Three ways to maintain love and excitement in a long term relationship
The start of every new relationship is exciting, with the anticipation of another text, the frisson of your first kiss, and the chemistry sparked between the sheets.
Naturally, this newness fades over time. But that does not mean that you and your partner need to lead to a life of dull complacency and routine.
As your relationship grows, it offers a level of stability and comfort that comes with knowing each other well, and most couples don’t want to change that.
And you don’t need to. It’s absolutely possible to maintain or reignite the passion of new love, while still enjoying the comforts of a long-term relationship. Here are three ways to do so.
1) Surprise your partner
You should know your partner better than anyone else, so will know how to introduce an element of surprise.
When you exchange gifts to celebrate your union, make sure you find the perfect anniversary gift that shows you have made an effort to find something romantic that you know they will love.
This is a gift that shows that by listening and being attentive you have been able to source something they want or treasure.
You can arrange to meet with your significant other for lunch one day, and surprise them with a picnic you have already prepared with their favourite foods and snacks.
Or you could place tickets to the next gig by their favourite band or sports team in the pocket of their jacket or in their purse for them to find later.
You can write words of love in the steam on the bathroom mirror after a shower or slip a handwritten note in with their lunchbox. If you are home from work first, you could even greet them home in your birthday suit! Or ask them to save a date in their diary and surprise them with a date night which is something unexpected and fun.
Surprises like this bring novelty back into your relationship.
In the early stages of our relationship, there are so many experiences that give us pleasure. But as time passes, these experiences can taper off and we can feel a little deflated.
Sometimes it is easy to forget all the endearments we shared in the early days.
Simply expressing your love in a way that truly expresses how you feel will maintain the feelings of love between you. This does not need to just be words: a gentle squeeze of the arm or a brush of the cheek can communicate love and affection but also respect, support and encouragement.
All relationships change as the people in them change and grow. As you pass through these phases in life you need to be honest about the impact of the transition on you. By sharing openly, you have a better understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses at any moment in time, which gives you both the opportunity to offer support where it is needed.
It is also a chance to recognise early on when something is not working well between you, giving you the chance to put it right before irreversible resentment builds up so much that the relationship cannot survive in a healthy way.
3) Novelty quality time
A weekly date night that always involves a takeout pizza and a Netflix movie will not raise the romantic pulse. What will, is when you try something new together without any distractions from children, chores, work or other responsibilities.
This can be something as simple as trying a new restaurant to taking a vacation overseas. Science has proven that new experiences release dopamine and norepinephrine, the same chemicals that provide the highs of early romance.
Maintaining intimacy is part of the quality time each couple needs to focus on. As time passes and duties to family and work continue to grow, it is important that you maintain your loving relationship by intentionally connecting, as you did early in your relationship.
If you need a kickstart intimacy in your relationship, revisit the places you went to early in your relationship. If you bonded over coffee dates or strolls in the local countryside, relive those type of dates to get the old feelings to come back again, a reminder of why you fell in love with this amazing partner of yours.