Everyone has heard the horror stories of how a couple, who were perfect for each other, lost their spark, and now they’re unhappy or separated. It’s a scary thought, especially when you’re so in love with your partner, but even though it’s scary, it doesn’t come true for everyone. The spark will fade, but the spark isn’t love.
Love is something you have to work on consistently. It’s a muscle you can learn to flex and grow. Your relationship doesn’t have to peak after your wedding. The love between the two of you can continue to grow and change for decades to come, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. Here are some ways to keep the romance alive.
Every couple you ask that has been together for an insanely long time will tell you that communication is the key to a successful relationship, and that doesn’t stop after you say, “I do.” It actually becomes even more important, and you can do a few things to improve your communication.
First, when conflicts arise, and they will, talk about them as soon as possible. Please don’t wait for them to grow and become more of a problem. Even if you think it’s something small and unimportant, it can create resentment over the years if you don’t address it.
Once it’s been talked about and fixed, you have to forgive your partner and move on. When your partner puts in the work to either change their behavior, choice of words, or when they try to fix the situation, you have to give them credit. If you don’t, they might start building resentment towards you.
Try to stay curious about your partner on a regular basis. Ask them questions about different aspects of their life. You’ll never know everything about them, so keep learning! After you ask questions, be sure that you’re practicing mindful listening. Don’t think about how you’re going to respond; just listen and absorb what they’re saying.
Please do your best to tell your partner how much you appreciate them. Whenever you feel gratitude towards them, let them know! Verbalizing your appreciation can help get rid of any lingering negativity. It also may help push them to say when they’re grateful for you. Plus, it’s always a nice thing to hear.
Finally, have a hobby or two that are separate from your relationship, and have your partner do the same. This will guarantee that you will both have something new and interesting to talk about and learn from each other. As long as you both continue to grow as individuals, you’ll be able to grow as a couple.
Go On Dates
Finding the time to go on dates can be tricky, but it helps to live by the “2-2-2 rule.” The rule is that you have a date night every two weeks, a weekend or day trip every two months, and a vacation every two years. It will give you something to look forward to and plan together. It also helps keep you accountable.
While you’re on these dates or trips, don’t be afraid to try something new. Adventurous and exciting activities are excellent bonding exercises. You’ll get closer as a couple, and you’ll create memories that you will look back on for the rest of your life.
On these dates, try new things and visit new places. Go to restaurants you would usually never step foot in and eat the food you would never pick. Going to new places is important, but don’t forget to take the time to revisit places that are special to you both as a couple. Go and take pictures at the spot where you met or got engaged. Reliving those memories will help you remember why you fell in love.
When you have your date nights, leave your house. You live together now, and it feels like you’re spending a lot of time together, so it’s easy to consider having dinner at home a date, but it’s not. Just because you spend a lot of time together doesn’t mean that it’s all quality time.
Let’s get real. Sometimes you don’t have the time in your schedule or the energy to be intimate with your partner as much as you would like. That’s okay, but that lack of physical connection can take a toll. The fact is you might have to schedule it in advance. Consider correlating with your date nights or on the days when you’re off work. Please, do your best to make it work.
Still, physical affection means getting intimate, but it’s so much more than that. It’s also holding each other’s hands while you’re walking down the street, kissing their head before you leave the room, or giving your partner a big hug before you start your day. A long-lasting relationship has different layers of physical affection, and you shouldn’t ignore any of them.
Another layer of affection is performing acts of service like cooking them their favorite dinner or finishing their chores when they’ve had a tough day. This layer can also include giving back or foot massages and other physical affections like that.
It’s The Little Things
Little gestures, like little grievances, can build up over time. Things that seem like nothing could mean the world to your partner, so buy them their favorite candy when you’re at the store or send them to work with a sweet note attached to their lunch. You can also send your partner text messages during the day telling them that you miss them and you’re thinking about them. It will always put a smile on their face.
Never get complacent. That’s a recipe for disaster. Becoming complacent is the first step on the road to no longer caring. It won’t be sunshine and rainbows all the time, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck in the bad moments. Work together to make it better, and your relationship will flourish.