Like a plant that needs water, relationships take some effort to keep in bloom. It's easy, especially as months turn into years, to let things slip and start feeling a bit stale. However, there are a million and one different ways to reinvigorate your relationship and get those sparks flying again. Here, we list the five best. These five tips are easy to do, and powerful gestures and habits you can use to make that flame burn like it did when you first fell in love.
Never Stop Dating Each Other
Romantic dates and gestures shouldn't only be reserved for anniversaries and Valentine's Day. Take each other out, surprise each other with sweet notes, flowers, and small gifts, and make an effort to keep doing little things that makes your other half feel loved.
Try New Things Together
So you've committed to tip #1 and are going on lots of dates, really trying to keep the romance alive. But all you're doing is dinner dates at the same restaurants, and sending each other the same flower arrangements. Time to get out of the same old routine and spice things up all over again with some variety! Try new things together at least once per month. Cooking classes focusing on a type of foreign cuisine are a great option. Sports are always good too -- kayaking and rock climbing are amazing couple's activities that encourage cooperation, teamwork, and mutual encouragement. You could learn sign language together, take a painting class, or volunteer for a good cause together and get those goodwill chemicals flowing.
Spice Things Up in the Bedroom
Spicing things up in the bedroom is a great way to rekindle that feeling of youthful romance, and you don't have to go full "Fifty Shades" to add new pizzazz to your love life. Sure, blindfolds and fluffy handcuffs are an easy avenue to explore. But you can also experiment with food, roleplaying, and fantasies you've had but were too embarrassed to discuss. In the process of spicing up your sex life, you might find yourselves being extremely vulnerable with one another, sharing things you couldn't share with anyone else. That adds a powerful emotional component to your sexual exploration!
Treat Each Other -- To Time Alone
This one seems counterintuitive, but is extremely important. If you never have any time alone, or with your own non-shared interests and friends, you may feel like you start losing yourself. You might then feel guilty for wanting time away from it all. But don't be! Healthy relationships aren't codependent, and you can do your own thing and still be completely in love with your husband or wife.
Treat each other to time alone when your partner needs it, and if you need it and aren't getting it, make sure you ask for it. If your significant other loves you, they'll understand and won't get mad, jealous, or take it personally! Everyone should have some "me time" every so often, even if you're not someone who needs a ton of it.
Do Some Chores
No, seriously! On the surface, chores like house cleaning and laundry seem like the most un-sexy things imaginable. But once you've settled into life together, surprising your other half with a clear sink, a mopped floor, or a finished load of laundry can feel like a breath of fresh air for your partner. If there's a chore they usually are the one to do, do it for them one day while they're out. It shows that you care, that you're being thoughtful, and that you want them to be happy.
It's common to have tension between couples because one partner is doing far more chores than the other. But even if this isn't the case, finding a chore they anticipated having to do already finished by you will make them feel a flood of gratitude and affection. And the more of those you cause in one another, the less likely your relationship will be to become dull and stale.