Just like everything else, relationships need upkeep. You can’t expect to keep passion alive if you neglect it. In romantic relationships, you need to put in effort. If you’re not – what are you really doing with that person in the first place? Nourishing your relationship is very important, especially for long-term relationships. Your partner needs to feel loved and know that they are a priority in your life. You, also need to feel loved and know you are a priority in their life. Here are some positive ways to nourish your relationship, keep it thriving & most importantly, stay in love:
1. Never Stop Dating Each Other
You’ve heard it before, I know, but that’s because it’s important. You should have “Date Nights” and “Alone time”, even if you live together and/or have children. You need that alone time to enjoy each others’ company. At least once a week, you and your partner should have a date night. You don’t have to go “all out”, but you need to make an effort to spend time together, even if you’re staying in. Some of the best times I’ve had with my partner has been sitting at home with a few drinks, playing video games.
2. The Element of Surprise
Sometimes, it can be the smallest things that make you smile. Surprise your partner with their favorite snack, drink or a gift that just reminded you of them. Leave them notes. (I use post-its with quotes I like, or ones that made me think of him. I know, I’m such a romantic – see post-it pictured above). HaHa 🙂
A Tip: If you think she/he might want something, they do. Geesh, pick up the candy bar for them.
3. Be Adventurous Together
Go exploring together. Plan a fantastic vacation. Be a tourist in your own town. Try something together that neither of you have ever done before. Plan outings that are new. And, of course, don’t be afraid to try new things when you’re at home also 😉
4. Put Down the SmartPhone
A recent study found that smartphones have actually ended a lot of relationships. People get so caught up in social media, gaming and texting/chatting with others that their partner begins to feel ignored/unwanted. When you’re together, put down the phone. In other words, try to limit the amount of time you spend on your phone while you’re with your partner.
5. Compliments are Golden
This is particularly important for couples who have been together for a long time. We can forget that our partner isn’t a mind-reader. Compliment each other often. A simple, “You look nice”, or “I really like that shirt”, are great ways to show each other that you’re paying attention. Compliments don’t always have to be related to physical looks. Some of the best compliments are the ones that come from somebody appreciating something you’re good at – or a feature/attribute that makes you unique. Everybody loves a compliment now and then – be sure you’re giving them to your partner.
Cuddling has been proven to lower your heart rate and increase Oxytocin levels (the feel good hormone). Cuddling is a beautiful form of intimacy that should always exist within a relationship. Even if you both are having a lazy Sunday, cuddle up together on the couch to binge that Netflix show – or whatever. Just cuddle.
7. Communication is Key
As much as I personally wish I had the powers of Professor X in X-Men, I don’t. Neither does my partner. None of us can read minds. Stop dropping subtle hints when something is bothering you. Say it outright. Always communicate how you are feeling with your partner. Silence will kill your relationship. Say what’s on your mind. If you can’t do that – you should probably ask yourself why that is.
8. Learn Something Together
Take a class together. Learn from a YouTube video or a How-to guide. Learning together is a great bonding experience and you’re also picking up a new skill.
Always respect your partner.
10. Joke Around & be Playful
Laughing together is important. Joke around with each other and be playful. Unleash the silly side of yourself around your partner. Hold tight to that playful nature. Make your partner smile and laugh.
11. Always say “I Love You”
Don’t part ways without saying “I Love you.” Let your partner know when you’ve made it from point A to point B. Express your love by simply saying the words.
12. Have Sex, Often
Sex is a very important aspect of a relationship. Switch things up – get creative. I know this can be sort of a taboo topic for a lot of people. Don’t be a prude. In the words of the great Missy Elliot: Get your freak on. Often. & Don’t be selfish about the big “O”.
13. Do something for your Partner
This sort of falls in the realm of “The Element of Surprise”, but it’s really awesome when your partner does something for you that’s unexpected. This can be anything, really. If they are having a stressful week: offer a massage. Cook them their favorite meal. Do a chore that they normally do. If you’re a creative: write them a poem or leave a drawing for them to find.
If you don’t want to watch yet another freaking Jason Bourne movie but you know they want to see it – watch it with them. (Yes, I’m over the Bourne movies, but I’ll watch it anyway, for my dude, because I know he’ll watch yet another likely lame, awfully made low-budget horror movie I want to see).
14. We’re Only Human
Humans as a whole are very flawed beings. We all make mistakes. Don’t get hung up on the little things. Have Patience with your partner and forgive the little mistakes that can sometimes crawl under our skin, (he’s never going to put down the toilet seat – accept that shit). Understand that we all have flaws and your partner is no exception. Nobody is perfect. Accept the flaws and learn to love them.
15. Set Goals as a Team
Look at it this way: it’s you and your partner vs. the world. You should both have goals for the future as individuals but you also have them as a couple. Where do the two of you want to be in 5 months, 5 years? Make goals together and create a game plan of steps towards those goals.
16. Have your own Traditions
Traditions are great, especially for couples. Have something that the two of you share together only, (or with friends & family – whatever your preference). There are loads of options when it comes to creating traditions with your partner. Think of things like:
- “Wine Night”
- “Movie Genre Night” (If you’re into the romantic comedies that could be a good idea for couples. Personally, not my thing but whatever works for you).
- An Annual Hike/Visit to some place significant to the two of you. (Where you first met, had your first date, first kissed, ect).
- A Holiday Tradition (I’ll do a post later on ideas for this one – there are so many).
17. Take Pictures
I saw a post recently on Facebook that talked about this and I think it’s a wonderful idea. In addition to taking pictures together (all the time, you’ll regret it later if you don’t), take pictures of your partner in their “natural state” – meaning when they aren’t posing. Think of how many pictures you take of your food or your pet. Do the same of your partner. Do they have a cute quirk when they are doing something? Take a picture of it. Pictures will be so important when we get older.
It’s 50/50 – half and half. There are days you’re going to have to make compromises. Sometimes, it can be tough but it’s a necessity. When you love someone, you are willing to make sacrifices, which is essentially what compromising is. You can sacrifice that one day of the year to go to a baseball game if your partner is into it. You can bite the bullet and visit their family members. Compromise people, but remember, it works both ways.
19. ALWAYS be there for Each other
It should always be a give and take sort of deal BUT, in the words of Luke Bryan – “it’s a drop everything kind of thing.” Sometimes your partner may need you when you have plans. You need to be there for each other – always. Be there as a support system when your partner needs to vent. Listen. Be compassionate. Be that rock. Carry those burdens when your partner can’t. Always be there for each other – I can’t stress this enough.
Every relationship is different but every relationship requires effort. If you aren’t willing to put in that effort, do you really love your partner?
There will be ups and downs, (especially when you’re in it for the long haul). You just have to ride it out. Be there for each other. Be supportive. Most importantly, never take your partner for granted.
Remember why you fell in love in the first place and when times get tough, work together. Always make time for each other and never stop showing love and being in love. <3