Relationships go through phases, especially long term relationships. In the beginning, any new relationship can seem like sunshine and roses. Once the infatuation period has worn off, whether this is in a few months or a few years, arguments can start, and many couples struggle to keep the flame burning. However, everybody knows that long term relationships take consistent effort. If you’re going to keep your relationship alive long after the honeymoon period has worn off, try the following ideas.
- Kiss Everyday – And Prioritize Other Types of Physical Contact
Kissing is something that many couples stop doing once they have been together for a while. However, it can bond couples closer together, especially if they dedicate some time to it everyday. Quick kisses are fine when you’re about to leave for work, but see if you can dedicate a set time of day for kissing your partner. Just enjoy it and see what happens. If you and your partner don’t feel like kissing much at the moment, try to address why. It could simply be because you have gone so long without this sort of intimacy, or it could be because you are no longer right for one another. Only you know the answer.
As well as kissing, it’s important to prioritize other types of physical contact. Holding hands, hugging, and even just laying together can be a good way to feel closer together. Many couples get so absorbed in their day to day lives that they forget to spend time touching their partner. If you were very touchy feely in the beginning and you’re less so now, see if you can introduce it again.
Some couples may not be as ‘into’ physical contact, and that’s fine. Each couple is different. In cases such as this, aiming to make more eye contact with one another can have a positive effect on how bonded you feel. You might find that when you make an effort to use your phone less, watch less TV, and consume less media via technology in general, you are able to properly focus on one another, have a conversation, and make eye contact.
- Enjoy The Novelty – Find New, Fun Things To Do Together
Novelty is important in any relationship. Experiencing new things together as a couple provides brand new bonding experiences, and actually has an effect on the happy chemicals in the brain. These things really do bond you closer together, whether you choose to go to a cookery class or decide to try out a skydive. Novelty can also come in the form of fun little surprises for your partner. You could leave your partner love notes to find around the house, surprise them with a little gift, or find other ways to make them smile. Little surprises can stop a relationship from going stale.
Date nights should also be a priority, whether you plan them each week or each month. Make sure you mark it on your calendar, and use it as a way to treat one another as if you’ve just started dating. Dress up, flirt with one another, and have a good time. Use your date nights as a chance to start new conversations and switch things up. You can do this easily with card games like ‘We’re not really strangers’, where players are encouraged to dig deep and explore complex ideas, and perhaps even come clean about certain topics. This sort of thing is great for couples who want to be vulnerable with one another, feel closer, and perhaps even see a new side to their partner. This could be just the tool you need to finally feel confident enough to be completely open with one another.
Travelling together gives couples the opportunity to explore amazing new places and have experiences that they would never have back home – the perfect novelty activity. It’s an opportunity to reconnect away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, work stress, and even technology. While we shouldn’t always feel like we’re waiting for a vacation (if this is how you feel, maybe something else needs to change), vacations can be a great bonding time for couples.
Taking an interest in something your partner does can be a great way to get close again. Just remember that it might not be a good idea to hijack all of your partner’s hobbies, especially as time apart is also important in a healthy relationship. When you pick a hobby you might like, you can immerse yourself in something brand new, and your partner can have a good time sharing everything they know with you. You could then plan to do the same for one of your hobbies. Even if the chosen hobby doesn’t turn out to be something you want to continue doing, you will learn more about your partner based on the things they enjoy doing and why.
- Do Things Separately
Don’t forget to spend time apart doing your own thing. Doing things separately, no matter how long you’ve been together, is a must. Co-dependent relationships are not healthy, and they give you very little to talk about. When you do things apart, you’ll enjoy the time you spend together that much more.
Sometimes, it’s not all about improving your relationship or your partner. If you feel unhappy, it could be time to take a look at yourself. Your partner can’t be responsible for your happiness alone, and putting this pressure on them will strain the relationship. Instead, become the boss of your own happiness, and figure out what you can do to improve it. What is lacking from your life? Your partner should be an addition to your life that helps to enhance it, not your sole reason for being. Begin working on yourself, find new things to focus on and become passionate about, and your relationship should improve by default!
- Set Rules For Arguing
All couples argue. However, arguing in a healthy way is crucial. It’s not healthy to lose your temper, scream at one another, and throw insults that you can’t take back. By setting rules for arguing in a calm moment, you can be sure that you’re both on the same page. You’ll both treat one another with respect, and aim to come to a conclusion that is suitable for both, too. Always clarify if you’re not sure you understand something your partner is saying during a disagreement, and rephrase what they have said or ask for clarification if you need to. This will reduce misunderstandings and escalations that could have been avoided. Healthy disagreements can make the biggest difference to the quality of a relationship.
Work on your communication styles in general and you should stop a lot of arguments from taking place. Make sure you understand where you both fall short. Most people copy their parents’ communication style and don’t even realize it. It will take commitment and practice, but by taking a deep breath and becoming more mindful during disagreements, you should be able to come to more satisfactory conclusions together as partners.
- Renew Your Wedding Vows
If your relationship is going to last, then it’s important to choose one another every day. So many couples stay together, purely because they have been together for a long time, and not because the relationship is ideal for them at that moment. As well as reminding yourself why you choose your partner every day, you could consider renewing your wedding vows. When you choose to reaffirm the vows you made the first time around, and even come up with new, more suitable vows for your situation, you will feel more connected than ever. They say you only get one wedding, but renewing your vows could be the exception. This could be just what you need if you’ve returned from the brink of divorce stronger than ever, have found a way to overcome other problems in the relationship, or you simply want to make your marriage more of a priority. You can even bond by planning your vow renewal ceremony together, spending time looking at 2021 trending wedding invitations, perfecting your order of the day, and creating a guest list that makes you both happy.
- Stay Active Together
Enjoying physical activity as a couple can also be a fantastic way to bond. Maybe you could start hiking, biking, or going to the gym. Not only will you both prioritize your health and enjoy many mental and physical benefits, you should find that you feel closer. Studies have shown that couples who participate in an exciting physical challenge or activity feel more excited with their relationships, and more in love with their partner. You’d be surprised at how regular exercise with your love can help to increase your emotional bond. Working out together allows you both to coordinate your actions and rhythm, like when you lift weights or match one another’s running pace. This creates something called ‘mimicry’, which benefits you by helping you both to feel more emotionally attuned.