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In the end, the best way to keep a long-term relationship interesting is the easiest thing you can do: Add that element of “new” to your life and your long-term relationship. Take a cooking class together, do yoga with each other or take dancing lessons. Hell, just take her to a new museum once in a while. The bottom line is that you want to be with each other, but it’s always better to have something in common that you can discuss together. The stuff in the bedroom, that’s the easy part, but finding someone you actually want to talk to afterward, that’s the tough part. And when you finally get that, keep searching for something new to converse about and keep that initial feeling alive for the years ahead.
Introduce a third party
Ultimately, every couple will make that fateful decision to add someone new to the mix. Get your minds out of the gutter, we’re talking about bringing a child into the world. There is nothing that will bond a couple quite like having something to care for together, something that is more important than each other. If you’re not quite ready to take that step (and don't have a child simply because the relationship is in trouble and needs patching, it is not a fix-all solution), then think about bringing in a dog, a cat or even a goldfish, any being that both of you can care for and love.
Try new things in the bedroom
Trust us, there is always something that you haven’t tried. Let’s face it, if you’ve been with someone for a long time, it inevitably gets a little monotonous in the bedroom with both partners wanting to just get their kicks and go to bed. However, if you really want to give your long-term relationship staying power, give a little extra effort in the bedroom: bring in some sex toys if she wants (or if you want); bring on the whips and chains; or pour some candle wax. These things don’t have to sound appealing to you, but give them a try anyway and you might be surprised. At the very least, you’ll have shared a new experience together.
Set goals together
This is a great way to reinvigorate not only your long-term relationship, but your ambition. Sit down with your partner and decide where you guys want to be in the long-term -- neighborhood, house, kids, jobs, etc. -- and how to get there. Ask each other for advice about how best to accomplish those goals and once they are accomplished. And don’t just stop there, set new goals: health, comfort, happiness, redecorating, and so on. There are always ways to better yourself and your relationship, and it’s better to do it together than separately.
Go on dates
Hey, just because you’ve been dating a while doesn’t mean you should shirk your duties as a gentleman. And a date doesn't mean you take her to that local Mexican place you always go to. Instead, do some planning and make a reservation someplace affordable, but romantic. Open the door for her, order some wine and dessert and hold her hand if she wants to. Make it a regular thing, weekly or bi-weekly depending on your budget and schedules. It might seem like a lot of work, but it’ll make your relationship stronger and healthier in the long run.
Make surprise visits
Don’t be a stalker, but every once in a while pop into her work and take her out for lunch or just stop by to say hello. It’s the same reasoning behind getting her a gift; it’s a reminder to her that you were thinking of her. However, the difference with this way to keep a long-term relationship interesting is that not only were you thinking of her, but the thought of her imbued you with an urgent need to see her at once. Isn’t that romantic? Well, she'll think so.
Giving a gift to someone not only lets them know you love them, but also that you’ve been thinking of them when they weren’t around. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or pricey, it just has to be something from the heart that your partner would really enjoy. Even if they tell you that it’s unnecessary and not to buy it, it’s very much necessary for the future health of your relationship and a great way to keep a long-term relationship interesting.
Spend time apart
This is one of the hardest things to do if you’re in a long-term relationship with someone you truly care about. When you love someone, you want to spend as much time with them as possible, but it’s important to not only have some space, but to also spend a night apart every once in a while as well.
Being apart not only allows you some freedom, but it will also make both of you miss each other a little bit and is an ideal way to keep a long-term relationship interesting. Now, we're not suggesting you spend a night apart with other people, we're suggesting you take a night to visit a friend out of town, or you can suggest she spend the weekend at her parent's so they can catch up.
Visit someplace new
If you guys end up going to the same restaurants all the time, you’ll inevitably be spending a lot of time retreading the same ground. By going to a new city, a new beach or a new hotel, you’ll be opening up a wide range of new conversations and it's a great way to keep a long-term relationship interesting.
It’s wonderfully revitalizing for any relationship to be put in a situation where you’re on equal footing, both unaware of how exactly this new place operates. And when it’s time to go back to the hotel room at the end of the day, you’ll be able to enliven your love life on an entirely different bedspread.
One of the biggest mistakes that a couple can make is to spend every second with just each other. By just throwing a party and inviting both of your groups of friends over, not only will you be introducing some of your buddies to some new ladies, but you’ll also have an opportunity to be around each other without being attached to one another; this is a great way to keep a long-term relationship interesting. You can play some poker with your bros while she entertains her friends, or you can spend your time meeting some of her friends while she does the same.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA
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