It’s like those who manage to make their relationship a success seem to have found the answer to one of life’s great mysteries. Right next to the meaning of life and how to make your children do what you tell them to do – maybe it’s just no straight answer to either of them. Nonetheless, we should give it a shot; it certainly can’t be any harm in trying, from day one, to keep your relationship happy and healthy.
When you’ve been together for some time, it’s natural that some of the passion fades away. Coming to terms with this and accepting that your relationship will go through changes is important to keep you both sane; many relationships has been thrown away after the first six months, or as soon as one of the two feels like there’s no passion left.
Acceptance means that to have a realistic approach to a long-term relationship, you need to accept that passion does fade. With that extra bit of effort that everyone’s talking about, you can find your way back to it from time to time.
It won’t be the same fire you had the first month of dating, though, and it’s important that you accept this. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy the new shape your relationship has taken, and you will also miss out on all of the advantages of loving your best friend – you know, that handsome man you went on a date with back in the days. He turns into your closest friend with time, and passion turns to compassion. It’s a good thing.
When all of that is said, we need to talk about celebrating the small things – and the big occasions – and supporting each other. It’s difficult to survive in a long term relationship if you don’t make it clear that the special days are important to both of you; the celebrations are sure to breathe a whole wind of fresh air in your relationship. Read more here for inspiration on how to make your occasions as special as possible and how you can celebrate the little things as well as the big. It won’t fix a relationship that’s unhealthy and where the communication is poor, but it will help keep a solid relationship happy further down the road.
So, how do we put in that extra bit of effort when the passion fades? It’s not enough to show each other interest the way you did at the beginning of the relationship by going on hot dates and dancing all night; although you should still do this, it won’t always fit in with your everyday-selves. You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s important; do those little things for each other from time to time, such as making the other a cup of coffee while they’re in the shower, or surprising them with a movie night. Remember to be grateful when you’re on the receiving end of these small things – just a cheerful ‘thank you!’ could be enough for the other one to feel appreciated.
A somewhat morbid game, perfect for when you feel like the relationship has turned into one big yawn, is to imagine what your life would be like without the other person. It sounds kind of strange, also to me, but it reminds you to be grateful for each other and to show it from time to time – without expecting anything back.
Some also recommend this thinking in the bedroom: imagining that this is the last time you’re with each other could spice things up. It’s all in your head, anyway, and the mind game won’t do anyone any harm.
A lot of people in relationships seem to think that once the passion you had is cooling off, the main thing you need to work on is to keep things interesting in the bedroom. This can feel a bit forced to some – and do more harm than good if one only focuses on an interesting sex life, while the other is missing a deeper connection and building resentment towards the other.
In fact, most couples at the start of a relationship nurtured all the other aspects first, got to know each other and had a laugh – then, a spicy sex life comes as a treat. By all means, rekindle your passion in the bedroom as well, just don’t think this is going to rekindle your entire relationship. Things take time, and if you’re feeling like your partner isn’t interested in listening to you anymore, or you keep picking fights with each other, a romantic candle-light bedroom just isn’t going to cut it.
Think back to what you used to do when you started dating; picnics in the green, running together or even binge-watching Netflix could remind you of who you used to be. Ending the night with a bit of passion will feel less forced if you’ve both had a great day, feeling connected and want to show the other how much you care after a lovely day together. Rather than the attitude of ‘I’ve light you all of these candles and given you a massage, so now you need to treat me back.’ That is the kind of thinking that creates resentment and potentially ruins what could have been a great night.
It’s no doubt that relationships can be hard work from time to time, but remember that it shouldn’t always be that way. We all need to invest love in them and make some sacrifices, but if you feel like you’re missing out on other parts of your life or that it’s a downward spiral of doom no matter how hard you try, it could simply be that you’ve come to an end. That happens – and staying in an unhappy relationship will not do anyone any good.
These few tips and tricks are meant to inspire you to keep things interesting, not to save a toxic relationship. If in doubt, listen to your heart as well as your family and friends – they know you so well, and only want what’s best for you.