Whether you’re a new couple or you’re firmly in the long-term territory, it won’t hurt to get a little help to keep those sparks flying.
You could have found the perfect partner, developed the perfect home life and be living in perfect harmony, but unfortunately experience tells us that however perfect everything is now, it is unlikely to remain that way forever. The fact is that the way we feel about a loved one, no matter how deeply held and seemingly infallible those feelings may be, unless we make an effort to nourish them, they will in time fade and possibly even die.
The secret to staying in love
The secret to staying in love isn’t one that requires a complex understanding of human psychology, nor is it one that is complex enough to warrant apprehension. The secret is simply this: put the work in.
Love is not a static emotion. It needs time spent upon it to ensure it continues to thrive. You wouldn’t leave a potted plant to its own devices, would you? It’s the same with your relationship. It needs to be nurtured and cared for in order to thrive. So how exactly can you keep your love alive?
1. Be romantic
Never let this one escape your list of priorities. Whether you’re male or female, please keep in mind that a little romantic gesture or two from time to time is something is necessary in your relationship.
It doesn’t matter how long you have been together, it doesn’t matter that you think you’ve outgrown that sort of thing. A bunch of flowers, a surprise trip or other romantic gifts and events can help steer your relationship away from the road towards tedium and complacency, which can result in a falling out between you and your lover.
2. Bedroom fun
In any guide or advice column you read regarding relationships, a healthy sex life always comes near the top of the list of tips for maintaining a loving situation. And there are many reasons for this. There are certain chemical reactions that promote a feeling of happiness and contentment that become associated with the other person involved.
There is the physical feeling of closeness that can’t be achieved with any other activity. Stress and tensions that may be threatening the relationship otherwise are alleviated by sex. There is no doubt as to its importance at all, when it comes to the issue of staying in love.
In practical terms, however, this means not only making love, but doing so, spontaneously and creatively. A regular Tuesday evening slot is unlikely to keep the flames of love burning, nor is a commitment to the same position time after time, with little or no foreplay, carried out in darkness. Shake things up a little, avoid routine, try new things and watch that love you both have become stronger and stronger.
3. Shape up
A long term relationship is no excuse for letting things slide, and one of the reasons that half of a couple most often cites for playing away from home is that their partner, quite simply, has let him or herself go. And there really is no excuse for that.
It’s a sign of respect for someone, if nothing else, that you want to make your best effort to look good for them, and being that handsome chap or radiant beauty that first caught their eye can only help to keep the flames alive. An easy tip to effect – just resist the urge to succumb to laziness when it comes to grooming.
Quite simple advice, keep giving it! Physical contact isn’t solely restricted to sexual activities and showing affection for your partner. Smile at each other. Hold hands. Sit really close together when you’re out. Give each other a massage. These little bursts of affection build up to form the foundation of love and intimacy, so don’t neglect them!
5. Make time.
Every loving relationship needs dedicated time in order to get the most from it. This is what’s often referred to as “quality time” that is spent purely enjoying the company of the person you are sharing it with and putting a bar on any interruptions or intrusions.
This way, you can keep a track of each other’s lives, take note of any current issues, interests and changes, so that you’re able to respond better to each other’s needs. No matter how busy you are with work, with the kids or with your hobbies, always set aside a couple of hours to bask in each other’s company.
6. Make Space
Ermmm… isn’t that the opposite of number five? Well, no, not really. Making space is the perfect complement to making time. When you have time together, make sure it is quality time, meaningful time, but equally a healthy relationship needs space to allow each other’s individualities and identities to flourish.
Time spent together all the time is almost certainly not of the quality variety, and is just likely to create a feeling of suppression and imprisonment. Get out, play a sport or socialize with friends, take time to be around other people so that when you come home, you appreciate each other even more and you have a lot of new insights to talk about.
Again, kind of obvious, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do this. In a relationship, especially where people can change in their attitudes and outlook on life over a long period of time, it is important to keep abreast of those things that have gained or lost significance in your partner’s eyes. Nothing is more likely to douse the sparks than completely losing touch with the person you claim to adore.
8. Help around the house
This can apply to either gender depending upon personal circumstances, but when a couple comes to rely upon just one half to perform all the domestic duties, it can add a bit of a strain on the relationship. Even if only one half of the couple works, and performing domestic duties is the agreed role of the other, give them the odd day off and take over. Get them a DVD to watch and a box of their favorite confection. Nothing would make your partner’s heart go a-flutter than taking the domestic duties by the proverbial horns and allowing them to relax.
9. Don’t nag
Nagging seems almost like a harmless pastime for some couples, and it can be quite amusing when apparently done in a harmless manner – hence the vast number of heckling and nagging couples extant within comedy films and TV shows.
However, too much nagging will almost certainly lead to a dissolution of the loving feelings, and can even lead to resentment. If there are things that annoy you about your partner’s behavior, try dealing with it through mature discussion at a point when you are both relaxed, to avoid the silly and pointless bickering that can otherwise occur.
10. Deal with it
If you seem to have hit a brick wall and your relationship is sliding away from you, then it may be time to swallow your pride and seek the help of a professional in that field. Marriage and relationship counselors might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if it has gotten to the stage where all else has failed, then what have you got to lose? If you at least consider this option, then it shows, if nothing else, that you still love your partner enough to make the effort.
There is never an end to true love, and if you’re willing to put in the work, there is no reason why you and your partner shouldn’t achieve the “happily ever after” that we all strive for.