Last January, my husband and I celebrated being together for eight years.
The secret to our relationship so far? Well, everyone knows, a strong and healthy relationship takes a lot of work. After getting married and having our first kid, we decided that if we wanted to last and be happy, we’d have to make our relationship a top priority.
Children or not, our relationship has to be stronger than ever. After all, when the children are grown up and gone, it will just be the two of us. So we might as well make it a good ride and enjoy each other’s company!
Every now and then, we sit together and reflect on what keeps us happily together despite our personality differences and busy work schedules. We talk about the things we did right; the things we’d like to change.
There are lots of exercises and practices couples can do together to strengthen the relationship. We have our own rituals as a couple and try to be as mindful to these as often as possible.
It’s important to prioritize these and not to get lost in all the “to-do” clutter. For my husband and I, it can be a bit crazy. Not only do we work together and can be around each other a lot, he also travels a lot and I tend to work on multiple projects at the same time.
It’s really too easy to get lost in a routine and let the flame of love get more and more dim.
But one thing is a fact – when your relationships are happy and healthy, you’re generally happier all around too. Everything else is alright and manageable. Good things look even better and any obstacle is not too concerning.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin
So, how do you keep the love alive a relationship? Here are 5 tips we try to practice often to keep the spark alive so you can keep falling in love with your partner.
1. Never skip date nights: I don’t know of any happy couple who doesn’t make sure they get some of this. We’ve been doing it for a while, and we notice that on the days we get too busy, we really feel the pinch on our relationship. Do not underestimate the importance to find a weekly moment to hang out together – whether you’re sharing a meal alone, or watching a movie or grabbing coffee together.
Treat it like a real date; my husband and I look forward to the weekly dates so we each have a reason to dress smart and feel good about how we look. I love to save my heels for such an occasion!
So pencil it in – I suggest doing it on a Wednesday or Thursday night so you have Friday nights for any social or business event. Take turns organizing something for each other, just remember that it doesn’t need to be too fancy or complicated. What matters is that you’re spending time together, just the two of you.
Don’t be lazy, just lock it in. Even if it means ordering in pizza and watching a movie together.
2. Appreciate each other often: It is very easy to find flaws in something, but the real challenge is to look and appreciate something someone is doing right. If you can think of something, take it in, really appreciate that about your partner, and then express it to them. Don’t hold back.
It can be something simple like “I love the way you make the coffee” or something deeper like “I really appreciate everything that you do for our family.”
Incorporate this as a practice/routine and do it all the time. Train your eye and brain to see and recognize great qualities in your partner, and also train yourself to give more praise more often. You will start to notice that after a while this gets easier, and you will feel a deep sense of love for your partner.
3. Fight fairly and in kindness: This is a tough one but if you can master it, I promise you it could very well be the secret to a happily ever after relationship. Let me explain.
When we fight we tend to just look what the other person is doing wrong and emphasize that – either to ourselves or straight to them. We normally get carried away with our emotions and at the end it is not about how to make the relationship stronger and deal with the issue at hand, but it’s more about who is right and who is wrong.
So, if in those moments you can take a deep breath and prove your point with kindness, you will notice a shift in all around energy. The fighting/argument will stop and it will be about two people having a conversation with differing points of view, not two people trying to tear each other apart, which really, is so damaging on so many levels.
“Good relationships are not just about the good times you share; they’re also about the obstacles you go through together, and the fact that you still say ‘I love you’ in the end.” Anonymous
4. Share a unique experience: Having memorable experiences with your partner can help keep the relationship going. This is something we easily forget to do – we forget to have adventures with our partner.
Every year, my husband and I try to do something new together – we set a mutual goal, ideally for something we have never done before.
One year it was cooking lessons, then yoga. We’ve even run a marathon together and this year we participated in a charity event to build homes for the homeless together.
I’ve discovered that with each activity, we learn something new about ourselves as well as our partner. We see a new and different side to each other, and feels like we’re rediscovering an aspect of our relationship again.
5. Get physical everyday: Personally, I feel that physical contact is highly important to keep a relationship together and strong. It makes us feel connected to our partner, to keep the bond going. There is so much power in a simple kiss, hug, or cuddle. Whether someone works late or it’s a particularly busy day, never skip some skin contact between you and your partner. Hold them close and give them a real hug, heart to heart. Both parties will feel the love.
Finally, check out this interesting infographic below on the science of a happy relationship – there are some great tips to help.
Read the full article here.
Always remember that every strong relationship takes work. Never give up trying what you can to keep the spark going.
“A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end.” Orebela Gbenga
Do you have any secrets to keep the spark going in a relationship? Please share them below!