Love is a very fickle thing. It’s vital to human happiness, but it more often than not leads to immeasurable pain and sorrow. This is because love and relationships are hard.
In fact, the average relationship these days only lasts two years and nine months. Thanks to a variety of factors – modern temptations, career ambition, economic instability, etc – relationships seem harder to maintain.
So if you’re currently in a relationship you need to know how to keep a relationship alive despite these modern stressors.
How to Keep a Relationship Alive
Relationships become more and more difficult to maintain over time, but below you’ll find 8 ways to keep the fire burning in your relationship.
1. Reduce Screen Time
A recent study has found that the average person spends 5 hours a day looking at their phone. This is worrisome for a relationship because chances are most of that time is happening at home when you’re supposed to be bonding with your partner.
You may not even notice it, but staying glued to your phone keeps you detached and isolated from your partner even if you’re in the same room.
To remedy this, both of you need to make a concerted effort to limit your screen time, especially at crucial bonding moments like dinner or in bed.
Some people create a designated area to drop their phones when they get home or even turn their phones off once the sun goes down. Any texts or calls you receive can wait ’til the morning.
2. Leave Work at Home
Communicating about your stressors with your partner is important in relating to your partner, but if you find that all the both of you talk about at home is the daily annoyances of your work, that may be a problem.
By bringing your stress home with you, you’re spoiling your experience together. Try limiting your complaining-about-work-time to just a few minutes every night. You may soon find that you stop wanting to talk about it altogether.
3. Go On More Dates
It’s very common for couples deep into a relationship to stop going on dates. Instead of dressing up for each other and going to that romantic restaurant, you order Chinese delivery in your pajamas.
Over time, this lack of romance can cause a relationship to stagnate.
Instead of allowing the fertile soil of your relationship to grow fallow, take turns trying to impress each other with extravagant dates. Dress to impress each other! Relight that spark!
4. Learn Your Love Languages
It’s sounds kind of hokey, but if you haven’t already, you should learn your love languages.
People like to express and receive love in different ways, and if you find your relationship fizzling, it may be because you aren’t adequately expressing your love to each other.
There are five different love languages: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. You can take a quiz to find out which ones are dominant for you here. The quiz will give you a score in each of these love languages and the results will tell you which forms of love are the most important for you.
After taking the quiz, you’ll have a better understanding of how the other likes to be loved.
5. Switch It Up In The Bedroom
Sex is a vital aspect of a healthy relationship. A couple that has frequent sex together is a couple that stays together. Of course, this is only true if the sex is any good.
Sex can stop being good if the process becomes unexciting and perfunctory, which will happen if you keep having the same experience in the bedroom.
To fix this, try talking with your partner about the things you’d like to try, but haven’t yet. You can also consider roleplaying, adding sex toys, or having sex in more interesting (but legal) locations.
6. Travel Together
Travel can be an invaluable tool for keeping the spark alive in a relationship. Going to a different country or a new locale where neither of you has any familiarity with can bring you closer together.
By wading through the unknown together, you can learn new things about each other and create new experience and memories.
Having a bank of fun experiences to look back on together can keep those fond feelings towards your partner alive.
7. Always Show Your Affection
It’s easy, after several years into a relationship, for your significant other to feel more like a roommate than a romantic partner. This is especially true if the both of you stop showing your affections towards each other.
This is why it’s imperative to show your affection constantly, in the big ways and the small ways. Don’t stop giving your partner kisses goodbye, hold their hand when you’re walking about. Physical contact is important. It’s even one of the love languages!
8. Spend Some Time Apart
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it’s actually true. A recent study found that people in long-distance relationships experienced a significantly higher amount of “psychological intimacy.”
Of course, people in normal relationships don’t get to benefit from that permanent distance, but it might help to spend a considerable amount of time apart from each other every now and then.
You could take that girl’s trip to Las Vegas you’ve been thinking about, or visit your parents without the accompaniment of your partner.
Go Get Some Lovin’
It’s very easy to let a relationship grow stale. Like a delicate plant, a relationship requires constant, tender care. It’s work, but it’s worth it.
With these 8 tips on how to keep a relationship alive, you’ll be able to reinvigorate your love. Your partner (and your sex life) will thank you.
If you want any more information or tips on maintaining a happy, healthy relationship, check out the rest of our blog. We’ve got everything you need to know about love.