Contrary to what many people think, keeping the spark alive in a long term relationship is not that easy to do. Work, kids, mortgages and life in general tend to put a damper on the passion, lust and interesting conversation that you had with your partner during the early stages of your relationship.
What used to be glitzy nights out on the town have now been replaced with stressful or boring nights in. One spouse frantically sending out work emails, whilst the other nurses a sick baby does not make for sexy couple time.
There is no denying that the deeper and more intimately you know someone, the more likely the magic tends to diminish and you start settling into what sexy singles like to refer to as the dreaded ‘comfort zone.’ Don’t get me wrong. Being utterly comfortable with someone until they seem like they are a part of you is a wonderful thing. In fact, that sort of intimacy should be applauded and respected. [Read: 12 easy ways to keep the intimacy alive]
In the end, do not let boring conversation and a lack of animal sex get in the way of the beautiful life that you have built with your partner. There is absolutely no reason why you should not act like teenagers with the man or woman whom you pledged yourself to years ago.
How can you keep things interesting after years of being together?
Here are 20 glorious ways to keep your long term relationship exciting, or as many like to say, ‘sex-citing’.
#1 Do something new together. By embarking on something that neither of you has ever done before, it keeps things interesting and fresh. Whether it’s taking a holiday somewhere new or trying a new restaurant in town, do something new and interesting with your partner.
#2 Date each other. Never underestimate the importance of date night. Clear your schedule, put work on hold and plan a nice night out. Whether it’s something simple like heading out for a movie or preparing a homemade meal, never cancel on date night. If you have kids, arrange for a sitter to watch them to ensure that you get plenty of alone time with your spouse. [Read: 13 most romantic date ideas]
#3 Agree to unexpected requests. In an article published by the New York Times, Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside said, “The natural human tendency to become “habituated” to positive circumstances — to get so used to things that make us feel good that they no longer do — can be the death knell of marital happiness.”
Hence, spice it up by doing things that would take you out of your comfort zone. Whether it is accompanying your wife to the theatre or keeping your husband company on his evening run, agree to things you would not normally do.
#4 Don’t hold back on your love. There is no room for ego in a happy relationship. Never hold back on expressing love and forgiveness, no matter how irritated you are with your partner. The same way you would want your spouse to touch you, laugh with you and forgive you for all your wrongdoings, offer up the same thing. Never hold back on your love no matter the circumstance.
#5 Switch up the routine. One simple way to keep your long term relationship exciting is to switch up the routine. Instead of going by the same old boring book, flip to a random page and just do it. Whether it’s heading out to a new restaurant for a spontaneous date night or surprising your partner with a quiet night in and a great bottle of wine, mess around with the norm and see where it takes you.
#6 Start an open dialogue. Communicating freely with your spouse is very important if you want to keep your long term relationship alive. This does not include speaking about everyday household chores such as whose turn it is to take the dog to the vet, who should run out for groceries and so on.
Communicating freely entails sitting down with your spouse for at least 15 minutes a day and indulging in conversation. It could be discussing the future, helping out with a work issue and so on. Keep things light and easy. The goal is to get to know your partner again. [Read: 12 things happy couples talk about]
#7 Give it your all. When attempting to keep your long term relationship exciting, ensure that you give it your all. Behave as though your relationship will end if you cannot fix this, and for most couples, that is probably the case. By thinking along these lines, you will put in plenty of effort and truth be told, it’s the only way you should be addressing this anyway.
#8 What would you have done 20 years ago? According to Terri Orbuch, Ph.D, psychologist and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, “The main idea is to mimic your relationship when you first met one another.” Ask yourself what you were like years ago when you met your spouse. Were you more spontaneous then? More loving? More giving? Peek into the past and practice what both of you did in the beginning that made you fall in love.
#9 Socialize together. Being in a relationship should not be all about just the two of you. Both sides need friends, whether mutual or your own group of people. Start socializing more with your friends and throw parties, host dinners, plan a BBQ or head out for drinks together in a group. Socializing outside of work and parent-teacher conferences will certainly inject some fun into your relationship.
#10 Take trips. Sometimes, all you need to do to revitalize your long term relationship is to plan an escape together. Whether it is a 2-week getaway to the Maldives or a one night stay at your favorite hotel in the city, take a trip with your partner and treat it like a second honeymoon. If both of you cannot seem to take time off or if you have financial constraints, then plan a simple picnic in the park or have a glass of wine at your favorite lookout point. [Read: 10 benefits of taking a sex vacation]
#11 Surprise one another. Every expert out there will tell you that giving is very important in a relationship, and they do not just mean time. Gift giving is a surefire way to make your partner smile. It does not have to be something expensive or extravagant. It could be picking up a fridge magnet for your loved one the next time you head overseas on a business trip, or surprising your husband with tickets to a ball game. No matter what you do, make it a point to let your partner know how grateful you are to have them in your life. [Read: 25 sweet romantic gestures to try]
#12 Accomplish something together. Set a realistic goal together and work towards it. Examples include attending a samba class, saving up a certain amount of money by the end of the year, running a marathon together and so on. Whatever it is, motivate each other and see it through to the end.
#13 Sex it up. Everyone knows just how important sex is in a relationship, especially long term ones. Instead of vanilla sex, try new things like toys, flavored lubes, sexy lingerie and costumes. Loosen things up by popping open a bottle of champagne or wine. After your second glass, all inhibitions will fly out the window and you will be at it like teens. [Read: 10 naughty games to get you in the mood]
#14 Be happy to see one another. No matter how busy you are, make it a point to be happy to see your partner. At the end of the day, instead of greeting your husband or wife with, “Did you remember to buy eggs?” try giving them a kiss and hug before saying anything. Let them know just how happy you are to see them and they will reciprocate in like.
#15 Argue well. Arguments are a normal part of being in a relationship. Try not to lash out in anger, and even when you do, censor your words and do not hurt your partner. Try to listen more than yell. Also remember that there is nothing wrong with going to bed angry. Staying up all night arguing will only make things worse as both sides will be tired and irritated. [Read: 8 ways to handle the tension after an argument]
#16 Look good for one another. If you want to keep your long term relationship exciting, then you have to act and look the part. Make an effort to look good for your partner. Start working out and eating right. It will also be nice if you could shave, wax, put on your makeup and don a nice outfit every so often to look smoking hot for your loved one.
#17 Share the love. If you have been together for a long time and feel that you are brimming with love, then perhaps it is time to share what you have. If you have not already done it, talk about having kids and starting a family.
If you are not ready for little minions, then why not get a pet together? Be it a dog, cat, ferret, hamster or fish, getting a pet will give both of you the chance to share the responsibilities of caring for something other than yourselves. A word of caution: Having children or getting a pet is not about fixing your relationship, rather, it is about enhancing it. [Read: 11 ways to know if you’re ready for kids]
#18 Appreciate life together. As morbid as this may seem, keep in mind that life is short and that time is precious. Revitalize your relationship by always appreciating life together. With over 6 billion people in the world, it is a wonderful thing that you met your partner and built a life together. Be grateful for the love you share and cherish one another no matter what.
#19 Always forgive. You may think that your partner should know better by now, but always remember that they too are human. You are not the only one learning and growing in the relationship. Mistakes will be made and all you can do is forgive them. If it won’t be such a big deal, just let it go.
#20 Spend time apart. Finally, keep your long term relationship exciting by spending some time apart. By spending time apart, it will give both parties the freedom to do what they want without the other breathing down their necks. It could be letting your partner go off for a fishing trip with a friend or you spending some time back home with your folks. Either way, give both sides the chance to miss one another and you will find that when you are finally back together, things will be a little different. [Read: How you can give space in a relationship]
If the love between the two of you is strong, there is no reason why you cannot reignite the flames of passion in your long term relationship. Just remember to give it your all and you will find that everything will turn out great in the end.
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