One of the main problems facing couples in long term relationships is that no matter how much they care about each other, it can be very easy to become complacent and to start taking each other for granted. Most of the time it’s not a conscious thing, it just happens over time, however this doesn’t have to be the case. Any relationship can be reinvigorated and it only takes a few simple steps to make it happen.
1. Take time to do the little things.
When people first get together, they make more effort. This is obvious. As time goes on the little things tend to get phased out. This is especially true when real life gets in the way. Busy work schedules, deadlines, travel and long hours can often make it difficult to find the motivation, let alone the time, to make the effort. Personally though, I think this is bullshit, because even with your busy schedule, if you just started dating someone you really liked, you would find a way to make that effort, so why not make it for someone you love? Even a small thing like buying her flowers or seeing that movie he wants to see. It’s the small things you did at the beginning to impress each other that allowed your romance to blossom, so don’t just ignore those things and assume that now you have been together for a long time that you don’t have to bother anymore. Like I said, that is complacency and it is how relationships become stagnant.
2. Date nights.
There is no excuse not to make time the two of you to be alone. If all you do is spend time at home then it is easy to fall into certain roles and stop seeing each other as sexual or exciting. You become domesticated and monotonous. Routine takes over and even when you have the time together, it is not quality time. So leave the house. Even if it is just to go to cheap Italian down the road or to the pub or even something silly like bowling. Take the time to see each other in other environments and remember how fun you can both be. Don’t underestimate how much fun banter and flirting are…that is the best part about the chase after all right? Escape your roles, just for a night. Don’t just be a husband or a wife, or a mum or a dad, just be two people in love for a night and have some fun and remember how awesome the person you chose to spend your life with is.
3. Learn to let things go.
If it’s important to them but not to you, why bother arguing about it. Couples often do this and end up having big rows about something that one of them doesn’t even care about. Learn that it’s okay to back down. Even better, learn that it’s okay to say sorry and admit you’re wrong (I’m still working on this one!). The point is, put the other person first. I know that sometimes I’m making a fuss about something and half way through I think ‘do I really need to be doing this?’ and likewise sometimes I’ll be getting nagged about some little bit of cleaning I didn’t do and I think ‘please just shut the fuck up!’ The point is, relationships are hard enough without nagging each other. Just let shit go if it doesn’t really matter.
4. Make time for sex.
Some people might not think that sex is that important, but then some people think is crack is a good life choice. If you don’t take the time to physically connect together it can cause you to become distant from each other because you stop seeing each other as sexual beings and fall into the monotonous routines we talked about earlier. Sex is something that removes all the barriers between you. No personal space, no boundaries. That kind of closeness is essential to maintaining intimacy. Once again, we all know that life can get in the way, but then once again I counter with the fact that if it was someone new you would find the time to fuck all over the place. Don’t let sex become an afterthought. That road leads to trouble.
5. Don’t lose yourself.
One of the best things about being in a relationship is that you get to share your life with someone, but this can also cause you to lose a part of your own identity. You cease to be a ‘you’ and become part of an ‘us’. This in itself is a good thing because you have found someone special, but it can be easy to lose yourself in that and forget that you are your own person. You end up doing everything together and pretty soon you can’t go out or be social without that person. In essence, you end up living in each others pockets, but even worse, you almost rely on that and forget how to fly it solo. Trust me on this, it is good to miss someone. It’s good to go out with your boys or your girls, or to have your own hobbies and things that are just yours. You both need to focus on yourself sometimes, because when you do that, you’ll remember the sexy, interesting person you fell in love with in the first place.
Overall, it’s just about remembering that you can coast along in life, loving the person you’re with but not really being IN love, or you can make the extra effort to rejuvenate your relationship and be the couple that other couples are jealous about. Go to restaurants, play fight, be impulsive, have sex in the middle of the day, turn the T.V off and just talk. Don’t fantasise about what you would like to do, actually do it instead. We get one go around and if you’re lucky enough to have found the person you’re going to go around with, don’t spend it wishing things were different. Make them different.