So you fell in love, and with that came the butterflies, the smiling constantly, the inability to keep your hands off each other and all that wonderful stuff that makes new relationships exciting. And then time passes and you get comfortable. Date nights out turn into Netflix-binging nights in, which are GREAT, don’t get me wrong. (Give me a weekend with my husband and a The Walking Dead marathon and you will never see me happier.) But with love and closeness comes familiarity, and sometimes with familiarity comes uneventfulness and—dare I say it?— the potential to become boring.
Being comfortable and secure in a relationship is wonderful, but that doesn’t have to mean dull, too. Lucky for us longtimers, there are many ways to liven up a relationship.
Here are just a few:
Give yourself space to miss your partner
When you’re with someone all the time, you know everything he or she has going on. Spending time apart, doing things you’re interested in or even just hanging out with friends, is a good thing. It’s great to spend time with your love, but it’s also fantastic missing that person when you’re apart. Not only will you be doing yourselves a favor by keeping up with the things you like to do—being true to yourselves—but you’ll also have great updates and stories to share with your significant other when you’re with each other again.
Watch them totally shine in their element
It’s funny how when we get used to someone, we tend to forget how other people see that person. Don’t remember how charmed you were when you first fell in love? Try hanging out with your partner and their friends, classmates or co-workers. Maybe they’re a great storyteller or they make everyone in the room laugh. Similarly, take note when they express something they’re passionate about. By watching your partner in their element, you’ll see them shine and likely remember what it felt like to discover these things when you first fell in love.
Pretend to be tourists
When you experience new things, it can ignite your sense of wonder and make you see the world differently. Try scheduling a date night regularly to do something new in your area, like visiting a museum or trying a type of food or activity you’ve never tried before. Pretend you’re visiting from out of town to make the whole thing feel like a mini-vacation.
Plan a real, full-blown adventure
It’s difficult to feel romantic or do something exciting when there are so many chores to do and looming deadlines stressing you out. That’s why getting away every now and then is important. Whether it’s a day trip to a town a few hours away, a weekend getaway or a straight-up vacation, taking a trip together can help you and your partner physically leave the to-do list behind. That opens up time to focus on each other. But be sure to really leave work behind (as much as you can), because if you don’t, you’ll be defeating the purpose of getting away.
Obsess about something…together
Just as long-term couples tend to do the same things together, many also talk about the same subjects. How was work? What do you want to eat for dinner? Blah Blah Blah. Talking about the same thing all the time can become monotonous. Try fitting into your schedule something like reading the news side by side. There’s always something different going on, and you can talk about it! Doing this will not only change things up, it can also provide new insight into how your partner thinks and feels. Even though you have been together for a long time, people evolve, so you might be surprised by some of what you hear. If you don’t want to read the news, consider other ways to shake up your routine by listening to podcasts, watching movies in genres you wouldn’t normally watch or obsess over a series together. Then prepare to talk your brains off about it. It’s always important to have something new—and outside of your day-to-day world—to dish about. It breaks up the routine, forces you to set aside time for each other and makes for some seriously awesome (and fresh) conversation.
(Image via NBC)