One of the most exciting aspects of a new relationship is that first date, and the second, and the third. Over time many people become comfortable in their long-term relationship and they stop going on dates, but you don't have to. Planning a date and anticipating it can take you back to that invigorating feeling you had before your first few dates together. If you are in a long-term relationship and haven't been on a date together in a while set up one night a week, month, or when your schedule's allow and make that date night. This makes it easy for both of you to make sure you're free and it won't get put on the back-burner.
Another great way to begin dating again in your long-term relationship is to use the element of surprise. Plan a date night for you and your significant other and surprise them. If, like most of the world, you both have hectic schedules, let your significant other know that you've planned a date ahead of time, but don't let him/her in on what it is. This will keep your loved one guessing and add to the excitement of the night.
One of the most thrilling things about a new relationship is learning about your significant other, however, once a relationship becomes long-term, many people believe they know everything about each other. While you may know quite a bit about your partner, it is highly unlikely you know everything, so start asking! Use "what if" questions such as: "What would you do if you won the lottery?" "What would you do if you could have any job you wanted?" "What was your favorite childhood activity?" Questions like these are not ones that are typically asked when two people begin dating, however, they can begin some very interesting conversations between two people. It also allows you to learn something new about your partner and can help keep the excitement that you felt when the relationship first began alive.
Be Each Others Biggest Fan
The chances of you and your partner loving all the same activities are pretty slim, and that's okay. Maybe you like to knit and your partner has no clue how to or any desire to learn, but he/she really likes to run marathons and you have no interest in running, just because you two aren't interested in all the same activities doesn't mean you can't be each others biggest fan. Let your significant other tell you all about the marathon they ran yesterday, even if you don't want to do it, let him/her know that he/she is the best runner you know. While your partner may not be the best runner, or even very good, to you they are the very best.
This is so important in a relationship because you are showing each other support in the areas you don't have in common. Many people will stop doing the things they love to do simply because their significant other doesn't have any interest in it, however, it is healthy for two people in a long-term relationship to have independent interests. Supporting each other in your independent interests is very important to a successful relationship.
Touch is one of the best medicines for a persons emotional health. When new relationships begin the couple is often touching, keep doing that. After a time, long-term relationships often become routine and mundane, one way to add impulse and emotion to your long-term relationship is through simple touches throughout the day. Simple things such as holding hands while walking, cuddling on the couch while watching a movie, or a quick kiss on the cheek are important to a healthy relationship. Make an effort to do these things whenever you get a chance, often times it can bring you back to the feelings you had at the start of the relationship when you couldn't seem to keep your hands off of each other. These simple touches don't have an age limit, whether your 18 or 80 it still gives your mood, relationship, and emotional health a boost it often needs.
Say Thank You and I Love You
For some reason couples in a long-term relationship often feel like they can stop saying thank you to each other. If you would tell a complete stranger thank you for doing something, then why wouldn't you tell the person you love? In a long-term relationship people become used to the things their significant other does for them and stop saying thank you, instead they tend to focus on what their partner doesn't do and will complain about that. Stop focusing on what your significant other doesn't do and start focusing on thanking him/her for what they do.
Praise is another good way to keep your relationship happy and exciting. By praising your partner you are not only giving him/her an ego boost, chances are you are also giving their feelings for you and your relationship a boost. Most people love to hear that someone is proud of them, it helps boost their pride in themselves. Hearing that from the person you love is very important to maintaining a healthy, happy, long-term relationship.
"I love you" is another phrase that seems to be forgotten about in most long-term relationships. Many couples assume that after so many years its just a given, that couldn't be farther from the truth. The reason many long-term relationships end is because one or both of the partners no longer feel loved. By simply remembering to say these words daily, you can reassure your significant other that you do love them and are happy to be in this relationship. The lack of these feelings between partners can seriously hurt a relationship, but the knowledge that the love is there can go miles towards a long, happy, relationship.