Sometimes when you've been in a relationship with one person for a long enough time, you seem to hit a sort of brick wall. Things get stale, difficult, or just plain boring. But just because you seem to have hit a slump, it doesn't mean it's time to throw in the towel and move on. In fact, if you actively try to keep things interesting, you will probably come out of it with a stronger and healthier relationship that will stand the test of time.
1. Play hooky. There's something about being home when you know you should be at work that feels intoxicatingly daring. It creates nostalgia of childhood snow days and seems to open up a world of possibilities. Why not enjoy the excitement together? Take a day off during the middle of the week just to stay at home, relax, and have fun. Whether you play video games or spend the day at the park, choosing each other over work and escaping the "real world" for a day will be rejuvenating.
2. Take a spontaneous road trip. Sometimes life becomes too routine or bogged down with expectations and responsibilities. To escape the monotony, take a truly spontaneous road trip. Aside from knowing the amount of time you'll be gone and the day of your departure, don't plan anything. Take turns choosing which direction you'll drive. Follow signs for attractions that strike your fancy in the moment. Go the train station and buy tickets for the first city you see. Letting go of plans and expectations will help you to experience the moment.
3. Do something daring. Sometimes we simply suffer from a lack of adrenaline in our lives. Try doing something new and daring together - riding the roller coasters at an amusement park, trying skydiving, walking through a graveyard after dark, or even facing your fear of snakes at the local zoo. Feeling as though your significant other is there to protect and support you through a frightening time can really bond you together, and it can also bring back the feelings of excitement you probably experienced when you first started dating.
4. Celebrate obscure holidays. Why wait for birthdays and Christmas for that warm, gooey feeling that holiday celebrations always seem to bring about? There are plenty of reasons to celebrate throughout the year - and if you can't find one, then make one up! Whether you celebrate by gift giving, eating a special meal, or just dedicating time together, you'll be sure to rekindle the romance in your heart. (For ideas of of obscure holidays to celebrate, read this article.)
5. Get social. Sometimes the problem with a relationship is that the two of you don't spend enough time alone. But sometimes, the problem is that the two of you spend too much time alone! Get out and enjoy the company of another couple or a group (such as a local organization or gathering of coworkers, for example). Not only can this end up tightening your bond because you have the chance to see one another in a different light, but it might end up making you more appreciative of your alone time!
6. Take a class together. Are you just looking for something new to do together? Find something you're both interested in - cooking, wine tasting, or martial arts, for example - and sign up for a local class. Learning something new not only makes you more well-rounded people, but it also gives you something to talk about, help each other with, and accomplish together. Just be sure it doesn't spark an unhealthy sense of competition. Remember, you're teammates, not opponents!
7. Have meaningful discussion. Work, school, bills, kids... sometimes couples get in a slump because they talk about the same things all the time. Spice up your conversation by finding a common topic of meaningful discussion. Read a book or watch a movie, and then discuss it. Pick up a newspaper or turn on the news and share your opinions of current events. Put some topics in the jar (religion, an historical event, a moral question), and from time to time, draw one out about which you can engage each other in conversation.
Good relationships need a healthy combination of quality time, new experiences, and interpersonal and intellectual stimulation. If you feel like something is missing in your relationship, it's probably because you've stopped building each other up as people and nurturing the relationship. These seven ideas can act as a starting point, but the best part is, you have a lifetime to come up with new ways to keep things fresh and interesting in your relationship!
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