Virtually every relationship starts out the same way—you can’t keep your hands off each other, you get excited at the mere thought of them, you love all the same things, and you never have disagreements.
Then suddenly, it all changes. You no longer want to be intimate every day, you crave space, and you realize that not everything is perfect. Yes, the honeymoon is over, but what if there was a way to embrace this new phase of your relationship while keeping the spark alive?
Just because the honeymoon is over doesn’t mean your relationship has to be. Here are ways to keep the spark alive in your relationship long after the honeymoon stage is over:
Put your phone down. Being present when you’re spending time with your partner can make a world of a difference to a relationship. Next time you are together, put your phones away and really appreciate being in each other’s company. The disconnection from the outside world will leave room for an even greater connection between the two of you.
Make time for a date night. No matter how busy your schedules are, it is important to make room for a date night. It is all too easy to become complacent in a relationship and fall into a routine where you neglect to make the relationship exciting. Dating should be a part of every relationship no matter how long you’ve been together. Try setting aside at least one day a week where you rediscover the fun of dating with your partner.
Be adventurous together: Trying something new together is a great way to keep the spark alive. Whether you explore a new hobby, or travel to a new destination, it is something that you can look forward to together.
Make small things mean the most: Big gestures are great, it’s the small moments with your loved one that are really cherished. Do simple things together like cooking and grocery shopping, giving the dogs a bath or even helping each other with the dishes. Sometimes it’s the small things that mean the most.
Make time for what they feel is important. Find out what your partner considers a priority and make sure you know it is important. Above all things, if your partner needs you to be there, then be there. Make yourself present and available every day to discuss anything. If your partner needs to go somewhere and do something on their own, support them by looking after things while they are away. In short, always give them the time they need, in whatever way they need it.
Say “I’m sorry.” We all mess up from time to time, say things we later regret, and do things we really shouldn’t. And yet, so often we justify these actions, to ourselves and our partners. This can lead to resentment and defensiveness—not the ingredients for a happy relationship. Next time you mess up, admit your mistake and move on. It will help your partner feel closer to you.
Looking good. Take steps to feel good about your body and the way you look. This is for you and your partner. For example, research showsthat when women feel good about their bodies, they are 19 percent more satisfied in their marriage. Don’t worry; you don’t need to look like a model. Just taking steps to feel good about yourself can have a positive effect on you.
Above all, be hopeful. Relationships, like life, have ups and downs. If you are on a downward slope right now, have faith: Things can get better. Put some time, energy, and love into your relationship. Focus on being the best partner you can be. Get help if you need it, and see the positive in your partner and your relationship.