long-term relationship couple

How to keep a long-term relationship fresh

by Eharmony Editorial Team - October 22, 2016

Keeping things fresh in a long-term relationship doesn’t have to be difficult. Rebecca Perkins shares her top tips for keeping the spark alive.

Once the first flush of lust and romance has died down, it can be so easy to suddenly find yourself in a relationship rut. It’s certainly been my experience in the past! You might have only been dating for a short while but when you have commitments to family and work, it becomes easy to neglect your new relationship and quickly slide into ‘old married couple’ routines. Before you know it, you’re left wondering whether you want this kind of relationship at all.

I love what I’m learning about what’s possible in relationships in the second half of life. There are no rules! Gone are the days where we meet someone, start dating, move in, get married and live happily ever after. Everything has changed and now we make our own rules – I love that!

With this in mind, I believe that it’s easier than ever before to keep your relationship fresh. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:

Make time for dating

Date nights and day dates are great, so make the effort! Meet in the pub, go for a walk, or head to that exhibition you’ve wanted to visit for ages.

Enjoy time apart

Visit a friend for the weekend without your partner, enjoy a theatre trip with your friends or spend time with your family without them. Time apart really does make the heart grow fonder.

Try something new together

Whether you choose salsa dancing, sourdough bread making, orienteering or choir practice, be beginners together.

Choose each other every day

It’s easy to pick a fight and pay attention to those little things that always seem to annoy us about the other person when in a long-term relationship. Make a conscious decision to choose each other – and fall in love – every day.

Notice what you like about each other and comment on it

‘I love how you make my coffee, thank you’, ‘The way you get dimples when you smile gets me every time’, ‘I really like how you spoke with the waiter in the restaurant.’ You get the idea.

Do unexpected things and surprise each other

Show you care by sending a card or a text in the middle of the working day, giving a small gift, or even making a cup of tea.

Keep out of routine

If you see each other a couple of times a week, try to make those occasions on different days and at different times. Routine can stifle excitement and romance.

Touch each other often

Touch is something that shows that you care, whether it’s a kiss, a ruffle of the hair, hand at the small of the back or holding hands when out walking.

Put your phones away when out on a date

Have a digital detox. It’s so irritating when you’re trying to have a conversation and the other person has their nose in their phone.

Ask questions

Start to get to know each other on a much deeper level. Think of all the things you don’t yet know about your partner and ask – people love having the opportunity to talk about themselves.

Kiss more and never, ever stop flirting

It keeps the sexual energy alive, even when it’s not leading to sex.

Do things that make you laugh together

Having fun and sharing laughter always bring people closer together in a long-term relationship. The most stressful day can often be lightened by watching something funny together.

Keep having sex

Have sex often but avoid it becoming something that happens at the same time, in the same place or in the same way each time.

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Say ‘thank you’ often

We all love to feel valued.

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