REKINDLING THE SPARK WITH YOUR LONG-TERM LOVE
Couple’s fifteen dating tips for keeping the romance alive
It can be disheartening when long-term love finds romance taking a leave of absence. While you may celebrate being out of the dating pool, it sucks when you can't remember the last time you dated your partner. You may even start to wonder whether your relationship has run its course.
Don’t panic. It’s normal to hit a lull with your love. Keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship requires effort, creativity, and a willingness to adapt. A tiny bit of effort and commitment to get back to the basics may be all you need to fire things up. And as luck would have it, Couple has fifteen suggestions for doing just that.
1) Communicate. Open and honest communication is the first step in reigniting the romance. Talk about your feelings, desires, and concerns regularly. Listen to your partner with empathy. You don’t know what you don’t know, and no matter how well you know each other, it’s unfair to expect your love to intuit all of your needs and wants (and vice versa). Candid conversation goes a long way to keep the spark lit.
2) Plan date nights. Continue to have regular date nights or date days. Explore new activities or revisit the ones you both love. It can be as simple as cooking together, going for a walk, or hitting up a local cafe. The mere act of planning an outing can get those love hormones pumping, so get to it!
3) Surprise each other. Surprise your partner with small gestures, gifts, or love notes. It shows that you're thinking about them when you aren’t together; plus, everyone wants their plus-one to have a perpetual crush on them ... what better way to prove you’re still smitten than with a surprise?
4) Engage in some PDA. Physical touch can reinforce emotional bonds, so engage some PDA now and then by holding hands, cuddling, hugging, or kissing. It doesn’t have to be in public if that’s not your thing, but make time for small physical moments in private.
5) Find shared interests. It’s a game-changer if you can cultivate shared hobbies or interests. Engaging in activities you both enjoy fosters a sense of togetherness, and learning something new together can bond you and give you a sense of mutual purpose and accomplishment.
6) Support each other's goals. A supportive partner is a sexy partner. Encourage and support each other's goals, celebrate each other's successes, and weather challenges together. Remember, you’re forging a path side-by-side, and indifference or jealousy will make the trail tricky to traverse.
7) Carve out quality time. In the age of smartphones and social media, it’s more important than ever to dedicate quality time to connect with each other. Designate certain hours each week where you put away distractions so that you can be fully present together.
8) Plan getaways. Plan the occasional weekend getaway or vacation to create new memories together in new places. A change of scenery can do wonders for reigniting the spark. You don’t have to spend a ton of money – even a backyard camping trip could do the trick – the point is to take yourselves out of your typical routine for a good romantic reset.
9) Laugh together. Maintain a sense of humor and find reasons to laugh together ... even on days when your partner is driving you crazy. Laughter can relieve stress and reconnect you when it feels like things have gone off the rails. There’s truth in the old idiom “laughter is the best medicine.”
10) Be spontaneous. Embrace spontaneity in your relationship. Trying new things together can bring excitement and adventure. It’s not always easy to stray from the routine when you've been together for a long time, but do your best to seize special moments when you can.
11) Express gratitude. Express appreciation for your partner regularly. Let them know that you value and love them. Far too many people report feeling under-appreciated by their partners, which only leads to frustration and resentment. If you feel gratitude, show it! Never assume your long-term love knows how you feel.
12) Flirt often. Send flirtatious messages or reminisce about sweet memories from your early days of dating. Whisper a spicy secret in your partner’s ear when you’re in public. Enjoy a private joke with a sly wink from across the room. Flirting cements your bond and brings back those early feelings of butterflies, so don’t let the habit fall by the wayside.
13) Celebrate milestones. Acknowledge and celebrate relationship milestones, like anniversaries, in a meaningful way. It’s so easy to let this practice slide the longer you’re together, but dismissing all sentimentality can contribute to a shared sense of disconnection and disillusionment. Make a night of it with a nice dinner or special outing. It’s amazing when love lasts, so do it up big!
14) Respect each other. Show respect for one another's opinions and boundaries, treat your partner with kindness and consideration, and be understanding of each other's feelings and experiences. Respect and empathy strengthens emotional bonds, so make a conscientious effort to show up in this important way.
15) End each day with affection. Finally, end each day with a gesture of affection. It doesn’t have to be sexy times ... a simple kiss and “I love you” before going to bed or parting ways is a sweet way to reinforce your love for and commitment to one another.
It’s important to remember that every couple is unique, so it may take some experimenting to find what works best for you and your long-term partner. The key is to be attentive, caring, and invested in keeping your relationship vibrant and fulfilling. Romance might take a little extra effort when you've been with your ride-or-die for ages, but the payoff for your relationship is way worth it.