As someone who has been in a long-term relationship for many years, I know how easy it can be to let the romance drop on the priority scale. Between work, maintaining the house, and everyday stresses of modern life, it can be difficult to prioritize your relationship and keep the flame burning. However, I also know that with a little effort, it’s possible to keep the romance alive in your relationship and deepen your connection with your partner. Now, more than 12 years since we got together, Daniel and I have grown even closer, and still wildly in love. Of course, ups and downs are a normal part of the seasons of a relationship.
Here are some things that have worked for us:
It’s becoming increasingly important for couples to limit their use of technology in order to maintain a healthy relationship. With smartphones and social media dominating our lives, it’s all too easy to spend hours scrolling through feeds and responding to notifications, often at the expense of quality time with our partners. When we’re constantly checking our devices, we’re not fully present in the moment with our loved ones, and this can lead to feelings of disconnect and dissatisfaction. Put away your phones and have a conversation. Give your partner your full attention and make time to connect.
Create unique experiences together.
Routine can be the enemy of romance, so make an effort to mix things up and keep things fresh in your relationship. It’s important to keep things fresh and exciting. Don’t fall into a routine where every night looks the same. Try new activities and experiences together, whether it’s trying a new restaurant, taking a dance class, or planning a weekend adventure. It’s these shared experiences that help strengthen your bond and create lasting memories. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just intentional. Be creative! Studies have shown that the happiest and longest-lasting couples thrive on doing new and unique things together. Do things out-of-the-ordinary and break up old patterns. Here are some ideas: Make art, take a class (how about a couples massage class?), plant a garden, play, cook something extravagant, build something, or volunteer together. Of course traveling to a new place together is an incredible way to do this. Keep the adventure alive!
Another key component to keeping the romance alive is showing appreciation and gratitude for your partner. Take the time to notice and acknowledge their efforts and contributions to the relationship. Celebrate their successes and support them through their challenges. When your partner feels appreciated and valued, they are more likely to reciprocate those feelings.
It’s easy to take your partner for granted, especially when you’ve been together for a while. Make a conscious effort to show your appreciation for your partner, whether it’s through small gestures like a surprise love note or a thoughtful gift, or by simply saying “thank you” and expressing your gratitude for all they do. Let your partner know how much you appreciate them. Gratitude is the key to happiness in life and it is also the key to happiness in relationships. Be generous with your gratitude.
Breaking a sweat together increases endorphins and builds attraction as well as emotional bond. Physical exercise is important for our physical and mental health, and doing it with your partner can be a great way to strengthen your relationship. Not only does working out together promote a shared sense of accomplishment and motivation, but it also creates an opportunity for quality time and bonding. Whether it’s going for a run or taking a yoga class, couples who exercise together can encourage each other to stay on track with their fitness goals and provide a sense of accountability. Additionally, physical activity releases endorphins, which can boost mood and reduce stress, leading to an overall happier and healthier relationship. By incorporating exercise into your shared routine, you can prioritize your health and your relationship simultaneously.
Kiss more often.
Sometimes long-term couples let this passionate way of connecting fall away. Make out, and agree it won’t lead to sex. Increase the longing, the desire for more. Kissing releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and attachment, and can help reignite feelings of closeness and passion. It’s also a way for couples to communicate their love and affection non-verbally, and to express their desire and attraction. By smooching regularly, couples can deepen their connection and maintain the spark that brought them together in the first place.
Make love as if it was your last time ever.
It sounds morbid, but it can be a powerful perception shift. If you knew this, how would the experience change for you? Would you show up differently? Thinking about this can snap you out of habitual ways of making love, and into the present moment with your partner.