After being together for a long time, couples can (and most do) lose the spark they once had. It is so easy to fall into routine and become comfortable, but it is outside of our comfort zone that we find growth. A good couple grows and changes with each other, rather than apart from one another. There are many different things that you can do with your partner to keep the feelings strong, while reducing the tension between the two of you.
Always let them know when you are thinking about them
A gesture that seems so small can be so important. There are so many different ways you can say or show your man that you are thinking of him. Sending a sweet text, leaving love letters in his lunch, or grabbing him a gift on a random day are some simple ways to do it. You can easily find gifts ready to go for your significant other, for no reason other than you want him to know you are thinking of him. By doing this you will open up the communication and appreciation for one another, which is the key to happiness in a relationship.
Date one another
This is the most common piece of advice I find for long-term relationships. Everyone stresses how important it is to "date" your boyfriend/spouse, no matter how long you have been together. It is so easy to get swept up in the hustle of your everyday life that going out on the town is the last thing on your mind. You don't have to go on an extravagant date, but setting aside some time that is dedicated to your relationship only can improve the bond between you two. Flirting goes hand in hand with dating. Keeping the "new and exciting" feeling alive in your relationship will help keep the butterflies around.
Pick Your Battles
One of the biggest relationship killers over time is nagging, from either party. Although popular belief tells us that only women nag, that isn't true at all. After you have been with someone long enough, little things will start to bother you. You are probably comfortable enough with them by now that you don't feel bad nagging or even yelling at them for it. I'm here to tell you: don't. If it feels like you are repeating the same thing over and over again, change the record. Just ask yourself, is it worth losing your relationship over? If it is, then nag on! However, I'm willing to bet that most things you nag about are little petty things you wouldn't want to end your relationship for. You don't want to be constantly making your significant other feel like they are not good enough, especially if they pull their weight in other ways. Know your limits, but also pick your battles wisely.
Don't fight dirty
Fighting is an inevitable part in any relationship. For about the first year of my relationship, I naively thought that my boyfriend and I were some sort of power couple that would never fight. I was wrong. We don't fight that often, but we definitely do fight. Luckily for us, most fights are over stupid things like housework and money. When we do fight, sometimes I have to remind myself that we are on the same team. I get caught up in the heat of the argument and my first instinct is to start name calling, or bringing up things from the past. Neither of those things are productive in any argument. Learn how to fight constructively instead of destructively, and you may actually achieve growth from a fight with your significant other.
Having an open line of communication is the most important part of any relationship, in my opinion. If you don't talk about things, there is a lot that is left unsaid. Talk about what upsets you, scares you, angers you, and excites you. The more you share with each other, the more you will understand about one another. Lack of communication can lead to assumptions, feelings of disconnect, and misunderstanding. The more you talk, the more you know, and we all know knowledge is power.
Don't settle with the thought that every relationship eventually has to turn into this un-enjoyable task one day, because it doesn't. It is entirely up to you how you keep your relationship alive, but these are some great ways to start. Fall in love with your significant other all over again, and you may even learn more about your partner along the way.