Falling in love with someone is the easy part. You find the right person, you let your feelings take over, and suddenly you’re happier than you’ve ever been. The birds sing louder, the sky is bluer, and it seems like the flowers are blooming beneath your feet. There is no problem that can’t be overcome, because there’s someone who’s always got your back. You’re not a lone wolf anymore - you’re part of a team.
Staying in love can be slightly more complicated. Life is naturally filled with ups and downs, and the same goes for your relationship. The honeymoon period will eventually end, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to get back to that feeling of butterflies in your stomach as you share your first kiss. There will be arguments, and unless you’re a saint, you will probably say things you’ll regret. That’s not to say you’ll fall out of love, but your love for each other should mature into something wiser, calmer, and more resilient. Here are three simple tips for those of you who have been in a relationship for ages, and would like to improve your connection with the person you fell for.
Get out of your comfort zones
If you watch Netflix on the couch with your partner every night, you may be at risk of killing your relationship. Studies have shown that regularly going out on a proper date, to the beach or a nice restaurant or a hike or anywhere else you can think of, is one of the best things you can do for your connection. It forces you to try new things, and it also allows you to see your partner in a new light. You’ll discover new things about yourself and your loved one that you didn’t know before, and you’ll ensure that the relationship remains ‘fresh’. Going on adventures together keeps you both on your toes, and is the ultimate aphrodisiac for couples who have been together for years. We recommend spending some time at least once a month to plan an amazing date, so that you’ll never feel bored of the person you love.
2. More deep conversations
Talking is the best way to make sure that connection always runs deep. By opening up to each other regularly, and sharing all of your fears, hopes, and insecurities, you will be able to truly understand and empathise with each other, and much less likely to get into explosive fights. Treat each other as you would treat your best friend. Talk about everything from religion to movies to sex to family. When you are angry, tell each other why. Don’t get aggressive, just calmly assert yourselves and be clear in asking for what you need. Communication is the number one most important pillar of any relationship - without it, we become completely lost for direction. Even couples who’ve been together for decades can’t read each other’s minds. And it doesn’t have to be all serious! Poke fun at each other, be playful, joke around. Sharing a good sense of humour is something that will keep you attracted to each other for the long haul.
3. Learn each other’s love language
Love languages are a concept first put forth by Gary Chapman in 1995. Since then, they have really taken off in the global blogosphere and relationship advice columns. If you’ve never heard of them before, let me break it down for you. There are five love languages in total: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, and receiving gifts. While all of the love languages are equally valid, different people prioritise them differently. Here’s a quiz that will help you and your partner determine which love languages you value the most. Learning to express your love to your partner in the most meaningful way will help your connection bloom, and will result in greater mutual appreciation.