Written by Kate Barrington and Alysha Jenney
Takeaway: Whether you are in a long-term, live-in relationship or a long-distance one, it isn’t uncommon to wonder about how to keep the relationship alive. No matter how much you love your partner, the passion and excitement tend to dwindle as the novelty of your relationship dissolves. If you find yourself reading this article, please know you are not alone and this is very natural. Here are some ideas from couples therapists in Denver on how to keep relationships exciting when they experience lulls.
One of the most satisfying aspects of being in a long-term relationship is how well you and your partner know each other. You’ve spent months, maybe even years together and you’ve endured your fair share of challenges while making memories along the way. Though there’s comfort in familiarity, sometimes what you really want is to switch things up – to try something new. We all could use a little change in our day-to-day WFH grind.
How do you keep a relationship interesting?
A relationship is only as interesting as you are. When you are feeling bored in the relationship, make it a point to acknowledge your limitations and maybe go outside of your comfort zone. What is something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do? What is something you feel interests you? What is something that turns you on, but you’ve been nervous to explore? Go with it!
Learning something new may be all you need to spark alive in your relationship because it gives you something to talk about, something to look forward to and helps your overall mental and emotional wellbeing.
Here are some other ideas on how to keep the spark alive in your long-term relationship.
Indulge yourselves with enjoyable past events and memories
Look at photos, read journal entries, and have conversations about how you first met. Reminiscing can help the two of you tap into enjoyable emotions that you’ve gotten too busy or too comfortable to tap into.
Reminiscing also helps us get back into the mental and emotional state of being present and open, like we once were in the beginning. Pick up some nice frames at the craft store or assemble your top picks in a scrapbook or photo book. If you want to go digital, go through old photos on your phones and stream them to the TV screen.
Have sacred rituals
Have sacred rituals that the two of you commit to; whether that be you go to an exotic vacation once a year together, or you have sex in the shower at every place you stay in!
Introduce a new hobby
Try out a board game or an outdoor activity to start exploring together. At your next date night, try something new that is out of both of your comfort zones. For example, you could go listen to live Jazz at a swanky club, play tennis or rock climb. Schedule a date that is specifically meant for role play. Pretend that you both are on a first date!
Appreciate the adventures, but also appreciate the moments of calmness
Being bored in your relationship is an opportunity to grow, but it is also a time to reflect in gratitude for the memories and level of comfort you both feel. During down times, try telling each other verbally how much you appreciate each other for the little things. Cuddle often and try to not take each other for granted everyday, by reflecting on the gratitude to have for one another before bed.
Talk about lulls
This may seem counterproductive, but communicating about a lull in the relationship may be what both of you need to hold each other accountable for trying one of these above tips. Try simply saying, “Hey, I miss you. Can we prioritize intentional time to connect?”
Tackle your partner’s to-do list
A surprise doesn’t always have to be a physical gift – you could show your partner you care by performing an act of service. Tackle a few items on your partner’s to-do list so they have a little extra free time to relax or to spend with you.
Try the 4-course meal challenge from TikTok
Everyone loves food, especially when it’s a surprise. Give the 4-course meal challenge a try by taking turns picking out drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Use the meal as a chance to spend some quality time catching up with your partner.
Write them a love letter
In today’s world, communication is often done through text or email, so show your partner you care by surprising them with a hand-written love letter. If you want to get really creative, you could write several shorter notes and hide them around the house for your partner to find.
Book a hotel room for the two of you
If it’s been a while since you and your partner had any alone time together, why not book a hotel room for a night or the whole weekend. Order room service then kick back and watch movies or soak in the jacuzzi together for a little quality one-on-one time. It’ll be nice getting out of your homes and into a new environment!
Buy something sexy for yourself or your partner
Feeling sexy is crucial in allowing yourself to be open to erotic experiences. Why not pick out a sexy piece of lingerie or a introduce a top rated couples sex toy as a surprise for your partner? Psssst… If erectile dysfunction is ever a barrier, you can plan ahead and get a prescription for ED medication online.
Feeling stuck? Go outside of your comfort zones and discuss sex in meaningful ways with our Intimacy Guide.
Buy a Modern Love Box subscription
As a relationship expert, I co-created The Modern Love Box with my husband because many of us long-term couples struggle at times with reviving the spark. Lulls in relationships are common and normal, but oftentimes, couples don’t have the tools on how to effectively work through them.
If you’ve having trouble coming up with ideas or ways to revive the passion with your partner, The Modern Love Box is a great choice. Choose from curated Date Boxes filled with products and prompts to help you and your partner step up all levels of intimacy, our digital monthly communication activity meant to help the two of you deepen your communication and have more interesting topics to discuss at any date night, and/or our adult intimacy products that help you both explore sexually.
Most of the work is done for you and each of the offerings give you the opportunity to get closer and more connected when you are struggling with knowing how.
So how do you keep a relationship alive after two years?
Two years is generally when a couple starts to feel the loss of their honeymoon stage. Although they are more comfortable with each other, have more security and may even be making bigger decisions together, they may also be struggling with experiencing the passion they once felt.
You can keep your relationship alive after two years by making it a point to continue to date each other. Continue to create new memories, recreate sacred ones, and give each other the quality attention you both used to effortlessly give one another. Celebrate anniversaries, enjoy quality time with intention, and be conscious of not letting the day-to-day stress rob you of the precious time you both get together. Any moment can become stale, but how do you intentionally make time to be flirty, playful and sexy?
You know your partner better than anyone, so take your time to think through this list and choose a surprise your partner will appreciate and enjoy. You never know – it might just set off a fun new tradition of surprising each other to keep the spark in your relationship alive!
Keep the spark alive with the Modern Love Box
We understand that keeping the spark alive in a relationship can be a challenging process. That’s why we recommend trying our date night subscription box the Modern Love Box if you and your partner are feeling stuck.
If you are interested in learning more about our counseling services in Denver, CO, feel free to contact me. I’m here to help! Thanks for reading.