Let's face it: when you're in a long-term relationship, there are a few things that fall down by the wayside. Just because that exciting feeling that comes with a new relationship is now replaced with the comfort of a long-term partner doesn't mean your feelings for each other have to wane as well. Consider these three tips to help ensure your relationship never loses that initial spark.
Make a Date Night
No, enjoying takeout while lounging around together on the couch in your sweatpants does not count as date night. Date night requires effort. Shower and get dressed in clothes that perhaps your better half hasn't seen you in a while (little black dress and suits anyone?) Pick a restaurant you've never been to. Try something on the menu you never would have tried before. In addition to adding new experiences in your life, all of these scenarios open up a plethora of topics of conversation so you're not left sitting there and griping about the economy, traffic, weather or politics. And, don't just stick with dinner and a movie. Add other more interactive activities like ice skating, camping, stargazing, sightseeing or attending a sporting event together to your dating repertoire.
Show Some Appreciation
When was the last time you paid your sweetie an honest to goodness compliment? Chances are we focus on all of our partner's bad qualities most of the time (i.e. he leaves the toilet seat up, he's such a slob, he never helps me with the laundry). Instead of focusing on the negative, start focusing (and discussing) his or her positive attributes. Does he know how to make a mean four-course meal? Tell him. Does she look good in those pair of jeans? Let her know! It's easy to fall into the trap of resentment when all you hear from your significant other is all of the bad things that you do. Don't forget to put some words of support and encouragement in your daily communication as well.
Be More Thoughtful
If the last time you sent your better half flowers was when you first started dating, reconsider your relationship MO. Being thoughtful of your partner's wants and needs helps keep that spark from sputtering out. See how you can help make their lives happier and easier. Help with the chores, take the kids off of their hands for a while or leave a love note in your lover's lunchbox. Make them feel extra special with a surprise gift or spontaneous massage. Plan what's for dinner for once or let your sweetie know they have the day off and don't have to worry about anything that goes on in the house for the weekend. However way you can show your sweetie that you're thinking of them will definitely help keep the spark alive.