It’s easy for a couple to fall for each other and cling to the red-hot embers of romance for a few months. It becomes much more difficult to continually stoke the flames after years of being together. But if you want a happy, healthy relationship, it’s imperative that you find new and better ways to bond.
Is Your Relationship Becoming Stale?
No relationship stays hot and heavy indefinitely. There will always be some mellowing. But there’s a difference between settling into a safe, comfortable relationship and having the relationship go stale. These are some signs that you’re moving in the latter direction:
- Less intimacy. Sex isn’t everything, but it’s definitely a key component of most romantic relationships. And while it’s natural for there to be some drop in sexual intimacy as people age, romantic gestures (like holding hands, hugging, and touching) shouldn’t wane.
- Lack of kindness. You won’t always feel up for physical intimacy, but you should have a strong desire to be kind to your partner. A consistent lack of kindness is a sign of staleness.
- Lack of appreciation. If you no longer appreciate the little things that your partner does for you, your relationship could be fizzling out.
- Less joy and excitement. If you don’t look forward to seeing your significant other, this is a problem. Less joy and excitement are signs that your relationship is teetering on the edge of failure.
6 Ways You Can Stay Connected
Whether you feel your relationship turning stale, or you simply want to prevent it from ever happening, here are some simple and effective ways you can continually stay connected to your partner:
1. Schedule a Weekly Date Night
When you were first getting hot and heavy with your lover, dates were something you both enjoyed. There were probably weeks where you went on three or four dates. But as time passes, dates tend to become less common. This needs to change!
You don’t need to go on four dates every week, but you do need to set aside one night. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but get out of the house and go do something. (Dinner, shopping, attending a sporting event, grabbing drinks at a local bar, hiking on a nearby trail, etc.)
2. Disconnect From Electronics
Smartphones and social media may be helpful for long-distance relationships, but nothing kills the average romantic partnership quite like electronics. When you’re physically present with your significant other, do your best to disconnect. This means silencing your phone, putting it down, and actually connecting.
3. Exercise Together
Did you know that working out with your significant other is proven to help improve your relationship? It provides accountability, strengthens bonding, and forges a stronger emotional connection. According to the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, it may even improve your exercise performance!
Not sure where to start? Try jogging or biking together. Other options include playing tennis, lifting weights, or doing yoga.
4. Have More Sex
Sexual drive and energy naturally takes a dip as people age, but this shouldn’t stop you from having sex. Aside from the physical pleasure, it helps reestablish the emotional connection that holds your relationship together. Every couple has different needs and expectations, but you need to be having sex multiple times per week.
5. Perform Random Acts of Kindness
People might view sex as the core of a relationship, but it’s just one of the more sensationalized parts. The bulk of a healthy romantic partnership is built on small acts of kindness. Performing more of these kind acts – like doing the dishes, opening the car door, greeting with a kiss, or taking on a responsibility without being prodded – will strengthen the fibers of your relationship.
6. Travel Together
Relationship experts say traveling together is one of the quickest ways to strengthen a connection and find common ground. So whether you’re jet setting to another country or taking a daytrip to a neighboring town, try planning regular trips, vacations, and excursions with your partner. The change of scenery can be really good for you as a couple.
Don’t Wait Any Longer
The longer you wait to be intentional about your relationship, the more likely it is that you’ll lose your connectedness and the flame will burn out. Don’t let this happen. Act now and develop a proactive plan that gives your relationship the fighting chance that it deserves.
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