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5 Simple Ways to Keep the Spark Alive in a Long-term Relationship

Published:
June 10, 2024
June 10, 2024
Learn about a few ways to keep the spark alive in a long-term relationship.

Congratulations! You and your S.O. have been a couple for long enough now that you officially categorize your pairing as a long-term relationship. Whether you’re dating or married, familiarity and routine in this context should bring comfort and stability. As time goes by, the quality of your partnership should burn more brightly rather than dim  — but we know that can be easier said than done.

Below are five simple ways to keep the spark alive in a long-term relationship. My partner of close to eight years (who has been my husband for almost six of those years now) and I have tested out these simple tips throughout our relationship, so we can vouch for their effectiveness.

Send a short note to your partner just because.

Send a text message to your person with no purpose but to wish them a good day, say that you love them, or express excitement to see them after work, school, etc. Alternatively, surprise your partner with a sweet hand-written message. Place the paper in an obvious place for them to see. Rotate between sending little texts and preparing hand-written notes to keep things exciting. Make sure to include only your words of affirmation in your note. Don’t combine your message with a reminder for your partner to do a task or chore, such as: “You never took out the garbage! I love you!” The note should have only a single motive — it’s a sweet stand-alone message, just because.

Create a collection of future date ideas.

Write down several of your favourite date ideas on small pieces of paper and place them in a box. You can also create a folder on a shared drive for the two of you to store files listing your date ideas. The dates don’t have to be anything fancy. For instance, some examples could be watching Netflix together with a bag of popcorn, going for a walk in the park, or baking cookies together. Select an idea to do together once a week or at an agreed-upon time interval. Then do the selected activity, just the two of you.

Say thank you.

Don’t fall into the trap of not thanking your other half because it’s obvious that you are thankful given your long-term relationship status. Let your partner know that you appreciate them for who they are, and that you appreciate what they do for you as a couple. You may be amazed how expressing these two simple words can benefit your relationship.

Compliment each other.

The possibilities are endless here. Compliment your partner on their new outfit, on how well they planned your latest date night, or simply on their beautiful smile. Bonus points if you give your partner compliments in front of family and friends.

Surprise each other with a treat.

This surprise can take the form of a small, thoughtful gift you know your partner will enjoy. Or it could be running an errand or cooking up their favourite dish. Understand which of the five “love languages” speaks the most to your partner, and make sure your treat is in line with how they perceive love. For instance, if you know that your partner ranks high in terms of “acts of service,” prepare them dinner and clean up the dishes yourself. Alternatively, if “physical touch” is their main love language, take initiative to hold their hand while watching TV together in the evening.

A campfire slowly but surely extinguishes when not looked after. The tips above are a few simple ways to prevent the sparks from extinguishing in a long-term relationship. As you continue to journey together as a couple, it will be important to find new, creative, and fun ways to keep your partnership fresh and exciting. A healthy long-term relationship should feel fulfilling, loving, and meaningful. Keep that spark alive and still burning strongly as the months turn to years and the years turn to decades.

Creators:
Sarah Gagliano Taliun
Published:
June 10, 2024
June 10, 2024
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