10 Things to Spice Up Your Long Term Relationship
Plan regular date nights. Your relationship doesn’t stop taking work when you get committed. If anything, you should be putting more “work” in! We try to go on dates at least once a week, and it makes all the difference. How to spice it up? Go somewhere you’ve never been before. Adventure is FUN. Try a new food, go to a new part of town, explore a little!
Take care of yourself. Your partner will appreciate it. I promise. Even down to the little things like shaving above the knee (WHAT? Ugh.) will make a difference. If you’re not a gym person (like me) do some squats and situps before you get in the shower. If you haven’t brushed your hair today, go do it NOW. As nice as it is to get comfortable with someone, they can only handle that morning breath and 2nd-day-of-the-same-outfit so much.
Do something you’re scared of. You don’t have to break the bank to make this happen, either. Adrenaline is exciting. Even if you’re doing something “normal” like karaoke in public, get out there and do it. (I say normal, but public singing is terrifying to me.)
Spend Quality Time Together. No phones, no tv, no distractions. Talk about your goals, your five year plan, the week you just had. It’s worth it. You aren’t missing anything important on that cell phone of yours.
Get dressed up. Even if you’re going to Taco Bell for dinner, get dressed up together. It’s always so fun to see your partner looking all put together. (Lulus and a tee do not count, ladies. Put some effort in.)
Notice the little things. Did your partner get a new haircut? Did they switch something up with their appearance, the way they cook, or do something that in any way helps you or your family? Notice it. Praise it. Sure, they may take the trash cans to the street every week, but this week I want you to notice it and say something about it. Give them a compliment on the little things. It shows you’re paying attention and that you care. Notice I didn’t say criticize the little things. Yes, the socks and boxers 1 foot away from the laundry bin are annoying AF. But this week, we are noticing that the toilet got scrubbed and the dishes got done and we didn’t have to do it.
Listen more. Even if listening more means listening to a recap of the sports game you really don’t care about or the shopping trip that resulted in the best ever deals on the new throw pillows you really didn’t need, listen. People love to be heard. And showing them that they have our undivided attention is important.
Pay attention to their love language. If they’re a physical touch person, hold their hand. If they like words of affirmation, give them a heartfelt compliment. If they like quality time, take them on a no-phone date night. Gifts? Get them something from the store next time you’re there. Acts of service? A quick shoulder rub, doing an extra chore or take on one of their responsibilities. People receive and give love differently, and if you pay attention to the way they want to receive love, they will love you for it. (love, love, love, love… how many more times could I say love in this listacle?)
Be independent. You know at the beginning of the relationship when you make the person wait for you to respond back, or you date around and allow them to earn your affection? This world-wide phenomenon isn’t a coincidence. People are attracted to independence. Let me rephrase, HEALTHY PEOPLE are attracted to independence. (Unhealthy codependent relationships don’t really apply to this list, anyway!) Do something for yourself, on your own. Enjoy your hobbies. Get back into mountain biking or painting or whatever it is that fuels your fire. Your partner will be happy to see you so fulfilled and want to be around your energy. (I know this is true. Johnny is my absolute FAVORITE human for the few hours after he gets back from snowboarding/biking/hunting/etc. He is so happy and I can’t help but smile when I’m around him in that “high”)
Have more sex. This one should be a no brainer, honestly. Get connected with your partner on all the levels. You know how there’s the word “hangry”? For when it’s been too long since you’ve last eaten? We have a word like that for sex at our house. Sex is such a crucial part in every relationship and if you say that it isn’t, you’re either not enjoying it to its fullest potential, or you’re wrong. (Just kidding. I know there are people who really just hate sex and that’s okay.) Try different things, have open communication, do whatever you’re both comfortable with. But especially in marriage, a healthy sex life makes a big difference.