Rebecca Vineyard
October 11, 2015 3:05 pm

Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that in the beginning, it’s extra, extra exciting: you’re getting to know one another, you’re attracted to each other, and the thrill of a budding romance is a lot of what you feel. And you want to feel those feelings ALL THE TIME.

After a while, however, things can get tough. We don’t mean to be downers; relationships just take some work. Okay, a loooooooot of work. And while it can sometimes be legitimately difficult, it also shouldn’t have to feel like work—after all, if you love your S.O. and love spending time with them, it shouldn’t all be tough.

So, how do you keep the early-relationship spark alive while your grow and change as a couple? And, what actions can you take to ensure your relationship has the power to last? The answer might just be found on Reddit. According to NYLON, Redditor ckernan2 has some pretty solid advice: the 2/2/2 rule.

Ckernan2, who has been married for a little over a year, and his wife use this rule to keep their spark alive and well. Nine months after they got married, he wrote, “We got married in August and people still ask how long our honeymoon phase will last. I think it’ll last as long as we stick to our 2’s.”

Ckernan2 adds, “We’ve stuck to it, and it really has made things awesome.”

The 2/2/2 rule states that a couple should go out for one evening every two weeks, one weekend every two months, and one week every two years.

We know it’s not relationship rocket science, but it makes sense: couple need to make time for one another, and specifically setting aside the time means you’re less likely to bail on date night because you’re tired/ you have to work late/ you forgot Friday night was your friend’s birthday party. Additionally, dedicating a full weekend to each other every couple of months means distraction-free quality time.

Sure, it might be easier said than done to go out one night every two weeks, much less going away for a weekend every couple months and a vacation every couple years, especially if you’re both students or living on a strict budget. However, you can do things inexpensively: date nights and weekends can happen with the help of sites like Groupon. Plus, having the shared goal of funding these occasions—especially the one-week vacation—means you’re working toward something together.

Other love advice the Internet has to offer includes participating in activities that will make your heart race (like rock climbing and rollerblading, guys), making sure that you’re communicating effectively and clearly, and doing small things for them that you know they hate (like dusting). Love and relationships are idiosyncratic and unique —you’ll find what makes yours work best.

(Image via ABC)

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