Being in a long-term, committed relationship seems like it should be the happily-ever-after the fairy tales and movies portrayed, casting a pink-hued glow over an image of what happens after you get the one of your dreams. The storybooks and the films go dark, finishing on a high note of ‘all is well’, the picture-perfect end to a will-they-won’t-they question.
While our choices of escapism don’t show us the real life moments of relationships after the initial honeymoon phase, some of us will know all too well what the reality of being in long-term commitment entails. In real life, for some couples, that initial ‘spark’ that brought you together, those butterflies in your stomach and that glorious honeymoon phase, fades.
The relationship gets stale.
It slinks into the attic, crawls into a box and gets covered with layers and layers of dust and cobwebs.
At some point into this relationship, we settle into a routine. Our actions become monotonous, like we’ve fallen into a pattern. Most often than not, we see this pattern emerging when it comes to the sex life. This then overflows into other aspects of the relationship, thus making it boring. We’ll find ourselves thinking ‘this isn’t fun anymore’, or ‘I’m bored of this/of him’, or even wondering ‘am I even happy?’
This happens to the very best of us, at some point—where everything just gets flat and stale. By questioning everything that’s happening, we’re coming to the realisation that yes, there is an issue and we need to work on this.
Relationships don’t fall apart out of nowhere, when there aren’t major red flags blinding you. It’s the routine that follows, the bickering that doesn’t stop, the annoyance building up. These are the little things that slowly lead to the tragic demise of what once was something so beautiful.
But how do we breathe life back into our relationship, when it just seems like nothing will work?
Well first, it’s important to know that just because the excitement and butterflies have flown away; it doesn’t mean we love our partner any less. It doesn’t take away our feelings for them.
Relationship expert Kelli Miller, LCSW, MSW, says “The first thing to realize about being in a long-term relationship is that it waxes and wanes,” says Miller. “What you feel in the beginning is impossible to sustain.” She says that if you recognize this, it will minimize the pressure to feel deeply ‘in love’ all of the time.
Go Back To The Beginning
Obviously the same feelings you had when you first met won’t last forever—relationships grow and evolve. The first moments of a blossoming relationship is that all-consuming giddiness and excitement, with nervousness and butterflies. You can always go back to revisit that same place where you had your first date, retrace the steps.
You can go back to where you got engaged. You can go back to the place where you had your first kiss.
So take a trip down memory lane to rekindle some of that spark, that excitement, you felt in the beginning and bring it with you to the present.
Make A Couple’s Bucket List
Creating a bucket list of things you want to do with your partner is a great way of introducing new activities and trying something different. You can spread it out over the next few weeks or even months, and while it seems like a schedule, it is stepping out of the routine you settled into. Relationships get boring because we get comfortable in a routine and become complacent. A way to battle this is by focusing on doing something new and different every day. While being spontaneous is fun, having a set activity and date planned out creates a sense of excitement and eagerness, whether that’s planning out a night to do some role-playing in the bedroom or going out for mini golfing and cocktails.
Date nights should be a weekly priority to keep the relationship from plummeting. It’s key to keep things balanced, healthy and exciting in the relationship!
Don’t Go All The Way
Okay so maybe this will make you think ‘wait, what? Don’t have sex?’ but hear me out.
Remember when you first got together and would spend hours just making out and touching each other, without jumping right into sex. It enabled you to feel that rush of passion, anticipation and excitement.
It got your heart racing and built up sexual tension.
Getting rid of that pesky pressure to have sex will help to feel more connected to your partner and increase the desire, the romance and help you both to relax. Just kissing, touching, without the sex, will you both to feel closer to each other.
On The Other Hand, Spice It Up
And when you do finally get back to the sex, have some more fun with it.
Spice it up.
Throw in some saucy costumes like a slutty nurse’s outfit or a French maid, a police officer or a fire fighter. Dress up in seductive lingerie (I love Love Honey and Ann Summers for that!)
Introduce sex toys into the bedroom, like the G-Spa and Cuddly Bird. Using them with your partner takes the sex up a whole scorching hot level. Have them watch you use it while they’re masturbating too.
Try to have sex somewhere different from your usual spot. If it’s usually on the bed, start with somewhere small, like a chair before moving to the floor, against the wall, on the sofa. Maybe even experiment with doing it somewhere public, like a park (obviously when there’s nobody around and staying safe!)
Plan Secret Dates For Each Other
It’s the cutest thing when someone thinks about you and shows it. So every fortnight, or once a month, plan dates for one another! Just tell your partner what to wear, whether it’s something super casual or very glam and dressy. Surprise each other with these dates. But make sure it’ll be something they enjoy doing and won’t feel anxious about. For example, if your partner is scared of heights, don’t take them indoor skydiving! If you both enjoy learning and being creative, going to a wine and paint class, or even a cooking class. That way, it’s something new, fun and you learn together and can even bring these newfound tricks back home with you.
A lifestyle journalist and writer, aiming to break down the boundaries of cultural stigma and shame attached to mental health and sexuality within the South Asian culture and bring marginalised topics to light.
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