When you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it can become oh so easy to get stuck in a routine without even realising; a routine that quickly becomes boring. You wake up, cook, clean, work, watch some TV together and sleep. Maybe if you’re lucky, there’ll be some “before bed” sex- if you and your partner can be bothered. If you don’t work to keep it, that passionate spark that was present at the start of your relationship can easily disappear, and a lot of relationships can disintegrate into nothing because of this.

It doesn’t always have to end this way! There is more to relationships than binge watching sitcoms in silence after a day of work. Here’s 10 exciting things to do to keep your relationship alive- and they won’t break the bank either!

1) Turn off the mobiles.

We spend so much time living on social media, we forget to live in the moment, and this can lead to us forgetting about paying attention to what’s going on around us, least of all paying attention to our partners. Turn the phone off, leave it in a separate room and actually go and talk to your partner. Ask how their day was, what’s going on at work. Catch up on what’s going on with them.

2) Surprise them.

At the start of a relationship, it’s a priority to keep doing small things for your partner to make them happy and see them smile. As time goes on, these small things slowly dwindle down to nothing. Bring them back into the relationship and watch your partner’s happiness increase- and you’ll notice by making them happy, you’re also feeling happier! Try cooking your partner a surprise meal, making them a mix-tape of their current favorite songs to play in the car on the way to work, or making time to watch their favorite movie, even though you absolutely hate it. Little things mean a lot.

3) Date Nights.

These are far more frequent at the start of a relationship but then life takes over and gets in the way. Be it once a week or once a month it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you and your partner should make a conscious effort to dress up to the nines and go out together. It could be to the cinema, a restaurant, or the theatre- something different that’s fun to do together. You don’t have to stay out all night, or even spend a lot of money, but it’s the being out together and spending some quality time together that’s important.

4) Spice things up in the bedroom.

What with a full day of work exhausting us, followed by the chores at home to complete, we’re often too tired to even care about the sex. But that doesn’t mean your partner feels the same way, and making them feel unwanted or forgotten about can really hit their self esteem, which definitely has a negative impact on the relationship. So spice things up a bit! If you’re not feeling very adventurous, just treat yourself to a new set of underwear. If you want to try something a bit more exciting, buy some new toys or try a new move out and completely take your partner by surprise!

5) Be complimentary.

Remember when you used to tell your partner how gorgeous they were? Well, bring it back. It may not feel a lot to you, but complimenting your partner goes a long way. Compliment their looks, maybe a new top they’re wearing, how nice the dinner they cooked was. However, there is a fine line- don’t be over complimentary or you’ll risk looking fake. Just be genuine- if they look nice, tell them!

6) Be thoughtful.

If you’re thinking about them during the middle of the day whilst you’re both stuck at work on the opposite sides of town, tell them. Take the time to send them a text. “Hi, work sucks today. Would much rather be at home with you!” You could be riskier and even try sending a few cheeky sexts. It just lets your partner know that you’re thinking of them, and they’ll look forward to coming home to you even more than usual when they’re aware of how much you want to see them.

7) Laugh together.

They say a couple who laughs together, stays together! Even if your partner just told the worst joke in the history of stand up comedy, they obviously said it with the intention of making you laugh. So even if you just chuckle and say “that was the worst joke ever babe!” that’s better than no response at all- or even worse, a totally negative response. Go out of your way to make them laugh too. Leave silly notes in their jacket pocket for them to find at unexpected moments, or play a practical joke on them that will leave the pair of you giggling like teenage lovers all over again.

8) Show gratitude.

No one likes to feel unappreciated, and feeling this way often leads to unhappy relationships. A lot of people have reported the reason they left their significant other was due to feeling unappreciated. It doesn’t take much to say thank you, so when your partner does the washing, or remembers not to leave their dirty socks on the floor after you’ve already nagged them 100 times that day, acknowledge that they’ve done this for you and say thank you. Not only will they appreciate this gesture, they’re more likely to do more small things, like the washing, for you, because they know you’ll be grateful for it! And hey, you could even go the extra mile and give them a thank you treat in the bedroom…remember point 4!

9) Try new things together. 

You enjoy each other’s company, so you’ve already got yourself a partner. Now go out there and try something new- maybe a new club, such as a dance class or cooking class. Visit a new part of town, try eating at a new restaurant, go to an old restaurant and order something you never would- just do something totally new. You can laugh about it together if it all goes wrong or maybe you’ll surprise yourselves and find you love doing this together. Not only is it fun to try new things, it’s also a great chance to spend some quality time together, so what are you waiting for?

10) Love each other.

It sounds like something you’re already doing when you’re with someone in a long term relationship, but sometimes we forget to do the simplest thing, and that is love each other. It’s more than showing gratitude, complimenting each other and having sex. Make sure you cuddle often, have lots of physical contact such as holding hands when you’re walking down the street, or giving them a back rub after a hard day at work. And most importantly of all, actually say those three words. “I love you”. We’re often so busy we can forget about it, but it doesn’t mean our partner doesn’t want to know- so remember to tell them!

Written By: Florence Grace

Edited By: Paige Russell T/ @babyfacedpaige

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