway to a bed and breakfast in the Colorado mountains. The change of scenery got us out of our funk and into relaxation mode. We didn't use our computers or cell phones. It was perfect.

You can always choose to go on a staycation in your current city as well. The important thing is that you are in a new environment with your partner.

5. Have meaningful conversations.

One way to have better conversations with your partner is to watch TV together. According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, watching and discussing movies can improve your love life. Who knew you could watch TV and get closer to your partner simultaneously? 

Another way to have deeper conversations is to play "Where Should I begin?" game. This game will get the two of you talking about your personal stories. Esther Perel, the creator of the game, said, 

"The pandemic left us missing intimacy and play. So, I created a game that helped us do both. It is designed to help us connect and reconnect in a time of social atrophy." 

To kick start conversations with your boyfriend, check out this article.

6. Get your adrenaline pumping.

I don't know about you, but endorphins plus my romantic partner is an automatic aphrodisiac for me. Donald Dutton and Arthur Aaron prove in a study that scary situations can increase sexual attraction. 

The more thrilling the activity, the more spark and attraction you'll feel towards your boyfriend. There are lots of activities to try to increase adrenaline. For example, a roller coaster ride, bungee jumping, parasailing, horseback riding, or white-water rafting.

7. Go on double dates.

A significant way to create more happiness in your relationship is to go on double dates with other couples.

According to an article by Stephanie Coontz, "Socializing with others provides some of the novelty and variety that leading social psychologists call "the spice of happiness.” It also allows partners to show off each other's strengths."

Going out with other couples has been outstanding in my relationship. I feel more attracted to my husband after a night out with friends. We laugh more and have lots to talk about afterward. But this isn’t the only benefit of double dating. You can learn about the rest here.

8. Plan a secret date.

One of my favorite parts of my relationship, in the beginning, was the surprise dates. I didn't know much about my boyfriend yet, but it was exciting to discover what type of romantic activities he had planned.    

After being in a relationship for a while, I am not as easily surprised. That's why planning a secret date without your partner knowing is intriguing! It has the potential to increase the spark of romance and attraction. I recently asked my husband to plan a secret date for me. I can't wait to see what he has in store for me. Here are some ideas if you are feeling stuck.

9. Consider couples counseling.

According to a survey from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, "98% of people said they received good or excellent therapy, while 97% said they got the help they needed."   

My husband and I took part in premarital counseling. It was one of the best experiences for us because our therapist showed us new ways to resolve conflicts. She also helped us understand our personal backgrounds; this led to more compassion for each other.

Is it like pulling teeth getting him to spend time with you?
The key to solving is understanding men on a much deeper emotional level. The number #1 factor that causes men to behave this way is actually relatively easy to change with a few subtle things you can say to him.

Take this quick quiz to see if he actually likes you!

Couple’s or individual therapy is a long-term investment in a happier, healthier future. We recommend turning to professional help before deciding that a relationship no longer makes you happy and you should give up. Platforms like Relationship Hero offer therapy support online and are specifically geared towards overcoming relationship issues. 

All you need to do to get started is take this 2-minute quiz and they’ll match you with a relationship coach to help solve your particular relationship issue.

10. Kiss passionately.

A slow and passionate kiss may not feel natural if your relationship is just a friendship, but it can allow you and your lover to slow down together. In a recent study by Robin Dunbar, he concludes that "kiss frequency was found to be related to relationship satisfaction."

The hormones oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin increase when you kiss your partner. These hormones are responsible for feelings of affection and bonding. y decreases your cortisol levels, and it may lead to more sexual attraction to your partner. If you want to ramp up your kissing skills before giving this strategy a try, we got your back with a detailed guide.

11. Experience personal growth.

My therapist once told me, "adding more joy to your everyday job, life, and activities will improve your relationship too."

How true it is! The more I take part in activities that bring me joy and personal growth, the happier my relationship is.

When we grow in our individual lives, we also have new ideas to share with our partners.

Our partners may also find us more attractive, and we will have more to say to each other.  

Cheryl Harasymchuk, Ph.D. author of the article How to Add Passion to Your Relationship in Psychology Today, states that "personal growth activities might make a person feel new and change how they interact with their partner." 

12. Add creativity to your sex life.  

After you’ve been together with your partner for some time, it’s easy to get stuck in the same-sex routine. Good news, though! There're many ways to spice up your sex life. You could go to the bookstore and check out the tantra section or find a game to play that offers different sex positions

Who knows!? You may both discover something fantastic that you’ve never thought to try. 

13. Send your partner loving texts.  

I don't know about you, but I love a sweet good morning text message from my husband in the morning.  

There are endless ways and opportunities to send your boyfriend a message throughout the day. For example, send him pictures of your favorite times together or a picture of yourself in your lingerie. You can also send him a good old-fashioned compliment. Who doesn't love an unexpected compliment?  

send a text saying you had a good time

14. Try a couples massage.

Let's face it when stressed, our sex lives take a back seat. The last thing we want is another item on our to-do list. And, one of the best ways to feel sexier is to ease your stress.  

You can do this by getting a couples massage with your partner. You'll spend quality time together in a relaxed environment. Being less stressed means that you'll both have more time for romance. 

15. Take a fitness class together.

For those of you who have seen the movie Legally Blonde, you'll remember when Elle Woods says the famous line, "exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill their husbands. They just don't." 

It's true; we most definitely want to skip the killing part, but exercising can indeed increase your happiness! Taking a class with your partner and other couples will also make it less intimidating while holding each other accountable. There is a fitness class out there for everyone. There's yoga, spinning, body pump, and kickboxing. Take your pick. 

16. Have a no-work zone.

During the pandemic, lots of couples were working from home. Our workspaces became our home spaces, which made our shared space more complicated. Setting up an area in your home where you have a 'no work zone' is key to having a welcoming environment for you and your lover. 

17. Make a list of new experiences.

Write a list of experiences that you’d like to have with your partner. You can use apps like Trello. Notes or you can write items in your favorite notebook.

Your list can be anything you want – adventures, dream vacations, or even things you’d like to do on a rainy day. The point is to create the list together. You may even learn something new about your partner. Take a look at this article for more ideas on how to spice up a relationship. 

18. Don't hold grudges.

Holding a grudge against your boyfriend can hurt you and your relationship. According to a study from PubMed, people who hold onto anger lose a significant amount of cognitive functioning over those who forgive others. 

Forgiveness is important for your health. But how do you do that? You must first feel your feelings and then communicate. Once you've let go of the hurt or anger, you'll both be more interested in romance. 

19. Show gratitude.

Sometimes you can be so focused on what isn't working in your relationship that you forget to notice what is working. That's where gratitude comes in.

Gratitude can strengthen your relationships by focusing on the positive. Start paying attention to the moments when your partner does something you love. Maybe he empties the dishwasher or makes you laugh. Be sure to tell him how thankful you are to have an amazing and funny partner. Gratitude is also linked to a better sense of well-being.

20. Make time for a romantic evening.

At the beginning of your relationship, I'll bet you put a lot of effort into the romance department. You probably dressed up, put on perfume, lit candles, drank champagne, ate dinner, and made a special romantic evening for your partner. 

However, once you become too comfortable, you show up to dinner in your sweatpants instead. No judgment. We've all been there! 

So, light those candles and get dressed for a romantic evening at home or at your favorite restaurant. It will be sure to add the spark back into your relationship, and you'll remind each other of the early dating days.

late night date ideas

21. Notice the little things.

While receiving a big diamond for your birthday is exciting, the small things given throughout a day can significantly improve your relationship. You could change your partner’s entire day with a little kindness. 

For example, randomly bring your partner his favorite candy bar. Or when you notice he is having a tough day at work, give him a big hug. These "little" things add up! Brene Brown once said, "trust is earned in the smallest of moments." So are kindness and happiness.

22. Recreate memories you had early on in your relationship.

I remember feeling anxious on my first date with my husband. I wondered if he would hold my hand or kiss me. The anticipation is part of what made it so fun! 

You can attempt to recreate your first dates and memories together by returning to the same restaurant or movie theater. Ask your partner to tell you about what he remembers from your first moments together. 

Also, to recreate memories, wear the same perfume you wore on your first date, and ask your partner to wear his cologne. According to a study published in Progress in Neurobiology, scents can trigger strong memories.

23. Buy nice gifts.

There are lots of benefits to giving and receiving gifts. One is that you will make your partner feel special. Also, it can assist you both in creating new memories together. 

It takes time and energy to find the perfect gift for someone, and adding in the occasional present for your partner can significantly benefit your relationship. 

24. Romantic relationships focus on affectionate touch.

You may not be a very touchy-feely person. That's okay. Perhaps you came from a family that was not physically affectionate, and you feel awkward with too much touching. 

However, a recent study shows that even people with an avoidant attachment style can benefit from physical affection. 

Physical contact releases the "feel-good" hormones. And it's correlated with higher relationship satisfaction. Your relationship will thrive with more hugging, holding hands, kissing, and cuddling.

25. Help each other accomplish goals.

My husband is my biggest supporter, especially when it comes to my goals. He roots and cheers for me when I get up early to go to the gym or for something as big as a work promotion.

There are lots of ways to support each other in accomplishing your goals. You can remind your partner how amazing they are, celebrate their milestones, listen to them, and help build their self-esteem daily.  

26. Try new ways to initiate sex. 

If you feel like you lack desire in your sex life, you and your boyfriend may need to try new ways to ask for sex. So, if every time you initiate sex by asking, "do you want to?" It's probably time to switch things up. 

In an article by Sara Gonzalez-Ruiz, she writes that “sexual initiation occurs when an individual conveys, verbally or nonverbally, an interest for a sexual activity when sex behaviors are not in progress. Sexual initiation is a critical component of overall sexual activity, and is characterized by observed differences between genders.” Click here to learn more about gender roles in sexual initiation.

27. Hold hands in your romantic relationship.

In 2006, a study showed that husbands who held their wife's hands during an MRI scan reduced their stress compared to those who did not have their spouse holding their hands. 

If your partner feels like "just a friend," holding hands may be an excellent place to start. It's less intense than kissing and may increase your oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is the "love hormone." You get bonus points if your boyfriend's love language is physical touch.

28. Show public displays of affection.

When I traveled to Rome, Italy, many years ago, I saw couples everywhere kissing and loving each other. It made me feel awkward and uncomfortable at first because I’m more reserved. Our individual cultures and families often dictate how much PDA is acceptable.

But, giving affection in public can benefit both of you. Some safe options for PDA are holding hands, small pecks, neck massages, and hugs.

29. Flirt more if you’re just friends.

Flirting may feel awkward when your relationship feels like a friendship, but being playful with your partner will allow you to warm up to each other. Flirting often leads to more physical intimacy, like hand-holding and passion.

In a new study on flirting, researcher Omri Gillath said, "across our six studies, we found most men were able to recognize a certain female facial expression as representing flirting." In this study, the researchers could also identify the function of flirting "to activate associations related with relationships and sex."

FAQs

Is it normal for a relationship to feel like a friendship? 

Friendship is an essential part of any relationship. But, if you feel something is missing, something could be wrong. There is hope, though. You can learn new ways to create more romance in your relationship. It will take patience, but you can accomplish it.

Why do I feel like my boyfriend is my friend?

You feel like your boyfriend is just your friend because you are close but not intimate. You can probably tell him anything and have lots of fun together. Unfortunately, you lack passion and desire in your romantic relationship.

Can a romantic relationship turn platonic?

Yes, a relationship can turn platonic if you no longer participate in sexual intimacy. In romantic relationships, couples often neglect passion and romance. To keep the desire alive, you must make romance a priority.

Is it a relationship or friendship?

It’s just a friendship when you have a lot of fun with your partner, and you can tell him anything, but things end there. It’s a romantic relationship if there’s sexual intimacy and romance added to the trust and comfort you feel with the person.

Why is there no passion in my relationship?

There are many reasons why you don’t have passion in your romantic relationship. One reason could be that you feel like you are just friends, and there’s no physical intimacy. You can start to shift this by learning more about passion and romance.

In Conclusion

Did you like this list? Try these 29 tips to add more passion to your relationship if it feels more like a friendship. You may see an increase in your desire and attraction for your partner. 

In the comments below, tell me what you thought about the article. If you enjoyed it, please don't forget to share.

Do you feel like all you think about is him, but he only thinks about himself?
This doesn't mean he doesn't like you. You have to understand how he is wired. Once you do, you'll find there is a subtle thing you can say that to him that will drastically change how he shows his emotions towards you.

Take this quick quiz that looks at whether he actually likes you or not!

Brooke Aldrich
I’m Brooke Aldrich, a writer and relationship enthusiast. I love writing, reading, and researching simple ways to help people become better communicators. I’m currently studying creative writing at Arapahoe Community College in Denver, Colorado. I’ve been happily married to my husband for one year, and we just adopted an adorable cat named Luna.

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